One of the more interesting presidential candidacies this election is that of Bernie Sanders.
As an avowed and proud socialist, Bernie is the brazen epitome of what many Democrats have spent a lifetime denying.
The party of Progressivism, Democrats in recent generations have been gun shy about proclaiming their real views, although very occasionally one in high office will slip and admit a fondness for Mao, Stalin or some such. The shyness of many modern Democrats is a far cry from the chest-thumping Progressivism of Teddy Roosevelt and openly intellectual Progressivism of Woodrow Wilson, who was arguably the West’s first fascist dictator.
The term “Progressive” fell out of favor over the course of decades, but it has come roaring back under Obama, who has none of the forthrightness of Roosevelt or Wilson but holds to the same delusion that the state can be the savior of mankind — if only that pesky individualism espoused by the bitter clingers could be crushed once and for all.
It wasn’t so many years ago that Nancy Pelosi and scores of other Democrats’ names appeared on a list of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that was still being hosted on the website of the Democratic Socialists of America. When that was pointed out in the media back around 1998, the page was removed from the DSA site and re-established on legitimate government servers.
Democrats in general are keen to avoid being labeled as socialists. (Must have something to do with that whole anti-Communist vibe left over from the Korean and Vietnam Wars.) Politifact still has a page up denying that the Progressive Caucus has any connections to the DSA.
In fact, Politifact quotes the then-leader of the DSA, Frank Llewellyn, saying the claim is categorically false. The Progressive Caucus’s leader at the time, Brad Bauman, said of the caucus, “It was not started by any socialist organization. It was not started by any socialists.”
Problem with that statement is that the main founder of the Progressive Caucus in 1991 was Bernie Sanders, along with Maxine Waters, Ron Dellums and several other members of Congress.
As recently as 2009, the Democratic Socialists of America was claiming in its newsletter that more than 70 of its members were serving in Congress.
President Obama has a similar skeleton in his closet, having always denied that he is a committed socialist. Not only does his track record indicate otherwise, but the socialist New Party in Chicago claimed him as a member in a 1996 newsletter.
Considering the pains Democrats take to distance themselves from the socialist brand, you’d think that the Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would be able to explain the difference between a socialist and a Democrat.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews — he of the “thrill up the leg” at Obama speeches — asked Wasserman-Schultz whether Sanders would be allowed a slot in the upcoming presidential debates. After finally getting her to answer in the affirmative, he came back with a question about the difference between a socialist and a Democrat.
She tried to dodge the question, but Matthews came back with “You’re the chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me what’s the difference between you and a socialist.”
That apparently was a stumper for Wasserman-Schultz.
Honestly, it’s a stumper for most of America.