Everyone a Socialist

It seems that speaking to the now-infamous Joe the Plumber, Barack Obama said the following:

“And I do believe for folks like me who have worked hard, but frankly also been lucky, I don’t mind paying just a little bit more than the waitress that I just met over there who’s things are slow and she can barely make the rent. Because my attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’This gonna be good for everybody.”

“If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re going to be better off it you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now I think everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody. “

This is pretty uninteresting stuff if you ask me. But the fascinating part is that apparently conservatives are writing in to Marc Ambinder demanding that he cover this incident as Obama admitting that he’s a closet socialist. Ambinder judiciously concludes that it’s “misleading to suggest that Obama was revealing his secret socialism here.” But I think it’s probably misleading to say that the right is trying to mislead anyone here. Conservatives have really convinced themselves — or at least a lot of them have — that bog-standard left-of-center bromides about progressive taxation and broadly shared prosperity are, in fact, a form of wild-eyed radicalism.