DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz could not explain the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. But she did limit the number of Democratic debates, even scheduling two prior debates on Saturday nights, as part of the DNC strategy to marginalize Bernie Sanders and coronate Hillary early. But the strategy is not working.
Now, with the stakes higher, the two remaining debates (perhaps minus Martin O'Malley) are scheduled for higher-ratings weekdays at venues that could favor Bernie. The PBS debate February 11 will be at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and the Univision/Washington Post debate March 9 will be at Miami Dade College. Gullible students - male and female - equally illiterate on economics, currently favor Bernie, who promises free college education for everyone.
The media tilt to socialist Bernie is inescapable, because reporters (a) don't like Hillary; (b) want a competitive race; (c) prefer the farthest-Left candidate. But they market Bernie as merely a progressive. Yet we now know that "socialist" and "Democrat" are interchangeable. Like divorce, socialism is no longer a disqualifier for the presidency. Divorce does not necessarily indicate bad character, socialism does. Bernie knowingly glosses over the reality that socialism is thievery - the government using force to confiscate from the politically unflavored to give to the politically favored.
It's hard to imagine a president who could be worse than Barack Obama, except maybe Bernie. Unfortunately, Bernie probably is too old for sexual scandals that might happily divert him from destructive governance. If the FDA would allow super high-powered testosterone injections exceeding safe standards, perhaps a young libertarian woman would exhaust Bernie for The Cause. Consider that the British monarchy was consumed with sexual decadence, such rampant promiscuity enabling the Industrial Revolution.
I was fortunate to know Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman. That brilliant economist -- like Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and so many other economists -- discredited not only the theory but also the practice of socialism. Long ago I thought planned and statist economies were old hat, and the world was moving toward a vibrant free market for material and even spiritual uplifting. Now I have this feeling of déjà vu - that President Bernie Sanders would complete Obama's destruction of what was the greatest engine of human progress.
Sanders obsesses about the concentration of wealth among the upper 2-percent, the increasingly unequal distribution of income, the diminished middle class, and the acceleration of poverty. He talks about "democratic socialism" as if the electorate has the moral right and constitutional right to vote in tyranny. An ideologue, Sanders cannot comprehend that our economic disrepair is largely the result not of the unfettered free market but of the fascist-style mixed economy that he favors; moreover, even a watered-down version of Bernie's socialism would worsen a situation already made worse by President Obama.
Since economic freedom is inconsequential for Bernie, why would he defend it and its corollary, political freedom? For Bernie, a secular progressive socialist, there just isn't much in America to defend. And down deep, Bernie is a Jew in denial, if not self-hating. His father, like mine, was a Jewish immigrant from Poland whose family was killed in the Holocaust. But is Bernie consequently for limited, constitutional government as a bulwark against tyranny? Does he necessarily favor the Second Amendment to assure citizens of the right to protect themself? Does he clearly support Israel and Bibi Netanyahu over the Arabs and their Jew-hating leaders? No, no, and no.
Could Fortress America, already weakened by Obama, survive Bernie? On national security, Bernie despises the military and would demoralize our warriors, though he is "for veterans." Bernie is a barely reconstructed Marxist who supported communists in the USSR, Cuba and Nicaragua. As a young man at the height of the Cold War he admired totalitarianism and wanted to enforce it here disguised as " democratic socialism"; even in the 1980s, he was heaping praise on Fidel Castro and even Daniel Ortega and still pushed for nationalization of industries here in the U.S.. As president he would continue to be a sell-out to the Bad Guys. Bernie does not believe in good or evil, but in socialism.
What kind of leader would Bernie be? 1969, a crowd of burly Black Power protestors confronted the diminutive S.I. Hayakawa, San Francisco State College president, who pulled the wires from their loudspeaker. This lasting image alone led to Hayakawa's election seven years later as U.S. Senator. In contrast, as Donald Trump reminds us of Bernie's defining moment: Bernie let Black Lives Matter protestors seize his microphone and take over his platform. Bernie, you blew it right there for the general election. You're no Harrison Ford. The Iranians, the Koreans, and even a few Palestinian school children - anyone will throw you off Air Force One.
As much as I believe Hillary would be a disaster, she would test at higher testosterone levels than Bernie. Accordingly, she would try to prove that a woman is strong on national security, although she obviously lacks the character and principle, the intelligence and ingenuity of a Golda Meir or Margaret Thatcher. Inept and wrong as Hillary was as Secretary of State, she tried faithfully and loyally to implement President Obama's vision of surrender, sabotaging our allies while pursuing Iranian hegemony. On domestic policy, Hillary as president might turn to a few supporters in the business community who have at least a sentimental attachment toward the remnants of a free market.
Fortunately, by the time of a general election, voters would see through Bernie. He would alienate what is left of the political middle and lose. That's why Karl Rove's Crossroads USA SuperPAC is running attack ads in Iowa on Hillary's ties to Wall Street: he wants Bernie to win or at least prolong a more divisive Democratic primary. Karl is taking a page from the Democrats' playbook. In 2002, Gov. Gray Davis paid for a huge ad campaign in the Republican gubernatorial primary against former Los Angeles Mayor Riordan, because Davis felt Riordan would be a stronger general election opponent. Although Bernie and Hillary both attack Karl, Karl's anti-Wall Street ads against Hillary will still resonate in Iowa.
In the polling against Hillary, Bernie is competitive nationally, and primary wins in Iowa and New Hampshire could give him momentum. The Big Short helps Bernie and 13 Hours hurts Hillary. Even if she is not indicted for violating national security laws, she will be distrusted. The continuing Cosby legal saga will reprise the matter of her husband as predator, Hillary as fixer. And her questionable health may yet become an issue, unless Bernie's prostate Trumps Hillary's bladder, and Trump will weigh in on this.
Speaking of health, a Bernie flunkie spoke on television last week about about how payroll taxes should be increased in order for people to "pay" for "free" health care. Bernie's spokesman was responding to Chelsea Clinton's bogus attack on Bernie supposedly wanting to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and screw old people and poor people.
Of course, Chelsea knows perfectly well that Bernie favors a single-payer government health monopoly. In other words, as left wing as Hillary is, favoring a vast and coercive government program that would eventually ration and diminish the quantity and quality of health care and inhibit medical advances, Bernie is worse. But instead of following the script and "playing nice" to soften Hillary's harsh image, Chelsea went rogue - and for Bernie's jugular. Chelsea's harsh Hillary attack genes prevailed. Out went the dainty daughter who has one child and another on the way, to recite Hillary's virtues as a loving grandmother. After all, how could Bill, an aging grandfather. cheat on Hillary while at Jeffrey Epstein's island with girls younger than Monica Lewinsky when she was in her intern prime?
Bernie is not just a socialist. He is stupid. Our college graduates can't find a job, and technical jobs like welders go wanting. But Bernie wants "everyone" to go to college and "for free." Recently Bernie complained that students pay more for a loan than homeowners pay for a mortgage. In other words, students pay a higher interest rate for a student loan that is unsecured, than the interest rate homeowners pay for a mortgage loan that is secured by the home.
Now at times mortgage loans may be shoddy, mainly when the government gets involved. For example, Bill Clinton and his allies in Congress, notably Barney Frank, wanted to expand home ownership artificially. So they (and Bernie) lowered standards, first for everyone, and then especially for nonwhites as the government later enforced a quota system on banks.
Under Bill Clinton and again under George W. Bush, some Republicans on the House Banking Committee objected, in writing. But the government continued its fraudulent scheme. In a true private sector economy, banks would limit credit as loans became riskier. But in the upside down world of government intervention, the opposite happened. Indeed, Wall Street benefactors of both parties "bundled" or repackaged the risky loans into even riskier derivatives.
Bundling is a funny word. It also refers to very wealthy people in business who solicit their colleagues and friends to give money to the Senate or House campaign committee of their party or, more likely, to their favored presidential candidate like Hillary. The "bundler" gains access by bringing a bunch of checks at once. In contrast, Bernie has small donors intoxicated with Bernie's snake-oil fantasy of "free stuff." But, as Jeb Bush might say, "stuff happens."
An earlier version appeared--