According to the Washington Times, some Democrats are insisting that the party should promote more welfare spending and an expansion of Social Security.
The Democratic rift over entitlements deepened this week as a top party contender for governor in Pennsylvania came under fire from liberals after a think tank of which she is co-chairwoman criticized economic-populism messages of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
Liberals demanded that gubernatorial candidate Allyson Y. Schwartz cut her ties with Third Way after two of its top officials wrote an op-ed criticizing Ms. Warren and Mr. de Blasio by name, saying they are pushing a “‘we can have it all’ fantasy.”
The activist groups Democracy for America and Progressive Change Campaign Committee pounced, demanding that Mrs. Schwartz, who is now a member of the U.S. House, relinquish her position as honorary co-chairwoman of Third Way.
One of her rivals in the Pennsylvania governor’s race issued the same challenge.
The Schwartz campaign responded by saying the congresswoman “obviously disagrees with what was written” and “thinks what they wrote was outrageous.”
We learn some interesting lessons from this story.
First of all, the story reminds us how much the Obama Administration was the exact opposite strategy of Bill Clinton’s campaign in the nineties. Clinton’s “new Democrats” were concerned (at least in their rhetoric) to care about financial reality and fiscal responsibility. Now, when the economy is much worse off, a powerful block of Democrat leaders are singing a different tune.
Secondly, back in 2008, even Obama tried to sound fiscally responsible. He talked about the deficit and the national debt in rhetoric that almost sounded conservative in some cases. He never matched his words with reality. Now, in 2013, many Democrats want to campaign in an entirely different way.
It seems to me that the Democrats who think we can expand welfare or entitlement programs have realized they have run out of places to hide. Facing Tea Party opposition, they realize that mere rhetoric about the economy or fiscal conservatism has lost power. If they want to stay in leadership in 2014 and beyond, they need the voters to truly reject all need for “austerity” and to embrace new welfare and new entitlements.
The fact that they are trying to get the American people to agree with their desire to expand the welfare state demonstrates the amazing delusions that rich and powerful people will indulge in before being forced to let go of their riches or power.