DNC Chair Perez: 'Absolutely' You Can Be a Democratic Socialist and Capitalist
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has a tough job these days. His biggest problem is that he heads a crazy party.
But his next biggest problem is almost as difficult: how does he reconcile the two wings of his party?
The first wing -- let's call them the Looney Tunes Democrats -- don't just want to "transform America." Them's small potatoes. The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party wants nothing less than to destroy America and rebuild it in a socialist image. The Green New Deal is the perfect manifestation of this thrust to destroy and then rebuild. Of course, by the time Ocasio-Cortez and her allies are done, we'll have a barter economy where "shared scarcity" is the norm and little kids get treats for catching the most rats.
The second wing of the Democratic Party -- let's call them the Perpetually Outraged Democrats -- don't necessarily want to destroy America. They want to find a way to milk the citizens for more taxes to pay for more of their spending schemes, to make more people dependent on government, and to win more power and influence.
They don't want to kill the golden goose of capitalism. They just want to gut it and carve it up.
The dilemma faced by Perez was made obvious in an interview on Meet the Press. He got a little confused when NBC's Chuck Todd asked him, "Can you be a Democratic socialist and for moral capitalism?"
"Absolutely," Perez responded, arguing former president Ronald Reagan was wrong to use the "label" of socialism to criticize Medicare. "Don't forget, when Ronald Reagan was railing against medicare in 1963 he said medicare—this is a quote—'will lead to socialized medicine and will lead to socialism in America.'"
The Democratic socialists are calling for an entirely socialized healthcare system on the model of Medicare, which they call "Medicare for all." This left-wing proposal is backed by most of the Democrats running for president, but Perez didn't bring it up. He said he’s about "results" rather than labels.
"Medicare has led to security for our seniors and so some people want to try to use labels and misuse labels. Here's what Democrats are about. We're about results and we are about making sure you have a right to health care," he said.
He accuses opponents of "misusing labels" when he can't see a difference between socialism and capitalism?
And when you push a program called "Medicare for all," doesn't that make Reagan look like a soothsayer?
You might sympathize with Perez, who is simultaneously trying to ride herd on the Looney Tunes Democrats to prevent them from running wild and scaring the beejeebees out of voters while attempting to keep the Perpetually Outraged Democrats happy.
It's an impossible balancing act, so to cope, Perez just makes things up, like the notion that you can be a socialist and a capitalist at the same time. To the average viewer, it seems impossible. But logic and reason left the building a long time ago for Democrats and to most of them, it sounds just fine.