March 28, 2016

"This is absolutely a crisis for the party elite — and beyond the party elite, for elected officials, and for the way people have been raised as Republicans in the power structure for a generation."

"If Donald Trump wins, he will change what it means to be a Republican."

Agonized former GWB press secretary Ari Fleischer.

Quoted in "How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump"(NYT).

Can you say the equivalent thing about Bernie Sanders and the Democrats? This is absolutely a crisis for the party elite — and beyond the party elite, for elected officials, and for the way people have been raised as Democrats in the power structure for a generation. If Bernie Sanders wins, he will change what it means to be a Democrat.

If not, why not?

100 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

The Democrats fully expect the Sanders supporters to return Home, disheartened but complacent.

The Republicans cannot expect the same of the Trump supporters.

From an old REM song:

Just a gathering of the grunts and greens
The cogs and grunts and hirelings
A meeting of a mean idea to hold

When feeding time has come and gone
They'll lose their heart and head for home
Try to tell us something we don't know

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

But the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. From mobile home parks in Florida and factory towns in Michigan, to Virginia’s coal country, where as many as one in five adults live on Social Security disability payments, disenchanted Republican voters lost faith in the agenda of their party’s leaders.

Off topic for AA, but this NYT article seems to be a little lost in the woods. The above paragraph surely lists former Democrat stalwart voters rather than Republican?

David said...

Bernie is on the far left edge of the Democratic Party.

Donald Trump is a sexist racist xenophobe untethered from the blinds of reality.

So no, we can't say the same thing about Bernie Sanders.

chickelit said...

Can you say the equivalent thing about Bernie Sanders and the Democrats?

Yes We Can!

rhhardin said...

You're still a moron to be a Democrat, no matter which wins.

David said...

Should be bounds of reality, but from Trump's perspective, maybe blinds works too. He sees his own reality.

chickelit said...

@David: So no, we can't say the same thing about Bernie Sanders.

I think you missed Althouse's point.

rhhardin said...

Women and young people brimming with inexprience. That's the Democrat base.

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein recently can't say enough horrible things about Trump and Trump's character. You could call it over the top.

Apparently Epstein doesn't knwo about the baleful effects of political correctness, or about humor in public debate.

Hagar said...

And the NYT should look around them. The Clintons and their ilk is hardly any kind of an "elite," so no, you cannot say that the Democrat elite has lost its following.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"If Donald Trump wins, he will change what it means to be a Republican."

Only if a Republican always supports the nominee of the party.

Now the only people who feel sort of half-compelled to do so, is people actively involved in politics or in the political party.

The problem is, politicsl parties are too stable and frozen. (Otherwise the Republican Party shold have gone the way of the Whigs in 1930s. And many white southerners should not have become Republican after about 1964 - although it took a few decades and started in the 1950s)

Hagar said...

In fact, I would say it is the other way around; the Democrat elites have retired to their estates and are not much heard from in public any more.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Jonah Goldberg says the Republican Party is doomed to split.

What I can say is:

Political grandmaster Bill Clinton believes he has closed off the road to the White House for every single person in the United States - EXCEPT HILLARY CLINTON!

I see an opening, a few openings in fact, though.

Bob Ellison said...

The linked article is behind the NYT paywall.

To be a Republican is to be a member of the party that defeated slavery, passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, defeated international communist slavery, and drove American prosperity since 1980.

To be a Democrat is to hate all of that. To hate discovery of blacks as individuals, hate discovery that communism and socialism are universal evils, and hate prosperity, because leftists hate themselves. Hate humans, hate Christians and Jews, hate fetuses, hate prosperity. Just lie down and die.

Ann Althouse said...

"So no, we can't say the same thing about Bernie Sanders."

I didn't say "the same thing." I said "the equivalent thing."

First, you need to think through what the equivalent thing is.

Jack Wayne said...

Inasmuch as the paragraph preceding the question is completely bogus rhetoric, the answer must be that no the Democrats do not face some existential problem. And neither do the Republicans.

Hagar said...

That the followers have lost their elites?

Ann Althouse said...

Bernie could be said to be a more honest, straightforward presentation of what the Democratic Party has caused the electorate to think it is.

fivewheels said...

Isn't the biggest difference that Trump is winning?

rhhardin said...

I didn't say "the same thing." I said "the equivalent thing."

We need a homomorphism of some kind.

fivewheels said...

For the Democrats, the candidate picked by the donor class is ahead and will almost surely win. The candidate or candidates picked by the GOP donor class got creamed.

chickelit said...

If not, why not?

One reason it's not quite the same is that frustrated Democratic voters are more compliant doormats when it comes to their leadership. They may want Bernie, but in the end they will reconcile with Hillary. This may be because Democrat voters are a bit more cosmopolitan and more "European" and therefore serfdom comes more naturally to them.

Carol said...

My brother has concluded that since he started drawing Social Security, we are All Socialists Now. Social Security is socialism!! Did you know that? He's never been interested in history or politics and thought this a great revelation. If you get Social Security, you're a SOCIALIST! So, Go Bernie!

Can't we accept that we have a mixed economy, with socialism here and capitalism there and both happening at the same time. Does it have to go all way or the other?

AReasonableMan said...

I find it hard to take Bernie seriously and I don't see him as a threat to anything other than, perhaps, reality. Trump on the other hand is in it to win, he wants to 'Shake Some Action'. Trump was made possible by an enormous gulf between political ideology and reality, which has grown too wide to paper over for another election cycle. If it wasn't Trump it would have been someone else. It is not as though the GOPe are rushing to embrace the second place finisher Cruz.

Birkel said...

Quoted in "How the G.O.P. Elite Lost (35-45% of) Its Voters to Donald Trump"(NYT).

I prefer truth over truthiness.

Bob Ellison said...

Professor, are you asking the DNC to open its kimono, saying what it really believes?

Sammy Finkelman said...

The Republican Party probably will split at least somewhat.

The question is: What are the sizes and what are the nature of the pieces, and can the biggest piece be one that can win the general election? The Republican party must split in the right way.

A party split does not automatically doom the candidate of that party.

In 1948, the Democratic Party split 3 ways, losing 39 Electoral votes in the south (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) and at least 47 in the Northeast (New York, thrown to Dewey by Henry A. Wallace) and maybe also lost for that reason was Connecticut (8) Pennsylvania (35) and New Jersey (16) - and yet Harry S Truman won the election.

Now a 3-way split in the Democratic Party did cost it the election of 1860, and a 2-way split (with the breakaway faction coming in second) did cost the Republican Party the election of 1912.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Bernie could be said to be a more honest, straightforward presentation of what the Democratic Party has caused the electorate to think it is.


Not really. Bernie is a young person phenomena. Old people run the world. Never trust anyone over ninety.

M Jordan said...

There's a difference between Trump's rise and Bernie's. Trump voters think he can win, Sanders' are voting a dream. In the end, Sabders' voters will, for the most part, come home to Hillary. Trump's will sit on the front porch and get drunk.

chickelit said...

David wrote: Donald Trump is a sexist racist xenophobe untethered from the blinds of reality.

"Blinds of reality" is a nice malapropism. President Obama has "blinders full of reality."

Hagar said...

Social Security is not socialism by any stretch. You can justifiably call it many things, but not "socialism."
Put crudely, you might say socialism is when you get Social Security without ever having paid into it.

Amanda said...

No you can't say the equivalent thing for Bernie Sanders and the Democrats because Bernie Samders has been active in causes and supports ideas that Democrats, party elites or not have been supportive of. Progressives are also considered to be among the Democratic Party "elites". Progressive/ Democratic/ liberal ideals are pretty much all one the same page. Democrats understand that conservatism and the Republican Party have been destructive, exclusive and bigoted for quite sometime and to allow another Republican to be President at this time would set this country back even further than the Republican State Legislatures already have. Republicans have outlived themselves.

Do we really want to go back to 1950's?

Will Cate said...

I take it that you are leaning toward "not" -- and I would agree. It certainly appears as though the party's faithful have become more like Bernie and less like Hillary, at least the politically active portion of it, during the Obama era.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
Social Security is not socialism by any stretch.


Not buying this. It is a classic nanny state socialism, forcing you to put your own money away for retirement. It is at least as socialist as the individual mandate in Obamacare. Both are useful, to protect individuals from their own stupid decisions and society from having to pay for those decisions.

Mark said...

Sanders is a socialist/progressive running as a Democrat in a party that is socialist/progressive labling itself as Democrat. Obama already changed what it means to be Democrat from the old-school model to outright leftism. Obama also mortally wounded Clintonism.

Trump is ideologically a Democrat despite his blowhard stances on a couple of things. His ideology is also fairly close in line with the present GOP Establishment. As far as governing, the Establishment would be very happy with Trump -- or Hillary -- it's just that they are embarassed to be associated with him and fear that he will cost them votes. So, even though he has fooled many people with a couple of bombastic positions on things, he would lerch the party to the left faster than it has been already going. That would usher in the destruction of the current party since the conservative factions -- of which Trump is not -- would finally have had enough and would revolt.

Kate said...

Trump supporters, for the most part, are experienced voters who have been around the rodeo before. Bernie supporters, as my Millennial children attest, are early voters just learning the words "oligarchy" and "superdelegates". My anger holds a tinge of middle-aged weariness. The anger of the Millennials will come with youthful vigor. Democrats who aren't afraid for their party are fools.

Bob Ellison said...

AReasonableMan, that's a direct admission. Good for you.

"Both are useful", though, there I disagree. You want the government to make decisions for citizens?

And there's the problem that SS is not a matter of "forcing you to put your own money away for retirement". Even FDR didn't claim that falsehood. It's a welfare program, paid-for by current workers for retiring citizens.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brando said...

Here's why it doesn't mean the same thing for Sanders and the Democrats--Sanders is more like a distilled version of a Democrat--all of the positions he holds are center left or far left, but they don't really fly in the face of core Democratic positions. No Democrat could look at the nomination of Sanders and say "this makes me question whether I'm really a Democrat now".

Trump on the other hand has taken a lot of non-conservative positions, and just as often has backtracked to the point that no one can really be sure what he stands for except the general proposition that this country is bleeding and he is amazing and will fix everything. Ted Cruz would be more the Sanders equivalent for Republicans--a very conservative outsider who challenged his party establishment but doesn't really deviate from the conservative mindset(the libertarian/Christian-Right/Security-State coalition that holds the party together intellectually).

Mark said...

As for Sanders supporters, a great many of them are voting for him precisely because they cannot stomach Hillary, who they know to be dishonest, corrupt, privileged and feels entitled to have the nomination and presidency handed to her. All that and she is thoroughly unlikable notwithstanding the fake laugh-track reception her crowds give her.

If Hillary is the nominee -- especially having appropriated the thoroughly undemocratic superdelegates and many of the primary voters not really liking her, but casting ballots for her because of they are lemmings and they were told she is "inevitable" -- some of the Sanders voters will vote for her in November out of the mentality that prefers a Stalin or Mao over anyone with an (R) after their name. But many Sanders voters, who are more principled than Hillary, will not be able to over come their disgust with her and will instead stay home.

rehajm said...

The Democrats suffered their equivalence with the nomination of a deeply unqualified but popular candidate Obama over the elite's deeply flawed and deeply unpopular candidate Clinton.

Democrats nominating a devout non-member and harsh critic of the Democratic Party is a different crisis entirely.

Roughcoat said...

Bernie could be said to be a more honest, straightforward presentation of what the Democratic Party has caused the electorate to think it is.

I think that's correct. The success, or even the near-success, of Bernie's candidacy provides a kind of formal acknowledgement that the Democrat Party is a socialist party. It is a form of recognition, and/or admission, that the Democrat Party is a definitively leftist not a centrist party. I find this refreshing.

However ... I also think that Sanders is not far enough to the left for a large segment, perhaps a majority segment, of the Democrat Party electorate. The form of government he seems to espouse, i.e. "democratic socialism" or "third way socialism," has been pushed toward the center by postmodern leftism, which is a far more radical and authoritarian--and, ultimately, destructive--breed of cat.

Dude1394 said...

A lot of whistling past the grave here imo. It is a shame that the NYTimes has to do analysis for the republican party. But I expect the republican party looked at the numbers and decided to do what they are doing to better their real constituents condition (those in the upper income brackets).

AReasonableMan said...

Bob Ellison said...
that's a direct admission


Not an admission, a full-throated endorsement. If I am going to have to pay for some idiots health care I would prefer that they also make a contribution. Much the same with retirement.

rehajm said...

I also think that Sanders is not far enough to the left for a large segment, perhaps a majority segment, of the Democrat Party electorate.

This is absolutely true. Clinton or Kennedy Democrats are now few and far between.

Amanda said...

"Trump supporters, for the most part, are experienced voters who have been around the rodeo before."

Trump was bragging about how he got first time voters to come out and vote for him in droves.

"Democrats who aren't afraid for their party are fools."

Democrats by and large understand that monied interests are a threat to their party as well as the Republican Party. Sanders is very strong on decreasing the influence of lobbyists and Wall Street. As far as Democrats fracturing the way Republicans have? No.

pdug said...

I sense that the D party crypto-prog elite would love Sander's policies to be popular. If Sanders suddenly becomes popular, they get a lot of policy preferences they like. so they only are afraid Sanders is going to be more popular with progs, but less popular with general, core Americans.

The R party elite doesn't WANT in any way what Trump is selling, so its more of a challenge to their core if his policies are popular with voters.

Nonapod said...

Bernie Sanders represents honest idealism untethered from reality. Donald Trump represents frustration and anger with the establishment. In a sense they both represent rebellion against the status quo, but the hopes, motivations, and end goals of their supporters are different (in some cases wildly different). Drawing any parallels between them ends at that point.

Bernie doesn't have much of a chance of being the Dem nominee, while Trump has got an extremely good chance of being the Republican one. If wins that nomination the only question left will be can Trump convince all the doubters and non-believers amongst the voting republican base to come out and vote for him on election day.

Amanda said...

I think most Sanders voters will vote for Clinton because we understand she is the lesser of two evils and having Trump as President would be catastrophic to this country. Sanders, if he doesn't get the nomination, will be the first to say this and mean it sincerely. Anyone who by now still thinks Trump is Presidential material is a fool.

Bob Ellison said...

Roughcoat said, However...I also think that Sanders is not far enough to the left for a large segment, perhaps a majority segment, of the Democrat Party electorate. The form of government he seems to espouse, i.e. "democratic socialism" or "third way socialism," has been pushed toward the center by postmodern leftism, which is a far more radical and authoritarian breed of cat.

Do you mean a statist, crony-capitalist breed?

I don't understand what's going on in American leftism. The cats in that clutter are mostly capitalist-bred wannabes who nonetheless desire statism. They don't know what it means.

"pushed toward the center"-- wasn't that always the leftist way? They want power, and the youngsters are frankly too stupid to know what they want.

Chuck said...

Answer: Yes, you could say the same thing about Bernie Sanders; he'd change what it means to be a Democrat. At least for a short time. (Any such "change" made to the meaning of being a Republican by the Trump candidacy is just as likely to be short-lived.)

But contrary to Will Rogers' old line about not being "a member of any organized party, [he was] a Democrat," today's Democrats are nothing if not disciplined, with party managers closely managing the nominating process, and with lots of internal party discipline enforced through unions, through black churches, through the power of personal and business networks in Hollywood/entertainment/media settings, and through the NGO industry. They keep a firm lid on dissent.

The only thing stopping a Clinton nomination is the FBI, of course.

Rick said...

If not, why not?

Bernie is taking the party where Democratic elites want it to go but don't due to fear the majority of Americans will reject the path. If Sanders proves this concern wrong Democratic elites will rejoice and happily support more socialism.

Trump's success is different, it's not based on policy but on a rejection of Republican elites' values. If he wins it shows Republicans elites are largely running a party for the benefit of others who generally hate them. They aren't leaders.

Dude1394 said...

Trump supporters are voting for exactly what they want in Trump. And they are voting exactly against the republican party leaders how have impoverished and want to continue to impoverish them.

carrie said...

The democratic elite are blinded by their elitism. The democratic party intentionally tried to limit the field of of candidates to Hillary, a candidate that the common people don't want. Sanders was the only one strong enough to buck the party, so there did end up being a choice. Apparently a lot of people think that anyone is better than Hillary, so Sanders just might pull it off. The Democrats deserve to have that happen. If primaries are used to pick candidates, it does not work for the party elite to pick a candidate to force down voter's throats.

As for the republicans, the press manipulated the field of candidates by controlling the debates and they made Trump a star. The republicans need to regain control of the debates.

AF said...

"I didn't say "the same thing." I said "the equivalent thing."

First, you need to think through what the equivalent thing is."


This would be obnoxious enough if you hadn't, in fact, asked whether you can say the same thing about Sanders as about Trump. But you did, quite literally. You quoted that exact same sentence, replacing "Republicans" with "Democrats" and "Donald Trump" with "Bernie Sanders," and asked whether you could say that.

In any case, you can't, for the obvious reasons David gave. Bernie is to the Democrats what Ronald Reagan was to the Republicans -- or, if you like, what Ted Cruz is now. An experienced politician on the far edge of the political spectrum appealing to a wing of the party. Donald Trump is like Ross Perot or Lyndon LaRouche. An eccentric wildcard doing his own thing and appealing to a different group of voters.

Basil said...

Let's hope so, for Ari Fleischer was part of the biggest missed opportunity of this generation, the chance GWB had to cut the government, reduce the deficit and beat back the left wing freak challenge.

Instead, they went along with all of it, even increasing it in some respects. Every time I see Dana Perino, I think the same thing. Do you have no regrets for your abject failures??????

Writ Small said...

It is equivalent in this sense. Both parties pay less and less attention to what outsiders are saying and talk among themselves in smaller and increasingly self-selected groups. That leads Trump supporters to see regular Republicans as the enemy. It leads to a growing acceptance of Socialist policies among young Democrats. If you go to the political "sub-reddits" of Reddit, which are the closest thing to an open discussion forum out there, you see that conservative thinkers have abandoned the field to instead fight among themselves. Socialist propaganda is distributed freely with little challenge in the main forums.

It is not the same in this sense. The Democrats have not descended into an internecine blood feud. Sanders has kept it about ideas (crazy as they may be), and the Democrats are still acting like a serious party who want a future and want to win. "Republicans" on the other hand, are talking about the need to "blow up" the current party as if they can predict all consequences.

MadisonMan said...

Am I supposed to feel sorry for the Party Elites? Because I don't.

Basil said...

Amanda asks: "Do we really want to go back to 1950's?"

I would respond, heck yes, but without all the Democrat Party racism and Jim Crow.

I would want to go back to Ike's 1950's when we had intact families, prospering communities, thriving culture in movies, Broadway and music, low crime rates, no religious wars/disagreements, well adjusted and patriotic children and peace.

We also had control over our borders, a federal government that did not try to run every aspect of our lives, a strong military and a shared American identity and culture.

You know, all the things the multicultural, leftist international idiots have mostly killed.

So, yes, if one excludes the Democrat political party and its racism from the equation, who wouldn't want the 1950's.

Basil said...

Amanda says: "Anyone who by now still thinks Trump is Presidential material is a fool."

Just the type of ad hominem attack that should get one banned from this blog.

But name calling is all the lefties got, well, that and threaten people's jobs and companies who disagree with them.

Birkel said...

To be fair, Basil, the Democrats are still racists.

Justin said...

Just the type of ad hominem attack that should get one banned from this blog.

Then this blog wouldn't have any commenters.

wildswan said...

I think the Republican party is further down the path to real reform - there've been all those wave elections - bringing in the Tea Party and then another in 2014 - but all without achieving anything. So now people are really mad and really want change. It isn't who wins or loses - it's whether this time the party allows real change. And Ted Cruz and Trump are both for real change - as Graham said: [for the GOPe] the choice between the two, is a choice of being shot or poisoned. And if no real change - then you haven't seen nothing yet.

But the Democrats, the party members, are still in empty gesture land. They still think they can "send a message" and it will be listened to. Ha. The only message Clinton and Friends listen to is the rustle of dollar bills. Still this election won't upset the party very much but when Clinton [if elected] leaves everyone where they are - everyone poorer than in 2008, paying huge Obamacare fees, pensions in danger, jobs going to immigrants, and everyone endangered by Obama's unvetted Muslims - well, then there will be a more real upheaval among the Democrats.

And if Trump is elected then they will revolt in the name of anti-Republicanism against the consequences of Obama's policies which they will call Trump policies and thus they can keep on pretending that the Democratic Party cares about people having a tough time.

bbkingfish said...

If the elite of the Democratic Party are being threatened by Sanders, they certainly are being mighty quiet about it.

This is very much unlike the Republican elite, who have been setting their hair on fire about Trump for months now.

I think it is obvious that the Republican elite, and the GOP, is much more threatened, because members of the R-elite, like Ari Fleischer and the National Review, keep talking about it to anybody who will listen.

Hagar said...

Social Security is a welfare program, a pyramid scheme, a fraud (in fact a whole collection of legislative frauds), and all the other things it has been called, but it is not "socialism."

Is it not interesting though, that at a time when the leading communist regimes have all abandoned "socialism" and are going through something like their "gilded age," our gentry intellectual elites are still dreaming the impossible dream?

Though of course it is more a Star Trek kind of socialism they dream of, not the gritty kind of reality that socialism actually grew out of.

Bob Boyd said...

"Pundits say Trump has destroyed the Republican party. I say that’s one party down, one to go. The job is only half done." – Scott Adams

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Can you say the same thing about Bernie Sanders and the Democrats?

Yes, absolutely.

The "crisis" affects both parties. It is the growth of an institutional Political Elite which favors nothing so much as the growth of Government at the expense of Citizens' Liberties.

The People cast about for a solution. They find only candidates who are no better, just worse in different ways

This was a small factor in the 2008 election of Obama. Different certainly, not a product of traditional American culture, not a team member of the Political Elite, but rather a narcissistic solo power grabber.

This year the electorate is even more aware, angry, and frustrated. The prominent choices are two other narcissistic solo power grabbers (Trump and Hillary) and a tone-deaf Socialist (Sanders).

The only surviving candidate showing promise of delivering what the People want - LESS GOVERNMENT - is Cruz.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
Social Security is a welfare program


Welfare programs are socialist. The welfare state is a socialist state, at least in part, even if it also embraces capitalism.

AReasonableMan said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...
The only surviving candidate showing promise of delivering what the People want - LESS GOVERNMENT - is Cruz.


Not a lot of evidence that this is what people want.

Hagar said...

The only achievements Sanders and Cruz have is getting elected, Sanders to both the House and the Senate. However, neither has been able to move any legislation, and Cruz indeed has gotten himself into a position where just his name is sufficient to kill any proposal he might make in the Senate.
Either of these guys would be a disaster as president.

Hagar said...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

The very idea that you should have to pay into a program in order to enjoy a benefit is profoundly anti "socialist."

Achilles said...

Amanda said...
"I think most Sanders voters will vote for Clinton because we understand she is the lesser of two evils and having Trump as President would be catastrophic to this country. Sanders, if he doesn't get the nomination, will be the first to say this and mean it sincerely. Anyone who by now still thinks Trump is Presidential material is a fool."

I have talked to a bunch of Sanders voters. If you think the split in the Republican party is worse than the sanders/hillary split you are wrong. Of course I am in Washington state where Sanders just got North of 70 percent. There are many and they think hillary is a banker shill.

Trump will get more Sanders voters than hillary will get GoPe votes.

More Sanders voters will sit than Cruz voters.

Trump has already locked up the working class voters who are a core Democrat constituency. This is going to be glorious.

readering said...

Sanders is more equivalent to Cruz. Both politicians on their party's extreme wing. Some in the party can come to terms with their extremism, others cannot. Trump is a non-politician outside the spectrum.

Danno said...

Achilles, The Huffington Post had an article a few days ago about a study indicating 33% of Bernie supporters would not vote for Hillary, so you may well be correct.

Birkel said...

Hagar has made a proclamation.

Shall it be written? Shall it he done?

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
The very idea that you should have to pay into a program in order to enjoy a benefit is profoundly anti "socialist."


Since most people pay some form of taxes at some point, and money is fungible, this would mean, according to you, that no welfare program is socialist.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Hagar said...

The very idea that you should have to pay into a program in order to enjoy a benefit is profoundly anti "socialist."

Also, Social Security doesn't have any means testing (although it does have benefits not that proportional to contributions)

And you know who is for means tetsing Social Security benefits?

Chris Christie. And maybe Donald Trump.

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/the-money-saved-by-chris-christie-s-plan-to-means-test-social-security [not much]

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Chris_Christie_Social_Security.htm

TRUMP: I'm OK with it. I would be willing to say I will not get Social Security. As a policy, I would leave it up to the people.

CHRISTIE: Social Security's going to go insolvent in seven to eight years. We need to save this program for people who have paid into the system and need it. If that means making sure that folks like Donald and many of us on the stage don't get it, that's the right thing to do. This government doesn't need more money to make Social Security solvent. We need to be not paying benefits to people who don't really need it. We need to protect the people who Social Security means the difference between picking between heat and rent and food.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015


Also maybe Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/latest-gop-buzzword-turning-social-security-welfare-program-means-testing

And who is against any kind of reductions?

Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton in a little unclear but says she won't cut any benefits.

They both, in the meantime, want to increase benefits, but Hillary's system would increase the total expenditures less, and would leave a more "progressive" system, while Bernie Sanders would increase inequality among seniors.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillarys-and-bernies-pie-in-the-sky-social-security-proposals-1458256834

Hillary would give some credits for years not working but taking care of family. about 57% of the total dollar increase in benefits would flow to the bottom two-fifths of households, with 21% received by the top two quintiles of households.

Sanders would increase the basic benefit for most retirees, raise cost-of-living adjustments, and institute a new minimum benefit for long-career low earners. But it would increase inequality because 44% total benefit increases would go to the top two-fifths of households, while 35% of flow to the bottom two-fifths of households.

Social security currently replaces 90% of an individual’s first $10,272 in average pre-retirement earnings, with lower replacement rates for earnings above that level. There is the higher COLA. Sanders raises the annual earnings covered by that 90% replacement rate to about $11,800, which benefits only individuals with earnings above $10,272. And he establishes a minimum benefit of 125% of the poverty threshold for workers with 30 years of earnings. People who didn't work for 30 years are often people scheduled to receive lower benefits than people who did work for 30 years and would receive the minimum benefit.

Both would raise taxes. Sanders would eliminate, over 17 years, the $118,500 ceiling on which payroll taxes are levied and would immediately apply a 6.2% tax on investment income to households with incomes above $250,000. Hillary is more vague.

How it effects long term solvency depends on whose estimates and what assumptions you use. Of coursethe whole thinbgs depends upon estimating economic growth, and all the projetions that show Social security in trouble are based on anemic rates.



Sammy Finkelman said...

Also people who worked longer or had more income are healthier, and will live longer on average.

Hagar said...

Precisely. Welfare programs may, to a socialist, be temporary accommodations to an as yet capitalist world, but in a socialist society, there would be no such thing as a "welfare program."

OGWiseman said...

Answer: Sanders has policies that are recognizable if extreme versions of the Democratic policies of elections past. Trump has no policies and roundly rejects key tenets of past GOP campaigns.

AReasonableMan said...

So the people who developed and voted for welfare programs and who would quite happily admit that they are socialist in nature are wrong, and your tortured definition of socialism is right?

Anthony said...

In a sense, I suppose, it means that Democrats can now call themselves Socialists.

AReasonableMan said...

Anthony said...
In a sense, I suppose, it means that Democrats can now call themselves Socialists.


As can the Republicans, who constantly support these programs. It will be very liberating for everyone.

Hagar said...

The Norwegian Labor Party has formally announced that it is now a Social-Democrat party and no longer dreams of establishing a Socialist society here on earth.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

ARM said: "Not a lot of evidence that [LESS GOVERNMENT] is what people want."

True. Not a lot of evidence.

The People are conflicted (OK, delusional), not understanding the cost in Personal Liberty of having Government do things.

The People do not understand that having Government decide (to pick a random example) where, when, and what health services are delivered means necessarily that they themselves have given up that power.

The American Dream is not home ownership of secure employment. The American Revolution was fought for Liberty - to bring political power closer to the individual.

The Media are complicit in this, but not blameworthy. Their duty is to sell newspapers, which means printing things that make consumers feel good. The Media have no duty to point out the obvious - TINSTAAFL.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

But to the point, the People really DO want LESS GOVERNMENT. They just are not yet willing to understand and accept the consequent responsibility for making their own decisions.

Amanda said...

"Democrats who aren't afraid for their party are fools."
______________
"Amanda says: "Anyone who by now still thinks Trump is Presidential material is a fool."
_______________

"Just the type of ad hominem attack that should get one banned from this blog.

But name calling is all the lefties got, well, that and threaten people's jobs and companies who disagree with them."
_______________

Just gotta shake one's head at the double standard.

Anthony said...

Trump as nominee means the end of the GOP and the conservative movement as we understand those things (I know the GOP and conservative movement are two different things but they have been tied together forever).

Trump as President means the end of the Republic.

Leah Borden said...

No, I agree with Eric Loomis that Bernie is Hubert Humphrey. Bernie is telling younger voters things they may have never heard from a Democrat but is speaking in the way Democrats used to talk. Trump will change being a Republican just because he is not speaking from the approved Republican script.
Also, Bernie will not change what it means to be a Democrat because he isn't one and has gotten many of his victories from people who are not Democrats either. If you are satisfied with your Democratic elected officials Bernie will say nothing to change your mind.

Leah Borden said...

I can't remember the last time LG&M went after Althouse, but I usually don't click the links there.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah well you Republican elites. Don't let the screendoor slap you on the behind on the way out the door.

chickelit said...

As layperson it's hard to guess at (let alone gauge) how existentially threatened establishment Republicans feel by Trump. I won't be surprised if physical sabotage and threats are levied and carried out.

Jon Ericson said...

Comment by AReasonableMan blocked. [unhush][show comment]
3/28/16, 11:04 AM

Comment by Chuck blocked. [unhush][show comment]
3/28/16, 9:52 AM

Comment by Amanda blocked. [unhush][show comment]
3/28/16, 9:49 AM

In case you spittle fleckers haven't figured it out yet.
I read this blog for intelligent commentary.

Meade said...

"Democratic voters are more compliant doormats when it comes to their leadership. They may want Bernie, but in the end they will reconcile with Hillary."

Which Sanders voters have you spoken with? The Sanders voters here in Madison I've talked with, and the one's in West Lafayette and Cincinnati, all tell me they will not vote for Hillary no matter what.

Meade said...

"Bernie is Hubert Humphrey."

Okay, and Hubert Humphrey very nearly won the popular vote 1968.

But I highly doubt Bernie Sanders is willing to accept a VP offer. Also, Hubert Humphrey, like most establishment Democrats could never self-identify as "socialist" even though, if Democrats could be honest, that is exactly what they all are.

Joe said...

What does it mean to be a Republican?

I have no idea and, I wager, neither does Ari Fleischer.

mccullough said...

Social Security and Medicare started paying benefits immediately after they were passed to seniors who paid no money into those programs. So they were socialist programs for the first 35 years. After that, the beneficiaries had paid into them for the most part. Public school, at primary and secondary levels, is socialism as students don't pay taxes other than sales tax on stuff they buy until they are 16 and might get a job. Calling something socialist doesn't mean much in the US. We have had some socialist programs for a long time here.

Sammy Finkelman said...

They used to say that the Democrats had adopted Norman Thomas' what - 1932 maybe - platform as their policy.

Oh - it was Norman Thomas himself who said that. No, wait, he didn't.

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Norman_Thomas

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.

Reagan biographer Lou Cannon noted that this was a suspect quotation, and that he could find no evidence of it. Thomas did say that both major political parties had borrowed items from the Socialist Party platform.

Cannon, Lou. Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power. New York: PublicAffairs Books, 2003. ISBN 1-586-48030-8 (p. 125).


http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/socialism.asp

Sammy Finkelman said...

Ronald Reagan cited this alleged quote in a 1961 speech. It was said to have been stated in 1944 with Norman Thomas allegedly saying he didn't need to run (but he did run in 1948) Reagan told Lou Cannon in 1968 that he didn't know the origin of the quote.

tim in vermont said...

The Democrats are stupid not to take advantage of a moment where so many Republicans are willing to vote for a socialist over their own nominee. Instead they will run a criminal with a foreign policy record that is distinguishable from that of a war criminal only with careful lawyering.