“I used to think there was a big difference, what do you think it is?” Matthews asked.
Poor Debbie, chairwoman of the DNC, cannot answer this seemingly simple softball lobbed in her direction not once, but twice on every liberal's favorite channel, MSNBC. From a pol. sci. perspective, the differences are obvious. I do not hear any Democrats blatantly calling for the end of private ownership. However, in the vernacular, when we think of socialism, it generally means wealth redistribution and when we think of democratic socialism (the ideology of Bernie Sanders) then socialism is really about limiting wealth for some to spread benefits and wealth to others with the legitimacy of a democratically elected government. However, Ms. Schulz couldn't come up with an answer choosing to completely dodge the question. The funny thing is that she was asked in the morning by one show host and she couldn't answer. So, Chris Mathews, probably figuring he'd be giving her a reprieve now that she's had time to think of a good answer, asked her again. She dodged again and I am pretty sure Mathews was shocked.
So, the question is why? Why couldn't Schulz answer this question. Maybe she really does not know the answer. Maybe, in her mind there really is no difference. Schulz understands the politics involved and I think the question scares her to death. She cannot explain, in simple terms, how Sanders is a socialist and a Democrat. So, any answer she gave would be on such thin ice, that I don't think she felt comfortable trying to parse it. She can't give the long answer. The sound bites of a complete answer would make her look completely foolish. If she gave an incomplete answer, it would leave too much to the imagination. This simple question locks her in a box. If Republicans, though, feel they can seize on it, they are only correct while Sanders is still running. Once he drops out, Schulz will then be able to say, there is absolutely no similarity between the two.
On a more visceral level, the Democrats and socialism are tied at the hip. No, the Democrats are not Marxists as a party. However, the idea that value should be tied to need/use rather than value is not something foreign to Democrats. Senator Leahy stated the following:
“Revenue should not be and cannot be used for discrimination. … In fact, they ought to ask how many people watched that women’s soccer people. Most people would give anything to have that viewership,”
Here, Leahy is making a socialist-type argument. Women shouldn't be paid based on profitability, but on use. I made the argument in another thread that Leahy's rant was based on the main economic view from the party. Rather than Marxism, the Democrats have evolved into modern-socialists. The proof is that the modern Democrat party is fashioned after European democratic socialist parties such as those in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In all these countries Marxist parties have joined forces with Democratic Socialist and left-wing parties to form coalition governments. Bernie Sanders is running as a Democratic Socialist. He believes democracy and socialism are tied together. Again, he isn't a Marxist, but he does believe in economic equality or justice or what he refers to as economic democracy.
I think Schulz is in a pickle here because the Democrats are, in a very real sense, socialists. The more they run, the more the electorate will believe the Democrats are hiding. The more they own it, the more they have to explain it which runs the very real risk of alienating voters.