Matthews: Obama and Democrats haven’t sold the benefits of the social state
posted at 8:48 am on April 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Consider this one of those moments that are inadvertently revealing … or maybe not all that inadvertent. Chris Matthews and his panel put their finger on why Democrats seem to be so unpopular these days. Could it be because they insisted on passing a huge, expensive precursor to a government takeover of a sixth of the American economy, one which has been deeply unpopular for months? No, that can’t be it. Matthews and David Corn decide that the real problem is that the Democrats haven’t explained all of the wonders of the “social state” to benighted voters. Greg Hengler grabs the moment for Townhall:
MATTHEWS: The problem is that we don’t think in terms of what would the country be like if we didn’t have Medicare for our parents as they get very old — in their eighties, for example, when they’re still alive, and they need health care, a lot of it. And they don’t have any source of income. They’re not working every morning. They’re not making a paycheck. What would it be like in this country? Calcutta? Poor people all over the place? Old people lying in the streets? I mean, we don’t think about what it would be if we didn’t have health care, if we didn’t have Social Security for people at the age of 65, if we didn’t have unemployment compensation, if we didn’t have a progressive income tax. There’s a lot of things we don’t think about. And the right-wing just pounds and pounds away at this idealistic notion of a cowboy country, everybody self-reliant. I think the progressives, for all their power on the blogosphere, have not done a positive case for the advantages of some kind of a social state.
CORN: Well, Obama hasn’t, either.
Perhaps Matthews doesn’t recall this, but America existed before Medicare, and it wasn’t Calcutta West. America before Social Security wasn’t colonial India, either. Instead of relying on government entitlements, people planned for their retirements and paid for their own medical care. Those days were far from perfect, but they didn’t threaten to bankrupt the nation through unsupportable entitlement spending based on Ponzi-scheme financials, either.
If Matthews and his Democrats intend on selling the “social state” to skeptical Americans, they’ll have to do better than those examples. Unfortunately, those are the best arguments that socialists have to offer. (Transcript via Rush Limbaugh)