Matthews to DWS: What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

posted at 9:21 am on July 31, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Answer: Not much at all, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz knows it. When Chris Matthews attempted to press the DNC chair on whether Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socialist, would get a high-profile speaking slot at the Democratic convention even if he loses the nomination, Wasserman Schultz stammered out an affirmative, which amazed Matthews and prompted him to ask Wasserman Schultz if she saw any significant difference between Democrats and Socialists. Wasserman Schultz tried to duck the question, but provided a very telling answer by doing so (via Newsalert and Mediaite):

Matthews asked Wasserman-Schultz if, even if he loses, Sanders would have a place at the DNC convention, seeing as how he’s really popular with the base and could fire up a Democratic audience before the election.

She said he should get to speak, but Matthews kept prodding away to see if he would be allowed to speak in primetime instead of “when nobody’s watching.”

Wasserman-Schultz talked up his “progressive populist message” that people like, when Matthews asked her point-blank, “What’s the difference between a Democrat and a socialist? I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think it is?”

Wasserman-Schultz ducked the question, but Matthews pressed her and said, “You’re the chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me what’s the difference between you and a socialist.”

Instead of answering, Wasserman Schutlz tells Matthews that there’s a much bigger gulf between Democrats and Republicans than Democrats and Socialists. And that was precisely Matthews’ point. He’s an old-school Democrat, certainly more sympathetic than hostile to Sanders’ socialist bent, but cognizant of the marginalization that will produce in the general electorate. Embracing the avowed socialist Sanders on the Democrats’ biggest national stage will make it impossible for the nominee to argue that Democrats represent the center of the country. It will lose the Midwest, the Rust Belt, and any hope of making inroads in the interior West and especially the South.

Matthews sounds downright plaintive when he says, “I used to think there was a big difference” between Democrats and Socialists. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia, because the difference has been narrowing rapidly over the past generation, and has all but disappeared in the past six years. Its disappearance has been so profound that even the DNC chair can’t pick up on the warning Matthews attempted to sound in this exchange, and instead brags about how much distance the Democrats have put from Republicans in their radical shift to the Left. For once, though … she’s entirely correct.


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Comments

I know this seems like a picayune observation, but Bernie Sanders is an Independent Senator, right? So how then can he identify and run as a Democrat in the Democratic Party’s primaries? That hair’s just too fine for me to split.

troyriser_gopftw on July 31, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Well that is the point, isn’t it?

A Socialist is running for the Democrat nomination, and nobody in the Democrat Party has anything negative to say about it.

How will that be spun away? It can’t be.

Unless they start screaming that the GOP is the American Nazi Party.

I guess that is all they will have. SQUIRREL!!!

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:31 AM

Define “play fair.” Picking winners and losers is socialism.

Occams Stubble on July 31, 2015 at 10:27 AM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

Everything is about maximizing profits and there is no quicker way to get there than cheap labor. Why do you think Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform and less regulation?

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Secure the border and deport the cheap labor.

Simple.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Many of the commenters over there are very clever… and funny.

As you probably know, the site’s founder is a Russian immigrant who knows communism first hand. If the GOPe had any sense, it’d be supporting/promoting his work.

petefrt on July 31, 2015 at 11:36 AM

It seems to me Matthews activated the “no enemies to the left” app in Talking-Points-Robot ver. 3.666.

Jeff Weimer on July 31, 2015 at 11:38 AM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

Everything is about maximizing profits and there is no quicker way to get there than cheap labor. Why do you think Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform and less regulation?

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

I refuse to address so much stupid until you either confess you lied about being an engineer, or tell us what kind of engineer you are, because there ain’t no way in hell any engineer I have ever met would spew so much idiocy.

NotCoach on July 31, 2015 at 11:38 AM

Don’t kid yourself, DWS, Chrissy, and the rest of the Dem’s love Bernie. They just don’t want to have to admit the Democrat Party is nothing more than the American Socialist Party.

Tater Salad on July 31, 2015 at 11:39 AM

petefrt on July 31, 2015 at 11:36 AM

No sh!t, if I was in the RNC chairmanship, the first thing to do would be make that guy RNC Communications Director.

The posters would be awesome!

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:39 AM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Why would I want to stop companies from using cheap labor…?

JohnGalt23 on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Don’t kid yourself, DWS, Chrissy, and the rest of the Dem’s love Bernie. They just don’t want to have to admit the Democrat Party is nothing more than the American Socialist Party.

Tater Salad on July 31, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Yep. Look at this. Should be all over the place.

Cause it’s true.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

The Democrats are hardly socialists. Obamacare left the insurance industry and the vast majority of health care providers in private hands. We didn’t nationalize either the banking system or the auto industry when we had a chance. No one of any importance in the democratic Party is advocating government ownership of the means of production. Taxes on wealth are non-existent, income from capital is favored over income from labor even after the tax compromise Obama accepted. the Obama administration is pushing a trade bill favored by Republicans and multinational corporations.

Sure, some programs (even some favored by Republicans) are “socialist.: Social Security, the GI Bill, public education, etc. But this ai’t the USSR. Or even Sweden. Or even Germany.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Why would I want to stop companies from using cheap labor…?

JohnGalt23 on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Because every single job in America, no matter how low skilled, should provide a family of six a nice middle class living.

House, 3 cars, a Harley, a boat and 2 jet skis.

Plus a motorhome.

Flipping burgers.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:44 AM

The Democrats are hardly socialists.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Full stop, wrong.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Matthews to DWS: What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a Socialist?

Answer: Socialists don’t shave their legs.

Or their armpits.

/

RedPepper on July 31, 2015 at 11:47 AM

If only we had GOP candidates willing to make something of this.

Dems have purged the Reagan Dems from their party. They are nothing but hard core radical Leftists now.

faraway on July 31, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Uh…no. If they want to hire and retain the best employees, they’ll offer good pay and benefits to the best of their ability (keeping in mind that the purpose of a business is to make money for the owners/shareholders while providing a good or service to meet demand).

On the other hand, once upon a time, a person could provide for himself….nah, those days seem to have passed us by.

Sue Doenim on July 31, 2015 at 11:50 AM

What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

With the extreme left in charge? NOTHING!

GarandFan on July 31, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Democrats are hardy socialists.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

FIFY

Common Core, nationalized student loans, redistributing wealth, 1% rhetoric, etc.

45% of Dems favor Socialism

faraway on July 31, 2015 at 11:55 AM

FoxNews host should start asking their guests this question.

agmartin on July 31, 2015 at 11:57 AM

But this ai’t the USSR. Or even Sweden. Or even Germany.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Not yet, but we are upon the path in that direction and Obama hit the gas hard.

Explain why no one seems to object to an openly declared Socialist candidate running for the Democrat nomination?

No objections I’ve heard from anywhere.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Based on her (non) answer, the difference is Socialists are more honest about their intentions.

tomwinfl on July 31, 2015 at 12:07 PM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

Everything is about maximizing profits and there is no quicker way to get there than cheap labor. Why do you think Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform and less regulation?

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

I don’t know what you mean by “using cheap labor”. If you mean illegal immigrants, well — the only reason they exist here is because of the government.

Look, I trust government and I trust businesses. I trust government to do whatever is in the best interest of politicians and the “government class” and I trust businesses to do whatever is in their best interest, and the best interests of the owners of the company.

My best interests, as a consumer, line up pretty well with a businesses best interests — they want to maximize shareholder value, I want to maximize the value of my dollar. While those two aren’t exactly the same thing, it means that businesses have every incentive to make me a happy customer and every disincentive from pissing me off.

Politicians and government — well, they have none of those feedbacks. The only feedback mechanism is voting which hardly seems to ever change anything.

My biggest fear is when government and business meld together like they have been in the US. You get the worst of both worlds. It’s been called socialism, fascism, corporatism in the modern world, and was called feudalism and monarchy in the middle ages, etc., but the basic idea has remained unchanged — a complete melding of business and government.

We are fortunate to live in the only country on the planet founded from the wisdom of the enlightenment — without getting too in to it, we used to believe that there should be a thick wall separating government from every other institution because of the corrupting nature of government.

Religion, Industry, Civic Groups, etc. were all firmly separated from government — especially DC.

Now people are coming along with this GREAT NEW “PROGRESSIVE” idea to do what people have always done — have a corrupt business/government class that tells everyone else how to live.

And you’re defending it. And it’s exhausting.

Blame the public schools, blame whoever — but a large number of people in this country have unlearned the lessons of the last 2000 years of civilization in one or two generations. It really is remarkable.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:14 PM

The Democrats are hardly socialists. Obamacare left the insurance industry and the vast majority of health care providers in private hands. We didn’t nationalize either the banking system or the auto industry when we had a chance. No one of any importance in the democratic Party is advocating government ownership of the means of production. Taxes on wealth are non-existent, income from capital is favored over income from labor even after the tax compromise Obama accepted. the Obama administration is pushing a trade bill favored by Republicans and multinational corporations.

Sure, some programs (even some favored by Republicans) are “socialist.: Social Security, the GI Bill, public education, etc. But this ai’t the USSR. Or even Sweden. Or even Germany.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

“left… in private hands”

Yes, that’s socialism. The government runs the industry, but leaves the day to day in “private hands.”

Communism (the next step in Marx’s evolution of societies) is when government takes over the industries from those ‘private hands.’

The health insurance industry is told by government what they have to sell, how they sell it, how much to sell it for, how that money is allocated in the company… oh, and they also mandate that everyone in the country buy the product.

But yeah, sure, that sounds like “free markets.”

Same is true of the auto industry — the government mandates every feature of the cars, has taken over (then “privatized”) two of the 3 major car manufacturers in the US, has fired the CEO of GM, decided how to restructure GM (including screwing bond holders while helping union pension funds), etc etc.

That’s textbook socialism.

“government ownership of the means of production” is communism, which is the next step in Marx’s theory on political evolution. Very few countries have tried that, and all have failed miserably.

Same with socialism (or, “not socialism” if that makes you feel better). 100% failure rate, usually on a large pile of bodies, with millions of peoples lives destroyed.

That’s what you’re advocating. So good for you.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:20 PM

And you’re defending it. And it’s exhausting.

Blame the public schools, blame whoever — but a large number of people in this country have unlearned the lessons of the last 2000 years of civilization in one or two generations. It really is remarkable.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:14 PM

/clap

Well said, my hope in humanity has increased by 0.0001%

I wish half the people, understood half of what you said. We would be in a much better place.

constitutionalist_Va on July 31, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Blame the public schools, blame whoever — but a large number of people in this country have unlearned the lessons of the last 2000 years of civilization in one or two generations. It really is remarkable.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:14 PM

It’s only because the right people weren’t running things those other times. This time we will get it right and humanity will at last achieve Utopian Perfection, ending all conflict once the obstacles are eliminated by any means necessary.

For The Children!

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:22 PM

The problem is Multi-nationals. No loyalty to the US.
Int’l tax dodges, etc, slamming money on the pols to buy advantages.
They want millions more folks competing for poverty level wages.

I fail to see how this is a good idea for the country,for the people in general.

The new world of free trade has caused redistribution
of wealth to the very top.
Working class, middle is getting killed.
The US has lost 60,000 factories since 2001.

Walmart/Starbucks are typical. Hire part time people who qualify for foodstamps. This is a huge gov’t subsidy to a few folks make crazy money, the rest tread water.

We need a new script, a change in regulations to level the table.
Good old American Companies, like Ford,
are building factories in Mexico.

This is the basic reason our economy is in an extended blah phase.
This is the current reality,
the old rules have to be changed.

We need a new script. We have to talk about re-regulation.
Some Teddy Roosevelt style, to big, too big to fail, etc.
And new, innovative ideas to deal with the issues.

The discussion needs to be on policies to fix it.

Both Trump and Sanders hover around this.
This is why they both get traction.

PaleoRider on July 31, 2015 at 12:25 PM

Well said, my hope in humanity has increased by 0.0001%

I wish half the people, understood half of what you said. We would be in a much better place.

constitutionalist_Va on July 31, 2015 at 12:21 PM

You have triggered the Enemy of the People Hope Alarm.

All hope for Enemy of People must be crushed utterly.

Report to your District Commissar in train station immediately.

Bring warm clothes, extra socks and shovel.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:25 PM

You have triggered the Enemy of the People Hope Alarm.

All hope for Enemy of People must be crushed utterly.

Report to your District Commissar in train station immediately.

Bring warm clothes, extra socks and shovel.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:25 PM

I do not think we are far from having real thought police.

I think the left would finally be happy when there are no more opposing ideas.

you should have included a “comrade” in their somewhere.

8)

constitutionalist_Va on July 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM

What’s the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

About 30 lbs and a mustache.

myiq2xu on July 31, 2015 at 12:29 PM

you should have included a “comrade” in their somewhere.

8)

constitutionalist_Va on July 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM

Enemy of People cannot be Comrade of People.

Must first re-educate through Purifying Labor for People.

If you survive you may be addressed as Comrade.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Some Teddy Roosevelt style, to big, too big to fail, etc.
And new, innovative ideas to deal with the issues.

The discussion needs to be on policies to fix it.

Both Trump and Sanders hover around this.
This is why they both get traction.

PaleoRider on July 31, 2015 at 12:25 PM

Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive. He did not have good, new ideas.

The only new ideas in the last 2000 years is the idea that people are citizens and not subjects and that they can run their own lives and affairs and that they don’t need a King telling them how to live their lives.

Regulations, taxes, and government in general are why we are in this mess. It is very difficult for a company to competitively manufacture products in the US on any kind of large scale. And it has little to do with labor costs.

Steve Jobs wanted to make the iPhone in the US (before the first one was released). He discovered the compliance costs of building a factory like that in the US would cause the price of the iPhone to go from about $700 per phone to something like $1500 per phone. So he built them in China.

Labor costs are largely offset with shipping costs, tariffs, etc.

It’s the artificial costs that government adds (some in the labor area, most in unrelated areas) that makes US manufacturing unprofitable.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:34 PM

What’s the difference between the GOPe and a socialist? NONE!!!!

they lie on July 31, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Government of People make labor free in gulag.

Problem solved Comrade!

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Who is manning the Weed puppet today? Either that or he’s laying off the pot of late. His ideas are still without merit but at least you can tell there is a miniscule of thought behind its posts.

CWforFreedom on July 31, 2015 at 12:51 PM

No Mathews… it was never there. They were just edging to this from the beginning just like we said they were from the start.

Karmashock on July 31, 2015 at 12:57 PM

For The Children!

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 12:22 PM

*Disclaimer: Please note that our overwhelming concern for your pile of goop applies only after it has left the hospital.

– DNC

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Debbie, Please explain where the administration’s national agenda part’s company with the:

Socialist Party USA: 2012-2013 National Platform
The Socialist Party stands for a fundamental transformation of the economy, focusing on production for need not profit.
We call for worker and community ownership and control of corporations within the framework of a decentralized and democratically determined economic plan.
We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.
We call for a full employment policy. We support the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.
We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries.
We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.
We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale.
We call for a National Pension Authority to hold the assets of private pension funds, and a levy against corporate assets for any pension fund deficits.
We call for increased and expanded welfare assistance and increased and expanded unemployment compensation at 100% of a worker’s previous income or the minimum wage, whichever is higher, for the full period of unemployment or re-training, whichever is longer.
We support a program of massive federal investment in both urban and rural areas for infrastructure reconstruction and economic development.
We call for the elimination of subsidies and tax breaks that benefit corporations and all other forms of corporate welfare.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:04 PM

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Winston Churchill

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Sure, some programs (even some favored by Republicans) are “socialist.: Social Security, the GI Bill, public education, etc. But this ai’t the USSR. Or even Sweden. Or even Germany.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Oddly enough … The USSR constitution guarantees virtually everything the democrats want or have gotten.

Social security, free health care (democrats are still working on that), free education, and a list of other goodies.

One might almost think they’re trying to duplicate what the Soviets did.

darwin on July 31, 2015 at 1:08 PM

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:04 PM

There is no difference. They are one and the same.

darwin on July 31, 2015 at 1:10 PM

I was reminded of the old ‘Vern’ commercials with that rubber faced guy that had that hilarious side eye look when confounded.

DanMan on July 31, 2015 at 9:52 AM

.
Jim Varney

ExpressoBold on July 31, 2015 at 1:18 PM

What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

A socialist is more honest about his goals and how he plans to achieve them than a Democrat.

Forcing government to make big business play fair is not socialism

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 9:52 AM

And you still don’t get the concept that every power you give to government to punish a business that “isn’t playing fair” ALWAYS becomes government as a tool used by big business to punish their opponents and rivals, fair or not.

That’s the whole point of keeping government as small and powerless as possible. It will benefit the wealthy and powerful more than anybody else, all the time, every time, no matter what form of government you choose. The bigger and more intrusive government becomes, the wider the disparity in power between the investor and political classes and the average joe on the street. Without exception, without fail, like things falling toward the ground when you let go of them.

Everything is about maximizing profits and there is no quicker way to get there than cheap labor. Why do you think Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform and less regulation?

The price of labor is determined by supply and demand, just like everything else. Every company pays as little as the market will bear for their labor. Every human pays as little for any product or service as the market will bear, including you and me, but I bet you don’t think you need to be forced to abandon that sensible principle in your own life. Anybody who doesn’t like what they’re being paid needs to figure out a way to become more valuable. Yes, it really is that simple.

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Why should they? Those things come out of their costs. The only reason they have any value from the employee’s point of view is because of economy of scale, in other words the company can get a better deal on health insurance for 10,000 employees than 10,000 employees can each get on their own. Pass on the savings to the employee and you have a draw for quality employees. If the deal the company can get ceases to be a draw for quality employees, they’ll quit offering health insurance for them, AND SO THEY SHOULD.

What part of this is too difficult for you?

I refuse to address so much stupid until you either confess you lied about being an engineer, or tell us what kind of engineer you are, because there ain’t no way in hell any engineer I have ever met would spew so much idiocy.

NotCoach on July 31, 2015 at 11:38 AM

I still think he’s the kind of engineer that drives a train at an amusement park.

The Democrats are hardly socialists. Obamacare left the insurance industry and the vast majority of health care providers in private hands. We didn’t nationalize either the banking system or the auto industry when we had a chance. No one of any importance in the democratic Party is advocating government ownership of the means of production.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

So you’re using arguments that the Democrats are less than full-on totalitarian communists (so far) to say that they’re not socialists? Really?

GrumpyOldFart on July 31, 2015 at 1:18 PM

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:04 PM

There is no difference. They are one and the same.

darwin on July 31, 2015 at 1:10 PM

Exactly – one of the best ways to trip up our comreds on the national Socialist Left is to ask them to differentiate themselves – they cannot do that.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:21 PM

*Disclaimer: Please note that our overwhelming concern for your pile of goop applies only after it has left the hospital.

– DNC

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Then it becomes Proletariat Worker Production Unit #58763098123-2.

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 1:21 PM

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

1. Denial isn’t an argument.
2. One of the central tenets of Marxism is wealth redistribution as in Marx’s edict:

“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
Karl Marx

Or as Barack Hussein Obama put it:

Comrade Obama Speaks: Spread the Wealth Around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=reiWk6XbydM#t=17

The national socialist left’s signature issue is of course Obamacare, and what does it do:

Don’t Dare Call the Health Law ‘Redistribution’
These days the word is particularly toxic at the White House, where it has been hidden away to make the Affordable Care Act more palatable to the public and less a target for Republicans, who have long accused Democrats of seeking “socialized medicine.” But the redistribution of wealth has always been a central feature of the law and lies at the heart of the insurance market disruptions driving political attacks this fall.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:25 PM

We’ve known there is no difference between democrats and socialists for years. When the difference narrowed to nothing, the democrats changed their mantra of being ‘liberal’ to being ‘progressive’, then the RINO scumbags moved even farther left to join them.

So, now there is no difference between democrats, republican GOPe’ers, and socialists.

Socialism is one short step from communism, and is synonymous with hitler’s fascism.

A nuke on DC wouldn’t be an act of war, it would be considered ‘effective problem resolution’ as long as all the politicians were i DC at the time.

Andy__B on July 31, 2015 at 1:29 PM

But this ai’t the USSR. Or even Sweden. Or even Germany.

urban elitist on July 31, 2015 at 11:42 AM

There is nothing more amusing that you folks on the national Socialist Left trying to absolve it’s organized evil than by trying to expand it’s definition to as many innocuous items a possible.
BTW, on that whole Scandinavia thing:

Scandinavia is a Collectivist Paradise? Not So Much.
A touch too much in the way of conformity, high taxes, and “benign totalitarianism”
In the imagination of the American Left, Scandinavia, that cluster of northern European countries defined by sky-high taxes, expansive welfare policies, and seemingly limitless enthusiasm for snow-related activities, presents the ideal alternative to the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism. They’re peaceful. They’re prosperous. And they routinely dominate the top spots in global “happiness rankings.”

Enter The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, a cover-to-cover delight from English journalist Michael Booth puncturing the caricature of the region as a semi-socialist paradise. The book, which has just been published in the U.S., is especially powerful in its dissection of the culturally corrosive effects of Scandinavia’s expansive state power, which seems to “smother its people’s motivation, ambition, and spirit.”

A full fifth of Danish adults don’t work and live exclusively on public benefits. Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains. Booth calls the prevailing Swedish political norms “benign totalitarianism.”
http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/30/scandinavia-is-a-collectivist-paradise-n

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:32 PM

We’ve known there is no difference between democrats and socialists for years. When the difference narrowed to nothing, the democrats changed their mantra of being ‘liberal’ to being ‘progressive’, then the RINO scumbags moved even farther left to join them.

So, now there is no difference between democrats, republican GOPe’ers, and socialists.
Andy__B on July 31, 2015 at 1:29 PM

I used to argue that point with people – but with each passing day the GOP is making it harder to do so.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:36 PM

I used to argue that point with people – but with each passing day the GOP is making it harder to do so.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:36 PM

Except there is a difference between the GOP voters, and the GOP politicians…with the dems the politicians and the voters are the same.

That is a major difference, and I think will play out this election.

right2bright on July 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:32 PM

Socialists sure do love trains, don’t they?

Brian1972 on July 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:36 PM

Except there is a difference between the GOP voters, and the GOP politicians…with the dems the politicians and the voters are the same.

That is a major difference, and I think will play out this election.

right2bright on July 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Oh yes, of course!
My apologies for not making that clear.

DinaRehn on July 31, 2015 at 1:43 PM

“The goal of Socialism is Communism.”
― Vladimir Ilich Lenin

lostsoulsbeach on July 31, 2015 at 2:01 PM

How do you stop companies from using cheap labor?

Everything is about maximizing profits and there is no quicker way to get there than cheap labor. Why do you think Chamber of Commerce is for immigration reform and less regulation?

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Wow. More blinding stupidity.

You just said that govt can stop big business from using cheap labor. You actually said that.

How many laws and regulations exist in this country for that specific purpose? Books full? So what you said is that big business in this country DOESN’T USE CHEAP LABOR!

Or, yet again, you’re saying that big business DOES use cheap labor, and that big govt you love so much hasn’t done a damn thing to address it. Again, perhaps big govt isn’t the friend you claim it to be. Or, more likely, it isn’t their job to worry about how much my employer and I agree I should be paid.

$50 minimum wage for all! Oh hell, make it $100. Why not? It ain’t your money! If you disagree you hate poor people! Heartless bastard!!!

runawayyyy on July 31, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Actually, Matthews, the commie, should have asked Debbie what is the difference between a communist and a democrat. If you check out the Communist Party USA web site, you will see that there is absolutely no difference. In fact, you might think you are on the DNC website.

they lie on July 31, 2015 at 3:10 PM

Socialism would be a hard right turn for Chris Matthews.

RJL on July 31, 2015 at 3:21 PM

“The goal of Socialism is Communism.”
― Vladimir Ilich Lenin

lostsoulsbeach on July 31, 2015 at 2:01 PM

With Marxism-Leninism guiding our actions, the Communist Party strives to build the broadest unity against global capitalist imperialism now headed by U.S. imperialism, for immediate gains and reforms that benefit working people, and for a progressive democratization of the government, the economy, and society of our country on the road to and after winning socialism.

– From the Constitution of the Communist Party USA, Amended July 8, 2001 at the 27th National Convention, Milwaukee, WI

“On the road to AND AFTER winning socialism…”

Socialism is just a vehicle to get to where the Communists really want to go…

The Road to Socialism USA

ITguy on July 31, 2015 at 3:28 PM

How about, what is the difference between a moderate centrist Republican and a Democrat?

Answer: Not much at all.

Right Mover on July 31, 2015 at 3:33 PM

For that matter, what’s the difference between a Republican and a socialist. Not as much as you’d think.

whoishe on July 31, 2015 at 4:16 PM

For that matter, what’s the difference between a Republican and a socialist. Not as much as you’d think.

whoishe on July 31, 2015 at 4:16 PM

That’s a mighty wide tar brush you’re slinging. Find me a different party for conservatives before you condemn all Republicans.

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 4:34 PM

That’s a mighty wide tar brush you’re slinging. Find me a different party for conservatives before you condemn all Republicans.

Fair enough, I should have said a great many Republicans, though i was more referring to the leadership and those in government rather than the membership. But you must admit, if you look at the actual actions of republicans when they have been in power, there is very little to distinguish them from Democrats. Talk is cheap, actions mean everything.

whoishe on July 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Jim Varney

ExpressoBold on July 31, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Ernest P. Worrel

Cleombrotus on July 31, 2015 at 4:57 PM

That’s a mighty wide tar brush you’re slinging. Find me a different party for conservatives before you condemn all Republicans.

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 4:34 PM

I wouldn’t include Republican voters in that, but I have no reservations about including GOP “leadership” in Washington in that statement. The actions of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, and their accomplices in the establishment media, are indefensible. And Jeb Bush is a socialist, a proud and unapologetic socialist.

Right Mover on July 31, 2015 at 5:03 PM

Fair enough, I should have said a great many Republicans, though i was more referring to the leadership and those in government rather than the membership. But you must admit, if you look at the actual actions of republicans when they have been in power, there is very little to distinguish them from Democrats. Talk is cheap, actions mean everything.

whoishe on July 31, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Well, in that case you’re talking about the GOP establishment, more commonly known as RINOs (for the obvious reasons you noted).

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 5:05 PM

COMMUNISM. Economic and political system that promised the establishment of a classless society with common ownership. The working class (proletariat) was supposed to “rise up” to replace the ruling class (bourgeoisie) and establish nirvana — a peaceful happy society with no government. Ha! Communism delivered: tyranny. No communist government has ever sprung up as the result of a “people’s revolt.” Every communist government to date — and they have all been murderous — has seen elites imposing Marxism on their subjects. This awful system allows for no private property (except for the rulers), no liberty, and no dissent, with communist leaders exercising absolute power. See former Soviet gulag survivors or the skulls from Pol Pot’s S-21 torture chamber. According to the scholarly Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Harvard University Press, 1999), communism has been responsible for the deaths of 100 million people worldwide.
Practitioners: VI. Lenin, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim II Sung, Kim Jong Il, all Soviet politburo in their opulent dachas.

FASCISM. Anti-capitalist political system based on authoritarian central control, subverting individual rights to “national interests.” People erroneously label it a “far-right” ideology, because its most notorious practitioner, Adolf Hitler, was anti-communist. (Hitler considered communism an enemy to German nationalism and too friendly to Jews — Marx was Jewish, after all.) Fascism has all of communism’s insidious characteristics: central planning, prohibition of dissent, belief in the superiority of the chosen few to lead the masses, tyranny, and genocide.
Practitioners: Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini. Apologists: Ted Kennedy’s father.

LIBERALISM LEFTISM. Belief in government and government programs — and therefore high taxes — to solve societal ills. Liberals ignore the efficacy of private institutions and mistrust (and want to regulate) the private sector — the capitalist free market, business, the successful, the wealthy — because it produces winners and losers, which liberals consider “unfair.” Liberalism believes in, and tries to ensure, equal outcomes — by lowering the top, rather than elevating the bottom. While liberalism may not appear as dangerous as the other leftist ideologies on this list, it is; it’s a steppingstone to their totalitarian altar. Liberalism is The Road to Serfdom, as Friedrich Hayek put it. Liberalism wants credit for its intentions (peace, harmony, perfection), but not its results (dependency, poverty, learned helplessness). Liberals mask their Marxist and socialist agendas in innocuous-seeming, democratic-appearing packages to get elected, and consider the Constitution a “living document” (that is, utterly malleable) if it interferes with their goals. Adherents are generally angry (“bitter,” even) and unable to tolerate dissent.
Practitioners: the modern Democratic Party, American academe, and the drive-by media.

MARXISM. The ideology created in the 19th century by one disgruntled man — Karl Marx — in response to capitalism. Marx was not a peasant beholden to “the Man”; he was a well-off elitist obsessed with his own intelligence. Marx looked at income inequalities under capitalism, thought it bad, and predicted a worker’s revolution that would destroy the bourgeois (producers and entrepreneurs) and demand forced economic equality. The prism through which he viewed the world was classic leftism: he did not see people as individuals, but rather as stuck members of monolithic economic groups, or “classes.” Marx’s poisonous ideology sought not to inspire members of lower classes, but to make them resent wealth and success.
Practitioners: Karl Marx, college professors, and sycophant students.

SOCIALISM. Marxism’s twin. Socialism attempts to promote Marx’s theories within the bounds of democracy, which is ultimately impossible. It is obsessed with inequalities, and seeks to “remedy” them by punishing society’s achievers through taxation and loss of liberty. Socialists win elections by encouraging resentment of the wealthy, blaming America, exploiting Western guilt, and castigating opponents as mean-spirited bigots too stupid to understand their compassionate brilliance.
Practitioners: European intellectuals, Canadian health care officials, Barack Obama.

Schadenfreude on July 31, 2015 at 5:10 PM

I wouldn’t include Republican voters in that, but I have no reservations about including GOP “leadership” in Washington in that statement. The actions of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, and their accomplices in the establishment media, are indefensible. And Jeb Bush is a socialist, a proud and unapologetic socialist.

Right Mover on July 31, 2015 at 5:03 PM

I realized some years back that my party had been hijacked. On one hand, you have a few thousand political animals posing as Republicans in DC and state houses. On the other, you have millions of people in flyover country like me who are Republicans and believe in most of the party’s platform. I agree, let’s not conflate the two, and let’s not dignify the RINOs by calling them Republicans. We even have genetic RINOs, like Juan McCain and Meggy Mac (brand new Fox News contributor!). These are GOPe who believe they’re Republican because they inherited it from their parents.

Festus on July 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Not much turns on this rather minor observation, but when I watched the clip, I thought it wasn’t that she was ducking the question whether Democrats were socialists….I don’t think DWS is smart of enough to assess the consequences of admitting that they were.

I saw instead a look of terror at recognizing her own ignorance and seeing that others might find out.

She doesn’t know what socialism is. And other being able to say “we like this, we don’t like that,” she probably couldn’t explain what it is to be a Democrat, whether old school HHH, Scoop Jackson, even Tip, or supposedly one of today’s Democrats.

EastofEden on July 31, 2015 at 6:22 PM

Politicians and government — well, they have none of those feedbacks. The only feedback mechanism is voting which hardly seems to ever change anything.

My biggest fear is when government and business meld together like they have been in the US. You get the worst of both worlds. It’s been called socialism, fascism, corporatism in the modern world, and was called feudalism and monarchy in the middle ages, etc., but the basic idea has remained unchanged — a complete melding of business and government.

We are fortunate to live in the only country on the planet founded from the wisdom of the enlightenment — without getting too in to it, we used to believe that there should be a thick wall separating government from every other institution because of the corrupting nature of government.

Religion, Industry, Civic Groups, etc. were all firmly separated from government — especially DC.

Now people are coming along with this GREAT NEW “PROGRESSIVE” idea to do what people have always done — have a corrupt business/government class that tells everyone else how to live.

And you’re defending it. And it’s exhausting.

Blame the public schools, blame whoever — but a large number of people in this country have unlearned the lessons of the last 2000 years of civilization in one or two generations. It really is remarkable.

Timin203 on July 31, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Calls to mind Reagan’s observation that we are never more than one generation away from losing freedom if we don’t teach our children (roughly paraphrased; most of you know it).
Read Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.
Unlike Zarathustra, what he spoke is coming true.

AesopFan on July 31, 2015 at 6:47 PM

What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

Honesty perhaps…the socialist is not ashamed, just misguided

JIMV on July 31, 2015 at 7:32 PM

One of these days I’m going to have to take a year or so and photoshop Debbie into the beautiful woman that certainly must lurk within her.

Bmore on July 31, 2015 at 9:35 AM

It wouldn’t help. Even if she was pretty enough for the porn industry, she’d never meet the ethical standards.

GrumpyOldFart on July 31, 2015 at 8:22 PM

Matthews to DWS: What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?

Judging from the photo I’d say “bad hair.”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 1, 2015 at 2:24 AM

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.

weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

You’re right, but not in the “government is great” way that you think you are. Do some research. It was government interference with the private sector through wage controls that led to the explosion of companies offering health insurance, which has become a gigantic problem, because separating people from the direct cost of their health insurance and health choices has led to an exponential rise in costs in health care, at all levels.

Government interference leads to the need for more government interference. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, where government ‘solves’ the problems government creates!

Except they only make those problems worse…

xNavigator on August 1, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Oops on the formatting. C’est la vie.

xNavigator on August 1, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Answer: Not much at all NOTHING!…

Fixed.

earlgrey on August 3, 2015 at 4:16 PM

Most companies will never provide healthcare and benefits if the government didn’t force them.
.
weedisgood on July 31, 2015 at 11:34 AM

.
You’re right, but not in the “government is great” way that you think you are. Do some research. It was government interference with the private sector through wage controls that led to the explosion of companies offering health insurance, which has become a gigantic problem, because separating people from the direct cost of their health insurance and health choices has led to an exponential rise in costs in health care, at all levels.

Government interference leads to the need for more government interference. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, where government ‘solves’ the problems government creates!

Except they only make those problems worse…
.
xNavigator on August 1, 2015 at 11:55 AM

.
Very well stated, xNav’.
.

Government intervention isn’t the solution to the problem … government intervention IS the problem
.
Ronaldus Magnus (slightly altered from original)

listens2glenn on August 3, 2015 at 6:38 PM