<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12702981\x26blogName\x3dSane+Nation\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://sanenation.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://sanenation.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d1476394626602319783', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Friday, June 17, 2005

What's left in Vermont

So Tim Russert says to Howard Dean:
"In your home state of Vermont there is a vacancy for the United State Senate. Bernie Sanders wants to run for that seat. He is a self-described avowed socialist. Is there room in the Democratic Party for a socialist?"
And Howard Dean says to Tim Russert:
"Well, he's not a socialist really. . . . He is basically a liberal Democrat."
Governor, we know you're busy — but will you please at least try to make it to every third rehearsal? This from a May 2005 interview with U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.):
Everybody in Vermont knows that I'm a democratic socialist. It's so well known that nobody talks about it anymore.
Having served two 5-year terms as governor of Vermont, arguably Dean would be expected to know. But in fairness, Dean has never claimed to know what all socialists look like — all Republicans, yes, but not all socialists, including the "democratic" ones. In the spirit of dialogue, a few Meet the Press style questions for the two Vermont Democrats. 1. Chairman Dean, what is it about the word "socialist" that causes you to want to avoid using it to describe the likely U.S. Senate candidate from Vermont, who uses the word to describe himself? 2. Rep. Sanders, we'd love to hear your views on what the phrase "democratic socialist" means to you. For many folks, the word "democratic" has this, oh, lingering connotation of "pertaining to freedom." As for the word "socialist," is it still pretty much all about Marx's "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need?" If so, who determines ability and need — is there like a committee? Also: 2a. How exactly does "democratic" modify "socialism" in your political cosmos? When you use "democratic" do you mean optional, as in voluntary? Say Betty Boop makes a killing in the commodities market. Betty wants to quit her cartoon job and live off her winnings. You, Rep. Sanders, would prefer that she hand over the lump sum to the Burlington Collective. Different paradigms, as it were. Who decides? Will Jesse Jackson be arriving for a news conference? 2b. Or this: If your single-payer medical care ("socialized medicine") is enacted, requiring increasing upper tax rates to the 70 percent range, will participation be optional for Betty? It happens that I spoke with Betty, and she told me: "All things considered, I'd rather opt out. Nothing against Canada, I'd just like to handle my own health care, ya know?" Rep. Sanders: if Betty is not to be allowed to opt out, would you go over the word "democratic" one more time? I'm just not getting it. 2c. Oh, I see. You mean "voluntary" in the same way the IRS uses the word when it claims Americans have the highest rate of voluntary tax compliance in the world. Right you are: Those who pay up voluntarily avoid the interest penalties and jail time. Gotcha, "voluntary." Actually, that's neither "socialist" nor "liberal." No — it's ... progressive!