Thanks to conservative politicians and pundits, socialists are in the limelight as never before, writes Billy Wharton in the Washington Post—and Wharton, as editor of Socialist magazine, ought to know. Mike Huckabee and John McCain became "our most effective promoters," he says, as they portrayed Obama as a political radical. As much as Wharton's movement "appreciated the newfound attention," the "funny thing is, of course, that socialists know that Barack Obama is not one of us."
To socialists, Obama isn't even a liberal: He's "a hedge-fund Democrat—one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies." Not only has he avoided nationalizing the banks, he hasn't demanded immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq. Unless he addresses "the deep inequalities that have become fundamental features of American society," says Wharton, Obama will be socialist only in "the imaginations of an odd assortment of conservatives."