Socialism got a "dead cat bounce" with the recent elections in Europe:
The Social Welfare State is dying. Like the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, the cradle-to-grave social welfare experiment must eventually collapse. A system of taxing work and profits, while subsidizing leisure, sloth, and retirement, must eventually fail.
The end of the Social Welfare State is painful for many, and it will not end quickly or quietly as the elections of this past weekend prove. Francois Hollande, a Socialist, was elected president of France, while Greece saw a surge in votes for “anti-bailout” political parties in parliament.
[. . .]
So, in reality, French and Greek rejection of austerity does not mean policies that would enhance long term economic growth. Instead, it means they want to temporarily pull the wool over their own eyes, resist the obvious need to reduce government spending, and just hope for the best.
This point is not grasped by everyone. It especially seems to elude Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, who may have written the single dumbest reaction to Richard Mourdock's trouncing of Richard Lugar (and belive me, there was some stiff competition):
Being a good tea party Republican, Mourdock is all about slashing government spending without regard to the impact of the cuts on the economy or on those who need government help. He cast his campaign as a battle against “the nightmare of ever-growing government” that would turn the United States into a “Western European-style nation.”
This gets us to the irony: Right now, it’s conservatives who want to follow the Western European path of austerity that voters in France and Greece rejected last weekend. The Obama administration, by contrast, has chosen a distinctly American path that kept austerity at bay.
[. . .]
Obama’s thoroughly moderate economic policies are an excellent example of a practical American exceptionalism. Europeans are moving toward the center-left not because they are doctrinaire but precisely because they are sick of the rigid approaches the advocates of austerity have imposed upon them. Why would we now want to imitate Europe’s failures?
"Moderate economic policies." Lord, lord.