By David Bozeman
The liberal tongue is so agile it can stretch any word or concept beyond all recognition. 'Human rights,' 'constitutional,' 'family' and 'entitlements' can all mean whatever the day's marching orders dictate.
Here's the setup: Bill O'Reilly recently anointed Bill Maher his pin-head of the day for suggesting that there is nothing wrong with embracing socialism a la Europe, and that government control of prisons, education, the military and hospitals is good. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell concurred, opining that socialist haters don't really understand the concept behind the word. He basically repeated the rant from his interview in the current Playboy. "We're all socialists… I'm a socialist because I support Social Security and Medicare. Everyone who supports these programs is supporting socialism — including most Republicans."
In truth, Republicans, like all conservatives, hold various complex views on how to make caring for the poor, sick and elderly more compassionate and efficient. Someday, when public discourse is less demagogic and predictable, maybe the grown-ups can talk longer than two minutes at the microphone before having to call in armed security.
Liberal editorialists frequently sneer that even the most loyal Tea Partiers take advantage of Social Security and Medicare well beyond what they paid in. Yet that is less a matter of socialism than mere survival — public options, which derive their funds from the private sector, typically eclipse the choices inherent in a free market.
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