The Mirror

Michael Dukakis Compares Liberal Dems To Socialists

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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Maybe folks who pleasure themselves immensely by sneering at conservatives should keep quiet the next time somebody on the right calls President Obama a “socialist.”

After all, how can they reasonably object? Democratic National Committee chairwoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz in recent days twice refused to explain the difference between Democrats and socialists. And now one of the party’s former presidential standard bearers is telling The Mirror that liberal Dems and socialists like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are really birds of the same feather.

Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, said via email that, “Bernie may call himself a socialist, but in U.S. politics he is just a liberal Democrat — in short, somebody willing to use government to deal with important social and economic issues like sky high college costs and affordable health care.”

“Unlike most modern day Republicans, he is much less willing to use U.S. military power to intervene in places when we have no sense of what will happen  after we intervene,” explained Dukakis, now a Northeastern University professor.

The pesky question arose because Sanders is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and reportedly gaining traction among prospective primary voters. On MSNBC’s “Hardball” last week Chris Matthews asked Wasserman Schultz, also a Florida congresswoman, to differentiate between Dems and socialists.

She offered up a clumsy dodge. “The difference between — the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican?”

Wasserman Schultz gave virtually the same non-answer answer Sunday when NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd posed the question.

OK. So…Wasserman Schultz, who reportedly only retained her DNC post after the 2012 election because she has a vagina and Jewish lineage, is rather dimwitted. Matthews, a panelist on “Meet the Press,” speculated right after Wasserman Schultz was interviewed that that her bungled response could be “an intellectual problem.”

But what do other Democratic honchos and journalists have to say on this matter?

Former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, who is always happy to blather on MSNBC about his party, did not respond to an email.

Maybe Rendell is now press shy because of his awful hair dye job?

But Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne seemed a bit amused when told Wasserman Schultz could not or would not answer the question. After laughing when asked to explain the difference between Democrat and socialists, Dionne said, “She was on message. I am not the chair of the DNC. Traditional socialists favor government ownership of business. Democrats are a capitalist party that favor government intervention.”

Dionne, like Dukakis, also suggested Sanders may be a liberal wolf in a socialist sheep’s clothing. “I don’t think Bernie favors government ownership of business.”