The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/3/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses a question posed to Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS) by Chris Matthews on the Thursday 7/30/2015 edition of Hardball and what Matthews said after DWS left.
The question Matthews asked was how are Democrats different from Socialists (this was in the context of the self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders running for president as a Democrat). After Debbie dodged the question and (instead) explained how Democrats are different from Republicans, Chris Matthews gave his take on why Debbie dodged the question, which was to bash Bernie Sanders and try to harm his chances in the Democratic POTUS primary. Thom's rant concerns why Matthews did this. (see SWTD #301 for my take on DWS's dodge).
Thom: After Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on and Chris Matthews tries to get her to, essentially complain about Bernie being a democratic socialist [he went on to deliberately conflate Democratic Socialism with Socialim].
Here's what he had to say... listen to this.
|Chuck Todd: She doesn't want to answer that question. What do you think?|
Chris Matthews: I think there's a big difference. Socialists traditionally believe in government control of the economy. Democrats believe in modifying the economy to help people at the bottom. A safety net. Modification, but clearly they believe in the market.
Chuck Todd: Why do you think she didn't say that?
Chris Matthews: Well, politically, she doesn't want to offend the Bernie people.
Chuck Todd: You think that's the issue?
Chris Matthews: Well, I think so. Maybe there was an intellectual problem, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say it was really a political problem. Because I think Hillary Clinton hasn't staked out the difference, and she better. I mean, it's not the Democratic Socialist Party.
You've got to run as a Democrat, which is always harder... to explain being a Progressive or a Liberal. It's a lot harder than just being a right wing or a left winger. You're actually somewhere center left, and it's a little harder to define. But clearly Democrats have had a record in this country for 200 some years of being for Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights, interventions in the market.
But not getting rid of the market. Clearly they accept the power and the efficiency of a capitalist system. Socialists do not. This is a fundamental difference.
Socialists do not if you're talking about Chinese communism, or if you're talking about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But Chris Matthews is trying to say that Bernie Sanders doesn't believe in capitalism or the market, which is a complete lie.
Either Chris Matthews is profoundly ignorant - which I don't believe for a second. I think he's one of the smartest guys out there. Or this is the leading edge of the establishment/insider spear thrown against the outsider Bernie Sanders.
It's really Insiders versus Outsiders here.
[End Thom Hartmann Rant]
The Insider Democrats are those who work for the "powers that be", or the wealthy and the large corporations (passing legislation that favors them in return for campaign contributions). Bill Clinton referred to this sellout movement as the Third Way. MSNBC is an Insider network, which is why they recently canned a number of their on-air personalities, including Ed Schultz. (Schultz wasn't Insider enough).
Chris Matthews is an Insider who is obviously in the bag for Hillary, which is why he lies about Bernie Sanders. And why he posed his gotcha question to DWS. DWS, while being the representative of the Insider Dems, realizes that the Dems need the votes of the Bernie supporters after Bernie bows out (the conventional wisdom, not what is inevitable), which explains why she dodged the question.
For more of my take on the differences between Socialism, Democratic Socialism, and the Democratic Party see SWTD #301, "On Debbie Wasserman Schultz Not Knowing The Difference Between A Socialist & A Democrat".