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They Forgot About Joe

Ann Althouse puzzles over an assertion, in The New York Times, that President Obama’s winning agenda included “rebalancing the distribution of wealth.”

Obama ran on a redistribution of the wealth agenda? So, back when he was campaigning, and his opponents characterized things he said as meaning that he wanted to redistribute the wealth, and his supporters shouted that down as typical right-wing distortion, Obama was really laying the groundwork for claiming that he had won a mandate to redistribute the wealth?

Err, yes. Sen. John McCain’s campaign spent the last three weeks of the presidential race accusing Obama of “socialist” tendencies because Obama told Sam Wurzelbacher that “if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Obama didn’t really back down on this — he mocked it: “By the end of the week, he’ll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.” But he didn’t deny that he planned to cut taxes for middle- and lower-income Americans while raising taxes on the rich.

If Republicans didn’t want to give Obama a mandate for “spreading the wealth,” they probably shouldn’t have made that their message and then lost the election to him.

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