Democratic Strategist: Socialists and Muslims

Democratic Strategist

Socialists and Muslims

The constant campaign of innuendo suggesting that Barack Obama is some sort of Muslim is well known, and only credible to, well, the extremely credulous. But the other smear-word being aimed at Obama is right out in the open, launched by all sorts of respectable conservatives, and is just as crazy from any objective point of view as the suggestion that the Democratic nominee secretly prays five times a day while facing Mecca: Obama is a socialist!

Google “Obama socialist” and you get 3.6 million links. Blogsearch the same term for a much smaller universe and you get 13,000 links in the last week, and more than two thousand in the last day. Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have used the word “socialism” to describe Obama’s fiscal policies, albeit through fond references to the assessments of their buddy Joe (sic!) the Plumber (sic!).

But if there’s anything more incredible than calling Obama a “Muslim” or a “socialist,” it’s calling him a “Muslim socialist,” as a local Republican leader in New Mexico did this week.(It’s not an unusual charge; it was recently hurled directly at Obama by voters in North Carolina, who probably didn’t come up with it by themselves).

It doesn’t take an advanced degree in religion or Middle Eastern Affairs to become at least dimly aware that Islam and socialism are not terribly compatible. And this is particularly true of Jihadist strains of Islam. Al-Qaeda, you may recall, was basically born in the struggle of jihadist against “atheistic communists” in Afghanistan. The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, were all developed in violent opposition to secular-leaning socialists in the Muslim world, particularly in Egypt and Palestine. There are rich traditions of Christian socialism and of Jewish socialism, to be sure. But not so much Islamic socialism.

So make up your minds, Obama-haters. There’s not any real evidence to support any of your smears, but if you must use them, pick one and stick with it.

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