Actual Socialists Substantially More Socialist Than Allegedly Socialist President

Via Kevin Drum, this poll from Winthrop University shows, among other things, that a full 74.7 percent of South Carolina Republicans think the term "socialist" describes Barack Obama well or very well (in addition, almost 30 percent believe he's a Muslim, and 36 percent think he was probably or definitely born in another country). So just out of curiosity, I shuffled over to the website of the Socialist Party USA to see how Obama-esque they are these days. The answer? Not much. There are a few things on the platform I think Obama might agree with; for instance, they support the spaying and neutering of pets, and I think Obama might sign on with that. On the other hand, they also favor "immediate abolition of all private health insurance companies through the creation of a single-payer health system," which they see as "an important step in the direction of a fully socialized national health program," not to mention public ownership of the means of production, the scrapping of all trade agreements, and "militant, united labor action including hot cargo agreements, and boycotts, factory committees, secondary and sympathy strikes, sit-down strikes, general strikes, and ultimately the expropriation of workplaces."

But if you asked the average South Carolina Republican, he or she probably thinks Obama favors those things, too. The handy thing about really hating a politician is that if he doesn't actually do the things you fear, you can just believe it's not because he doesn't want to, but because he hasn't gotten around to it yet.