A while ago, the Republicans noticed that calling an opponent a “liberal” didn’t quite have the sting it once did, so they decided to simply replace the word “liberal” with the word “socialist”. Seriously.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of them bothered to look up what socialism means. This led to ironic situations where people like “Joe the Plumber” were calling Obama a socialist because he was going to lower Joe’s taxes (by raising taxes on the rich). But I didn’t think that even Republicans could talk out of both sides of their mouth — applauding and decrying “socialist” policies — simultaneously.
Monday, Fox News broadcast Sean Hannity interviewing Sarah Palin. One minute, Palin is bragging about how she increased the size of the check that every resident (man, woman, and child) gets from Alaska’s oil revenues:
Palin: We are the only state with a negative tax rate where we don’t have any income, sales or property tax statewide, and yes we have a share of our oil resource revenue that goes back to the people that own the resources. Imagine that.
Hannity: And it went up higher since you’ve been the governor and you negotiated with the oil companies. That all went up so people get a bigger check.
Palin: There was a corrupt tax system up there and we had a couple of lawmakers end up in jail because of the tax system that was adopted so we cleaned it up and said we wanted a fair and equitable share of the resources that we own, and the people will share in those resource revenues that are derived.
If this isn’t socialism (or at least redistribution of wealth beyond Obama’s wildest dreams) then I don’t know what is. At the time, even Republicans called her a socialist, according to the Alaska blog The Mudflats:
After renegotiating the tax rate with oil companies, and using the gain to hand out $1200 checks to every man, woman and child in the state, some Republicans in Alaska were screeching “Socialism!” and comparing her to Hugo Chavez. All this, of course, was back before Palin became a household name outside Alaska’s borders. Most Alaskans thought this whole plan was just great. There were those on the left and those on the right that disagreed with Palin’s tactics, but it was a good lesson in how to become popular. Hand out cash.
But Hannity doesn’t even notice. In fact, just a few minutes later this in the interview, the other side of their mouths open:
Palin: If Americans aren’t paying attention, unfortunately our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize. Certainly that is so far from what the founders of our country had in mind for us.
Palin: Well… that is where we are headed.
Watch it yourself: