McCain Charges Obama With “Socialism”

John McCain’s political attacks are getting more subtle.

While the Republican’s campaign previously shouted out against Barack Obama, especially with regard to “domestic terrorist” William Ayers,” those negative attacks eroded some of the Senator’s support.

Now, in an effort to undercut Obama and maintain some resemblance of respectability, McCain’s taking a less heavy-handed angle with two key words “socialism” and “welfare.”

The s-word came up a number of times this weekend as McCain derided his opponent’s economic plans.

Mr. McCain repeatedly cashed in on the October surprise of Joe the Plumber on the campaign trail Saturday, and also used [a] radio address to make the taboo “socialism” charge against Mr. Obama based on his candid admission to the Ohio blue-collar worker that he wants to “spread the wealth around.”

“Joe, in his plainspoken way, said this sounded a lot like socialism. And a lot of Americans are thinking along those same lines. In the best case, ‘spreading the wealth around’ is a familiar idea from the American left. And that kind of class warfare sure doesn’t sound like a ‘new kind of politics,’ ” Mr. McCain said in the weekly address.

“At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives,” he said. “We should demand equal candor from Senator Obama.”

Many social conservatives have a knee-jerk reaction to charges of socialism, which, thanks to the cold war, carries with it many unspeakable horrors.

“Welfare,” meanwhile, has come up specifically with regard to Obama’s tax plan. Said McCain at a rally Saturday: “His plan gives away your tax dollars to those who don’t pay taxes. That’s not a tax cut, that’s welfare.” Some astute pundits and journalists are wondering if McCain’s using the word “welfare” to invoke images of the so-called “welfare mother,” a mythical figure once used by Republicans to describe black mothers who had children simply to bilk the government. Even if McCain’s not intentionally drawing on that image, we bet some Americans saw it anyway.