No one is poor enough for Democrats

posted at 12:41 pm on June 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It was an inevitable and natural outgrowth of the Democrats’ Obama-era campaign themes, but so few seem to have seen it coming.

The obsession with “income inequality” and the Democratic Party’s rhetorical commitment to using the power of the state to address that imbalance has painted the party’s most prominent figures into an absurd corner. Now, wealthy Democratic officeholders are rendering the most ridiculous, forced self-denunciations they can muster in an attempt to reassure their constituencies that they are sufficiently proletarian.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was mocked in the political press when she asserted that she and her husband were “dead broke” after leaving the White House, recently defended her clumsy comments. Speaking with The Guardian, Clinton said that those concerned with what she once called the “cancer” of income inequality “don’t see me as part of the problem.”

“Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work,” she said.

Not good enough say advisors close the also well-off President Barack Obama. According to The Washington Post, at least one former advisor to Obama is advising Democrats to “panic.”

“It’s going to be a massive issue for her,” one Obama adviser said. “When you’re somebody like the secretary of state or president of the United States or first lady, you’re totally cut off [from normal activity], so your perception of the middle-class reality gets frozen in a time warp.”

“She can’t seem more out of touch on issues like this,” NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd said on Monday of Clinton’s “wealth problem.”

This painful instinct among Democrats to renounce their own bourgeois status reached a level of ludicrousness on Monday that previously would have struck Christopher Guest as implausible. Speaking at a Summit on working families, the Vice President of the United States assured the audience that he was always rated as among the poorest members of Congress, owns no stocks or bonds, and does not even maintain a savings account.

A cursory glance at Joe Biden’s 2013 financial disclosure reveals that he owns mutual funds and does, in fact, have interest-bearing accounts. And why shouldn’t he?

None of the Democratic Party’s 2016 prospects are impoverished enough to match their own rhetorical standards for what is an acceptable amount of wealth to have and still serve as a representative of the middle and underclass. It was the natural consequence of the 2012 campaign which centered on framing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as hostile toward the middle class because he was successful.

Even the great progressive hope, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), fell into the trap of misrepresenting her own largess.

“I realize there are some wealthy individuals — I’m not one of them — but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios,” Warren said during her 2012 campaign for Senate. This claim did not sit well with The Huffington Post.

Warren earned more than $700,000 from Harvard, book royalties and consulting fees, and lives in a $5 million house, the report shows. She has multiple mutual funds and stock in IBM, the sole individual stock she owns. The total portfolio is worth nearly $8 million.

Democrats, including President Obama, have long maintained that they do not resent or demonize success. The actions of the party’s most visible figures suggest, however, that this is not true. Why else would Clinton, Biden, and Warren go to such embarrassing lengths to cheapen the fact that they were compensated for their work?

So many Democrats are imprisoned by their own rhetoric and are now sacrificing authenticity in an endless game of populist one-upmanship. It is an awkward display. Maybe Democrats are right to “panic.”


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I wish I was middle class like the Clintons and Elizabeth Warren…

SLMeyer on June 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Isn’t that the truth.

We won’t be poor enough until we have no money or assets and the only way we don’t DIE is by standing in government food lines.

ConstantineXI on June 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Courtesy of Bmore

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I wish I was middle class like the Clintons and Elizabeth Warren…

SLMeyer on June 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

And they are lower middle class at that. Practically poverty level. Pretty soon, they may have to sublet one of their mansions to a family of millionaires just so they can make ends meet.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Embrace

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM

So many Democrats are imprisoned by their own rhetoric and are now sacrificing authenticity in an endless game of populist one-upmanship. It is an awkward display. Maybe Democrats are right to “panic.”

“Sacrifisching”, as Michelle says, the poor destitute.

See also Chelsea, the next Liar in Chief.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Another troll free thread?

gwelf on June 23, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I sure wish I could work my way up to a mere poverty level $10 million per year average….

Myabe it would be easier if, like poor little Shillery, “I was born a poor balck child…”

dentarthurdent on June 23, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Al Czervik, Bushwood Country Club; some non-admittance required.

Steve Eggleston on June 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I sure wish I could work my way up to a mere poverty level $10 million per year average….

Myabe Maybe it would be easier if, like poor little Shillery, “I was born a poor balck black child…”

dentarthurdent on June 23, 2014 at 12:54 PM

I’m so darn poor, I can’t even afford a proper keyboard…

dentarthurdent on June 23, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Al Czervik, Bushwood Country Club; some non-admittance required.

Steve Eggleston on June 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Well, I would never join a club that would have a member like me….

dentarthurdent on June 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

+1 slmeyer

cmsinaz on June 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Ahhh, to be poor and destitute like the Clintons. This economy truly sucks under the Precious.

Gebirgsjager on June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

If the Democrats are really serious about fixing “income inequality”, they should begin by proposing legislation that requires that all Federal government employees are paid the ‘average wage’ in the USA.

This would be a tangible demonstration that this issue is being taken seriously, and that the Democratic party is truly devoted to the concept of income equality.

If they can’t pass the legislation due to the obstructionist Republicans, they can at least implement the income equality for all employees of the DNC.

I have a feeling that ‘income equality’ would suddenly become a lot less popular with the DNC leadership.

s1im on June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

We won’t be poor enough until we have no money or assets and the only way we don’t DIE is by standing in government food lines.

ConstantineXI on June 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Yes indeed, that is our future under progressive government. But no worries, comrade, we will have no more unemployment. We will need no personal assets or money as our benevolent and caring government will take care of all our needs. We will all be put to work for the glory and success of our government and spending much of what free time we will have in those long government food lines. When there is food.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

I wish I was middle class like the Clintons and Elizabeth Warren…

SLMeyer on June 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Hey! It’s cruel and intolerant to mock people who only can afford the G280 and not the G650. You know, folks like us!

Happy Nomad on June 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Huey Long tried this tactic too. Someone had more guts back then; Huey got hisself a case of terminal deadness.

That said, I think the Dems are in trouble. Obama’s mungled the recovery; and all these hyper rich people running on soaking the rich is just utter hypocrisy. Romney was rich, and he tried to use it–I was like you, and now I’m rich. I will show you how I did it. (Actually, I wish he had run that as a campaign!).

Vanceone on June 23, 2014 at 1:01 PM

John Ekdahl ‏@JohnEkdahl 23m
Prediction: Someone in the Dem primary will start wearing their pockets inside out.

Donald Draper on June 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Warren has a high check balance like those people all have.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

They can thank Obama in part for this mess. The income inequality gap has grown on his watch as the middle class is getting destroyed under his Presidency. And the Democrats and their cronies have lined their own pockets in the meantime which will make it a nearly impossible task to act like champions of the little guy, especially when one is such a lousy retail politician like Hillary. The fact the drive-bys aren’t even attempting to come to her defense tells you all you need to know about how tone deaf she sounds.

Doughboy on June 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Warren is 1/32 poor on her mother’s side.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Warren was the first woman to pass the NJ bar while in poverty.

Flange on June 23, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Wait, didn’t Warren use the roads to drive to work? If so, she should immediately cut a check to the treasury for $4 million.

VinceOfDoom on June 23, 2014 at 1:10 PM

So many Democrats are imprisoned by their own rhetoric and are now sacrificing authenticity in an endless game of populist one-upmanship.

It will only matter until they get what they want (Hillary Clinton out) and then magically…it won’t matter.

sharrukin on June 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

So many Democrats are imprisoned by their own rhetoric and are now sacrificing authenticity in an endless game of populist one-upmanship. It is an awkward display. Maybe Democrats are right to “panic.”

Only now sacrificing authenticity? The truth is they’ve always been lying scum, and have relied on the press to cover for them. They’re no more extreme than displayed in this commercial from 50 years ago.

There are more outlets for news nowadays, so that’s something. But some people will still lap up whatever drools from the gaping maw of Hillary.

Fenris on June 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM

OT, but not really…focus on tomorrow

There will be more loud commotion on Tuesday in Mississippi’s Republican runoff between the tea party’s Chris McDaniel and Sen. Thad Cochran, a six-term incumbent. McDaniel is seen as having the momentum, but his supporters are already attacking Cochran’s campaign for encouraging Democrats to participate in the Republican contest.

Cochran, a McDaniel email insisted, “is so desperate to keep his seat that he’s going to use Democrats to steal the Republican primary.”

So the next stop in the battle for the Republican soul could see either a victory that emboldens the tea party — or a defeat that will be blamed on Democrats and infuriate the movement.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Shouldn’t “Rich Liberal” be an oxymoron? If they truely want to redistribute wealth, they should start with their own; Hollywood….?? …. hello…

Child In Time on June 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

one Obama adviser said. “When you’re somebody like the secretary of state or president of the United States or first lady, you’re totally cut off [from normal activity], so your perception of the middle-class reality gets frozen in a time warp.”

Admitting that the Prezy and Moochelle are “totally cut-off” from normal/middle class? Explains the non-embarrassment at so many golfing trips, vacations, site-seeing, etc. using AF resources to shuttle all over the world (esp. trips to Hawaii) for non-governmental purposes at taxpayer expense!

I think they (ALL govt types) should be required to pay for anything over personal protection, when necessary, that such trips cost.

IrishEyes on June 23, 2014 at 1:29 PM

This is really silly.

Don’t you see the game here? And it’s a game that has worked for them forever.

Bill Clinton will say with a straight face that their is a Republican war on women. While we laugh and think, “What a hypocrite!” the media plays it up and the uninformed, low information voter has no clue, except to think, “That’s right, war on women!”

This is more of the, “I feel your pain!” BS the Democrats have served up to America for decades. It doesn’t matter that they are rich. What matters is that they feel guilty for being rich.

Baggi on June 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Let me assure you that despite a lifetime of gainful employment, and despite my advanced age, I actually have precious little in assets, and I sometimes wonder if we’ll even be able to make our payments.

And clearly, this is why I am just the person to help lead our nation back to prosperity. You can count on me. Thank you, and good day.

stldave on June 23, 2014 at 1:34 PM

If the Democrats are really serious about fixing “income inequality”, they should begin by proposing legislation that requires that all Federal government employees are paid the ‘average wage’ in the USA.
…………..

s1im on June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

.
Don’t forget to drop the Federal employees salary from the numbers before determining the ‘average wage’.

News2Use on June 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

For you too, DIABLOs

Ted Cruz, the Republican junior senator from Texas, has heard the line about how the Party needs to become more moderate to win Presidential elections. “It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,’ ” he told me. “That’s been true for my entire lifetime. The chattering classes have consistently said, ‘You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.’ And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose.”

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Liberalism is really a mental disorder. They beleive the less successful you are the better. It is truely nuts and is the main reason we are in the position we are in.

Ta111 on June 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Have hole. Will travel to dig deeper.

vnvet on June 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The bottom line is that inherited wealth is not an economic threat. Those who have earned extraordinary incomes naturally want to share their good fortune with their descendants. Those of us not lucky enough to be born into one of these families benefit as well, as their accumulation of capital raises our productivity, wages and living standards.

From the Slimes, no less.

Schadenfreude on June 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

How long can you just look away and do nothing when for less than 50 cents a day you can feed a nourishing low fat, low salt, sugar-free domestically grown, organic, gluten-free meal to a starving Democratic Party politician/multi-millionaire?

KW64 on June 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

They’re no more extreme than displayed in this commercial from 50 years ago.

Fenris on June 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I don’t see the problem there.
You count like an imbecile, you get your ass nuked.
We put a lot more value in the three R’s back then.

justltl on June 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

I sure wish I could work my way up to a mere poverty level $10 million per year average….

dentarthurdent on June 23, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Well, if they keep their boot heel on the economy long enough, having 10 million dollars will be poverty level. And you’ll need a wheelbarrow to haul your money for buying a loaf of bread roll of toilet paper – if there’s any on the shelves.

GWB on June 23, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Too bad they can’t choke to death on their own hypocrisy!

GarandFan on June 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I sense a potential SNL skit about this, with two or more politicians playing “can you top this?” with claims of righteous poverty.
If only the writers will get on it.

bugsy on June 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

An amusing piece of science fiction appropriate for this thread was James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder.

Here’s a synopsis:

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder is the most popular of James De Mille’s works. It was serialized posthumously in Harper’s Weekly, and published in book form by Harper and Brothers of New York City in 1888. This satirical romance is the story of Adam More, a British sailor. Shipwrecked in Antarctica, he stumbles upon a tropical lost world of prehistoric animals, plants, and a cult of death-worshipping primitives. He also finds a highly developed human society which has reversed the values of Victorian society. Wealth is scorned and poverty revered; death and darkness are preferrable to life and light. Rather than accumulating wealth, the natives seek to divest themselves of it as quickly as possible. At the beginning of each year, the government imposes wealth (the burden of “reverse taxation”) upon its unfortunate subjects as a form of punishment. A secondary plot about the four yachtsmen who find the manuscript forms a frame for the central narrative.

justltl on June 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Maybe they’re trying to work around to that “you didn’t build that” stupidity again.

If ANY leftists fall for this crap they should just be shipped off to mexico. Let em cry poverty THEN, it’d be the only honest word ever to escape their windbags.

Diluculo on June 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Liberalism is really a mental disorder. They believe the less successful you are the better. It is truly nuts and is the main reason we are in the position we are in.

Ta111 on June 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

No, they believe that the poorer you are, the less of a threat you are to their position of power and their dream of a socialist, primitivist Utopia run by themselves.

They understand “success” perfectly well. They just want it outlawed for everyone but themselves.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Doughboy on June 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Middle class I believe has actually lost more ground since the “recovery” began. Obama has really harmed the middle class. If you have performing equity assets that you don’t need to touch right now you are doing great. I was silly to vote against Obama – my net worth has doubled at least since his 2012 win.

Zomcon JEM on June 23, 2014 at 2:51 PM

The people were created equal, not made equal by the government. Liberals seem to think that they are more equal than others…

Fat Hubie on June 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

If the Democrats are really serious about fixing “income inequality”, they should begin by proposing legislation that requires that all Federal government employees are paid the ‘average wage’ in the USA.

This would be a tangible demonstration that this issue is being taken seriously, and that the Democratic party is truly devoted to the concept of income equality.

If they can’t pass the legislation due to the obstructionist Republicans, they can at least implement the income equality for all employees of the DNC.

I have a feeling that ‘income equality’ would suddenly become a lot less popular with the DNC leadership.

s1im on June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Yep, the new one-percent are federal and other government employees:

The Millionaire Cop Next Door

It’s said that government workers now make, on average, 30% more than private-sector workers. Put that fantasy aside. It far underestimates the real figures. By my calculations government workers make more than twice as much. They are America’s fastest-growing group of millionaires.

Doubt it? Then ask yourself: What is the net present value of an $80,000 annual pension payout with additional full health benefits? Working backward the total NPV would depend on expected returns of a basket of safe investments–blue-chip stocks, dividends and U.S. Treasury bonds…

slickwillie2001 on June 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

If you remember the tagline for “The Jerk”, it fits them all.

formwiz on June 23, 2014 at 4:22 PM