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Ron Radosh

The Times began the series by profiling a man who purportedly has two jobs after being laid off from a higher-paying job (“Life on $7.25 an hour”). As Stoll points out, this man lives in a home worth over $500,000, receives about $75 a day in tips, has three cars — two of those for his children — on which he pays insurance costs, a gas stipend for deliveries, and a second job paying $13 an hour. As Stoll writes, in world terms this man is actually well-off. His wife moved out of state. The paper does not explain why he isn’t trying to sell the home and to move to where his wife lives to try to get a job there.

To deal with such problems, the Democratic Party is on a new path, and its candidates on the Left will now openly push for more programs that force economic redistribution of wealth from the supposedly wealthy — which actually includes many who are middle-class — to the poor. As Goldfarb explains, this has great political risks:

Many Americans are uncomfortable with the notion of the government redistributing income far beyond what happens today in order to accomplish basic elements of the populist agenda. Liberal congressional or presidential candidates could pressure more moderate candidates to veer to the left, perhaps reducing their electability.

The problem facing Hillary Clinton is simple: will she appease the so-called populists by adopting a Warren-like leftist economic program, or will she adopt the kind of program her husband did as he moved to the political center? Bill said “the era of big government is over,” and adopted welfare reform and new trade agreements passed with Republican support. He generally tilted his party away from the far Left in accordance with the “third way” or New Democrat programs associated then with the Progressive Policy Institute and the New Democratic Leadership Council.

Most interestingly, the Left is wary of Hillary Clinton and is trying hard to push her on the issues. They view her husband’s presidency as one that worked with Wall Street against a populist agenda, and embraced “conservative thinking on the virtues of spending reductions and entitlement cuts.” They want her to do what de Blasio has done in New York City, adopting his local programs for the nation as a whole.

As Cowan and Kessler explain in a must-read op-ed, there is a tremendous fantasy of the Left, whose adherents really believe that if the wealthy pay higher taxes — in our large country, there are only 300,000 people who earn more than $1 million a year — and take some other redistributionist measure, we could both pay for and even expand entitlements. At the same time, government could then have funds to do all that is necessary yet has been put aside in the present: invest in K-12 education, build new roads and improve existing highways, expand health care, and develop new clean energy sources.

All this, they point out, is sheer fantasy.

Social Security is on the verge of collapse, and by 2031 it would have to slash benefits by 23% to continue. Its benefits are increasing faster than inflation, and payouts to seniors already exceed payroll taxes collected from workers. Yet Warren advocates increasing benefits and paying for them by taxing working-class and middle-class citizens as well as their employers. The Medicare crisis is even worse.

Cowan and Kessler estimate that in ten years, America will spend $5 on major entitlements for every $1 on public investments.

All of Warren’s ideas might be popular in the People’s Republic of Cambridge, Massachusetts, but these two writers from “Third Way,” a group advocating centrist solutions, point out that a de Blasio-type proposal was defeated in a referendum in Colorado in the last election by a landslide. Colorado was a state the Democrats won in 2008 and thus a realignment of the electoral map took place, but they put in Democrats who stood against what they call “fantasy-based blue-state populism.”

So will Democrats take this lesson to heart, or follow Warren and the far Left to political oblivion? Hillary and Bill  Clinton’s old associate John Podesta has started yet another new leftist think-tank: the Center for Equitable Growth. He believes Hillary connects to working people like no other potential candidate, and can indeed run on her own populist program; he believes she can out-Warren Warren.

And if Warren doesn’t run, there is also old-reliable: the openly socialist senator from Vermont, Brooklyn-born Bernie Sanders. A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Sanders has said that if Warren does not run, he will enter the fray in the Democratic primaries as a challenger to Hillary Clinton on the Left. “Somebody’s got to be out there,” he told the Washington Post, “and if nobody is, I’ll do it.”

Sanders has no national popularity, and does not energize the base in the manner that Warren does. What he could do, however, is serve as an energizer of the leftist base, forcing Hillary Clinton or another prospective nominee with a chance of winning the Democratic primaries to also move to the far Left.

Say one thing for Bernie Sanders: he does not hide his true beliefs. He says he believes in socialism, and continually wins the support of his constituents although he advocates old Marxist solutions to today’s problems. He does not run as a “populist” or a “progressive,” and is unusually honest. One must give him credit for being forthright as to what his goals are.

Warren simply promotes socialist programs without using the term, and would push the nation to the Left and potential bankruptcy and collapse. Old strategists like Al From, in his new book, are trying to resurrect the old centrist coalition before it’s too late, but the chances for success look slim.

What does all of this mean? If they don’t blow it with their own volatile extremists, the Republicans are on the verge of potential major victories in the coming congressional elections.

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"If they [the GOP] don’t blow it with their own volatile extremists."

I'm curious, Ron, whom you consider these people to be.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
No matter how far left the Democrats go, by the time of the general election, they will be deemed moderate, and the Republican will be "far right".

This is how we get someone like GWB, who grew the government more than anyone but Obama, basically, and people like McCain and Romney. All big government types, but if you ask the average person who doesn't pay attention to politics, but just the media, they will consider those people to be small government far right types.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary in 2007 called herself a "progressive." The original "third wayer" was Benito Mussolini. He was for a third way between capitalism and Soviet Union style communism. These "centrist/third wayers" are simply fascists. It doesn't mean they are for rounding up the Jews or Gypsies or the enfeebled (though they do show a scary tendency to put little stock in the sacredness of human life) but they are fascists nonetheless.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (60)
All Comments   (60)
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Ron, you seem to be behind the times. The Democrat Party is already dominated by far Left radicals.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary and Liz have a common trait that will prove to be a detriment in the 2014 election; the public has had enough of psychopathic liars and non-performers.

Talk is cheap, but lies come with an account overdue, both these gals have used up their credit with the rest of the country or we to assume that running for the country's highest office allows them to lock up their past, like Fearless Reader. Voters won't fall for that ruse until these two are suffering from dementia.

http://skooksjournal.com/?p=255
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only "opportunity" the democrats moving left has ever presented to the GOP is an opportunity to move left with them.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope that Warren(Commie-MA) ends up the democRATic candidate for president in 2016. This would announce to the American voters just how steeped in communism the democRATs are. That ticket would have no chance of winning the presidency. Republicans will end up with both chambers of Congress and the Executive branch (and hopefully the still 5-4 good vs left leaning SCOTUS). At that time, I would like to see numerous (names withheld) Obama administration cronies arrested, put on trial, convicted of treason, and perp-walked in orange jump suits to the nearest federal prison.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Liberal "hierarchy," the "elitists" of the Democratic party, can move as far to the Left as they wish. I say this because they are rapidly losing control of the youth segment of our society. More and more children and young adults are waking up to the fact that they do not wish to be tethered to such socialist dreams/disasters as "wealth redistribution," "bigger" government, and "managed" freedoms. Those ideologies--alien to the most basic tenets of American liberties--are quickly becoming the fast-fading creatures of a Liberal establishment created over four decades ago, bent on reducing/destroying American exceptionalism and her values in order to pave the way for a New (Third)-World Government.

Read about the 11 year-old girl who was recently told that she couldn't "sell" mistletoe in a Portland, Oregon public park in order to buy braces, but that she could "beg" for the money instead. She told the authorities--rather ADAMANTLY--that she would rather "earn" her money than "beg" for it.

Read also the Harvard political poll--released yesterday--showing that among students in the US, approval for BOTH the President and his "legacy" achievement, Obamacare, has fallen rapidly, is now greatly upside-down, and is virtually in sync with the increasing dismay and distrust of the rest of the country. In other words, the youth aren't buying the b.s. any more than the rest of us.

Every day there are dozens of stories of kids WANTING to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; in fact DEMANDING it. They wish to be allowed to PRAY--when and wherever they feel the need. They wear pro-Second Amendment shirts to school, knowing full well that the exercising of their FIRST Amendment rights is anathema to the structure of a nanny-state liberalism where all must pass muster through the "benevolence" of an oppressive government.

So, yeah...let the aging Liberals, still fervently entrenched in their Socialist "revolution" of the 60s and 70s, bear even further to the Left. For the faster they move, the more quickly they'll leave.

(Note: There's a reason why Obama preaches many of his "liberal sermons" to those captive audiences at high schools and Universities across the nation. His "hope" is to "change" the social and political philosophy of our country through the innocence and inexperience of our children.)

Sucks to be Obama.




38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Warren does jump in mocassin first, this might be the most entertaining political season of a generation. Of course, we might all be driven to a new revolution of sorts should she ever win the Presidency and I would not put that past the dullards that make up a substantial portion of our electorate.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
At least Fauxahontas hasn't murdered anybody yet. Hillary has left quite a trail of bodies behind.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
funny, in 2016, Warren's senate tenure will have been exactly as long as Obama's in 2008.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's also funny is that no one speaks of those women as the frauds that they are. Warren the phony Indian and Hillary the coat-tailer. They will never be ready for prime time.

Right after Hilllary lied and people died, she went from Secretary of State to the 'face' of Secretary of State. "Under the bus, boys".

And, with Warren, it turns out that not only was Warren not 1/32 Cherokee, she descended from Europeans who took Cherokee land away during the Oklahoma Land Rush!

Warren: "Oh, that. Oh, sure throw that in my face."

Liberals are sociopaths.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
To my knowledge Warren doesn't have any inconvenient corpses kicking around in her closet like HRC does. Not only 4 deaths in Benghazi, but poor Vince Foster as well. It's amazing how Foster's "suicide?" vanished from the public memory.

As for Warren, anyone with high cheekbones could make the mistake of believing they were part Cherokee, right?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If they don’t blow it with their own volatile extremists." Probably the most relevant sentence in the article. What does extremism really mean in the realm of politics? It means consistent in one's principles. In politics, there can only be two "extreme positions": either your life belongs to you or it belongs to the state/tribe/public. When applied consistently, the first position leads to laissez-faire capitalism (no regulations and no wealth redistribution) the other position leads to fascism or communism. Saying that extremists on the right (which aren't extremism up to laissez faire) would blow away their chances against Warren, is saying that if the premises of the right were made evident, people would reject them and that the solution is to place a "moderate", a mixture of "your life belongs to you" and "you must serve your brothers". It means nominating someone who has (partially) accepted the other camp's principles and fighting on their ground. It means fighting a losing battle. Ultimately, the most consistent win. Once you have accepted the idea that a thief has a right to 2% of your wealth, what stops him from taking it all? In the realm of politics, when you have accepted that some people have a right to some of your money for their healthcare because they need it, what argument can you present to stop other needy people to take in your pocket or other for the existing ones to take more from you?
Calling for a moderate is recognizing that one's side has no chance on winning on the principles it claims to defend. That might be true. It also means that one is giving up on the battle of ideas, without which any political battle will be lost.
For the past century, the right has never challenged the left's ideas on a fundamental level. It fought against statism but never for capitalism, never for a full separation of state and economics. It was left as helpless as a boat in the sea with no destination in mind, open to any compromise the left could offer. The left on the other hand has always known where it was going: universal healthcare, high taxes, minimum standard of living without the need to work,... The left couldn't impose these goals all at once but it sailed in that direction, never taking its eyes off the goal, accepting any compromise it could reach in that direction. Even with Obamacare, many on the left were opposed to it. They clearly expressed they wanted the government to run it all. But they were ready to accept it as a compromise on the way, not on the goal. Today, there's no politician on the right capable of offering a vision of free-market healthcare. Capitalism rests on the belief that every man has a right to live for himself. Until the idea that our duty is to serve our brothers is challenged, the right will be on a losing track. Maybe it could snatch a victory from Warren by running a moderate. It would slow down the pace but not change the direction.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent post but the ideas, as stated, won't win. The reason is that it sounds like a roll-back of programs that vast majorities support, including SS, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Food Stamps, and Medicaid.

There is a compromise, which is is to recognize that the first three programs are actually enforced savings programs that people fund themselves. The programs have to be fixed because the payouts have grown into much more than the funding mechanisms can support, and they are bankrupting the country. But the fixes have to minimize disruption to the people who depend on them.

The last two are welfare programs whose growth has to be stopped, after which they must be gradually limited but not eliminated. Elimination of them is also electoral suicide, but the case can and should be made that rampant growth is suicide for the country.

This approach recognizes the facts on the ground, which are that yanking these programs isn't feasible when hundred of millions of people depend on them; while also recognizing that ever-growing welfare is societal cancer.

Note also that obamahillarycare is different than either category. It certainly isn't an enforced savings program, and it also isn't a safety net program. It is closer to pure socialism than either category of existing programs. Moreover, given its coercive and intrusive nature, obamahillarycare is probably closer to communism than socilism
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prove that the "vast majority" support these programs. I think you've bought into MSM propaganda. If the "vast majority" of Americans are genuinely that stupid then what is the point?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hear from your type occasionally.

My recommendation for you: don't run with a knife in your hands.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
MMM, Everything you say is correct but, when you say that we must challenge the idea that it is our duty to serve our brothers, my Christianity causes me to be uncomfortable with how selfish that sounds. Perhaps the moderate Republicans aren't just interested in winning elections, but care deeply about doing right by their fellow human beings. Socialism is a dishonest and cynical attempt to distort and abuse the basic human instinct to care about the well-being of others for selfishly cold ideological ends. But to some - especially the so-called LIVs out there - it simply sounds crass and cruel to champion an every man for himself ethos. Surely there's a way to accommodate all of us within the conservative movement.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Get Ready for Democratic Party's Tilt to the Far Left"

Really? As if they are not so steeped so far to the left for some years now that Blue Dogs are now fettering the Republican Party with their presence as RINOs.

On a side note, they should be called the Democrat Party, as there is nothing at all particularly democratic about them (more like fascitic).
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liz Warren. Please. That said, don't get distracted. The Senate in '14 is ALL that matters.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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