For its final op-ed ad in the New York Times, Campaign For America's Future characterizes the progressive argument for change as a return to the Democratic tradition. I like it a lot:This "spreading the wealth" attack has been bizarre. Using the word "socialism" makes sense. It conjures up the specter of Communism, the Cold War, Reaganism, American victory over the "Reds"...all great memes for Republicans. But "spreading the wealth around"? That doesn't sound like Chairman Mao, that sounds like Robin Hood. It will serve as a dogwhistle for the true believers, but they simply aren't enough to win this thing, not after conservatism started its nose dive.
There's more to the American tradition than war and taxes. For instance, there is the tradition of pulling together when times are tough. That's why I think this current Republican assault on the term "spreading the wealth" is going to fall on deaf ears. (They would have been better sticking with the "socialism" boogeyman since most people don't really know what it means.) "Spreading the wealth" just doesn't sound like a threatening unamerican idea. It sounds like ... fairness. The kind of thing you teach little kids --- the kind of thing that some people used to call Christian values.
I just don't think most voters are going to get too worked up about whether the government is being unfair to rich people right now. They have plenty of other things to worry about. Obama's closing argument hit all those notes today and I think it's far more compelling than the cramped and angry, petty case from the Republicans. A little All American community spirit sounds very good right about now.
In any case, here's that closing argument they were talking about.