By MARC McDONALD
It's a sign of our nation's bizarre, surreal political discourse these days that most of the most persistent GOP attacks on Obama are not only misleading, they have zero connection to the real world.
One of the GOP's most common attacks on Obama is that he's a "socialist." We also often hear that he's somehow bad for business or hostile to capitalism and free markets.
Here in the Real World, such charges are absurd. The fact is, any candidate for president who was even in the slightest bit "socialist" would never in a million years get anywhere near the White House.
What's equally bizarre is that the Democrats' responses to these GOP attacks are usually pretty feeble. Again and again, the Democrats let the GOP paint them and Obama as "socialist" and the Dems rarely have any kind of forceful response to counter this charge.
There is one major, compelling statistic that completely demolishes the argument that Obama is "socialist" (or even bad for business in the slightest bit).
Consider this: under Obama, corporate profits are at an all time high. Not just merely good. But an all-time high. Oh, and that statistic takes into account the effects of inflation. Corporate profits today comprise the highest share of the national economy that they've ever been (just as workers' wages are the lowest they've ever been, in terms of GDP share).
It's an astonishing statistic. And it just goes to show that, under Obama, nothing has really changed in terms of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The latter has been the most profound and significant aspect of American society for the past three decades. And yet, incredibly, most Americans are blissfully unaware of this momentous change in our nation.
Of course, all of this is (as usual) a lose-lose proposition for us progressives. Not only do we look on as the nation becomes increasingly economically polarized. But we also watch, perplexed, as the GOP hammers Obama as a "socialist." And the Dems, armed with an incredibly strong argument to demolish this claim, sit around and refuse to fight fire with fire. I don't think I've seen a Democratic politician yet who stood up and threw the "Obama is a socialist" argument back in the GOP's face.
Of course, I'm not raising this issue as any kind of endorsement of Romney. The fact is, it's clear that under President Gordon Gekko, the economic polarization would continue (and even intensify).
It's understandable that Democrats wouldn't be eager to remind Americans of how, under Obama, corporate profits are at an all-time high, while wages are at an all-time low. But still, this is an important statistic that the Dems need to dust off from time to time to forcefully counter the GOP's absurd argument that Obama is somehow a "socialist."