"The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist. I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he's not a socialist."And what strikes me about it is the rhetorical similarity to the famous Nixon quote:
"People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."Rhetorically, the acknowledgment that there is a question has more impact than the denial. Indeed, the denial seems to underscore the seriousness of the question.
Now, Nixon was denying his own guilt. Ron Paul is raising the issue about the President and providing the denial. Nixon stepped in it. Ron Paul is doing something else. But what?
Let's pull it apart:
1. The beginning of the statement, paraphrased, says: There's an important question about whether the President is a socialist. We should address it. Some people believe it. You ought to take it seriously. That's the opposite of a denial. That's massaging the concern about socialism into our heads.
2. Next we hear that there is a technical, economic definition of what socialism is, and according to that restricted definition, Obama is not a socialist. We are left to think that there is some less technical definition that would include Obama.
3. Ron Paul's next statement is therefore key: "He's a corporatist. And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country." It seems that Paul is warning about some vast alliance between government and business that isn't technically socialism but is dangerous in the same or worse way.
So, lefties, don't get all excited about that Ron Paul statement. He's not on your side.