May 30, 2007

Media Embarrassment Over Socialist Rhetoric?

Hillary Clinton announced that she would campaign on a platform that would emphasize the need for collective economics and move away from individual performance and success. It could be called an extension of "It Takes A Village," and it might have been -- had the newspapers bothered to cover it:

The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."

That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.

"There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed," she said. "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."

A lot of nations have tried "all in it together" economic policies over the last century. Some used "government policies" to force all economic activity under government management, and places like the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites all collapsed. Others, such as France, have belatedly discovered that collectivism results in economic stagnation and an entitlement mentality that deflates the will to innovate and invest.

This kind of rhetoric isn't new for Hillary. She has promoted collectivist economics for two decades now. Her effort to nationalize health care reflected the same kind of thinking, and this statement shows that she hasn't learned much from that debacle. Almost three years ago, she promised that she would "take things away from [Americans] for the common good," back when the economy had just started its latest expansion. That's collectivism, and it's not limited to Hillary among Democratic candidates.

However, what I find most interesting about this statement is the complete lack of coverage it received in today's newspapers. She made the statement in the early afternoon, and it was meant to be part of a major series of speeches on economic policy. Yet, none of the major newspapers covered it in their political or national sections today. It's missing from the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. The NY Times only carried the part of her message that mentioned "shared prosperity", and then only on its blog, The Caucus.

Why didn't they mention the main thrust of her economic vision? Could it be that the editors of these publications have a better ear for politics than Hillary -- and acted to protect her from criticism?


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» Tin Ear, Dead Silence from Blue Crab Boulevard
Ed Morrisey points out a sudden lack of interest by essentially all of the major media in reporting on Hillary! Clinton's latest exercise in tin-ear political speech. That would be her excursion into socialist-speak yesterday. This kind o... [Read More]

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Yesterday I wrote how Hillary Clinton a few years ago was advocating what could only be described as a high-tax social-democratic economic and social policy, with the government as the main vehicle for wealth redistribution. She proved yesterday that she [Read More]

Comments (24)

Posted by MarkD | May 30, 2007 7:16 AM

Her book advance and my 401K; let's share the prosperity, Senator.

If the answer is no, then I guess she's just another political fraud - willing to take from those who earned it to buy the votes of those who did not.

Posted by Jim | May 30, 2007 7:24 AM

The main stream media doing the heavy lifting for the dem candidate; protecting them; deep sixing what would be a big story if it were a repub candidate? NO! What a revelation! Who'd a thunk it?

Posted by Michael Smith | May 30, 2007 7:30 AM

What famous conservative President said this in his first major speech to Congress immediately after taking office:

We will continue to fulfill the obligations that spring from our national conscience. Those who, through no fault of their own, must depend on the rest of us -- the poverty stricken, the disabled, the elderly, all those with true need -- can rest assured that the social safety net of programs they depend on are exempt from any cuts.

The full retirement benefits of the more than 31 million social security recipients will be continued, along with an annual cost-of-living increase. Medicare will not be cut, nor will supplemental income for the blind, the aged, and the disabled. And funding will continue for veterans pensions. School breakfasts and lunches for the children of low-income families will continue, as will nutrition and other special services for the aging. There will be no cut in Project Head Start or summer youth jobs.

Those are the words of Ronald Reagan in a speech titled, "Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Program for Economic Recovery" February 18, 1981

And there you have it. All those with "true need" will be helped by the government. How? By taking money from those with less than "true need".

Hillary Clinton is simply advocating a more consistent application of that principle. Surely, those who are making less than, say, $50,000 a year, have some "true needs" that those making more than $50,000 do not have. Therefore, the government should take more and more from the upper income taxpayers and give more and more to the low income taxpayers until all the "true needs" are equalized.

After all, we're all in this together, right? We all have to take care of one another -- even Ronald Reagan said so.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Where have we heard that before?

Posted by Michael Smith | May 30, 2007 7:53 AM

Wanted: A politician with the wherewithall to articulate the following principles:

No amount of need on the part of any one man gives him a right to one penny of another man's property. Accordingly, it is not the function of government to transfer money from those who have earned it to those who have not.

A man "in need" has the right to ask for help from those willing to give it voluntarily. He does not have the right to use force -- or to get the government to use force on his behalf -- to obtain help others will not give voluntarily.

Wanted even more desperately: voters who would vote for such a politician.

Posted by Gary Gross | May 30, 2007 8:54 AM

Ed, not all of the big media outlets missed it. I talked about it here.

Seriously, this is HillaryCare & "It Takes A Village" all rolled into one.

Posted by Kent | May 30, 2007 8:58 AM

Ed, it's possible the media didn't cover it because they thought Hilary's socialist leanings simply aren't news.

Posted by docjim505 | May 30, 2007 9:36 AM

This is where the road we've been traveling for years has led us. Thanks to an increasing sense of entitlement among the American people that goes back at least the the New Deal, people think that it's quite proper to "share the wealth". And, since rich bastards won't "share", the government has to make them.

I think that another part of the problem is that the image most Americans have of "the rich" is people who have a lot of money through little or no effort of their own (like Teddy Kennedy and Jean-Francois Kerry) or people who've made a lot of money through distasteful or even semi-crooked means (like Silky Pony and the Hilldabeast). Hence, too many Americans have little problem taking money away from "the rich"; it's only just desserts, as you might say.

The problem is that liberals define "rich" people differently. In their view, "the rich" include people who have a job and work for the money they have. So, the guy who started a business and is at last enjoying the fruits of years of hard work, sweat and worry is "rich". The couple who worked hard to save money for their retirement are "rich". The guy who worked hard to get good grades in school and worked his way up the corporate ladder is "rich". The libs' attitude toward them? Tax 'em! Tax 'em, tax 'em, and tax 'em some more! They must PAY!

But remember, kids: it's for the "greater good" that the libs want to engage in this legalized theft.

They read either too much Karl Marx as children... or too much Robin Hood.

Posted by John | May 30, 2007 9:45 AM

When "we're all in it together," the IT is invariably the toilet.

The Soviets were all in it together. The Cubans are all in it together. The North Koreans are all in it together, and THEY are eating each other's children.

These are not models my country should emulate.

Posted by exdem13 | May 30, 2007 10:25 AM

Heh, Hillary is just being honest with the Leftist base in the Democrats. She's been an EU-model Socialist for a long time now. We've known the truth singe the Hillarycare Plan for Socialized Medicine back in her hubby's first term.

Posted by unclesmrgol | May 30, 2007 10:45 AM


It's been tried before. It's called Communism.

Under communism, there is no incentive for an individual to excel, because any of their extra work is taken and distributed to other individuals who contributed less. Altruism gives way to apathy once the excellent individual sees that he/she is taken advantage of under the system. The only way out is for the state to institute a quota system to assure a minimum rate of production.

And, at that point, we are all slaves.

Posted by xqqmoi | May 30, 2007 11:45 AM

Wanted even MORE desperately:
Voters who know we are a National Republic not a Federal Democracy.
We are a nation of laws not men.

Posted by MarkW | May 30, 2007 12:14 PM

The purpose of govt is to take from those who work, and to give to those who vote.

Posted by patrick neid | May 30, 2007 12:44 PM

who can forget her true stalinist leanings. buried deep in her "health care plan" was this little nugget of secret police enforcement: any doctor who was found to provide care outside her health care plan faced prison time.

you can't make this stuff up!

Posted by Tom | May 30, 2007 2:53 PM

Someone ought to tell about it. (sigh)

Posted by Bryan | May 30, 2007 3:34 PM

Michael Smith,

While your quote from Reagan's speech is accurate, you've changed the meaning from "No Cuts" to "Expand Entitlements". I don't think that's what Reagan had in mind. I make less than $50,000 a year and I have never in my life needed or wanted a government handout. Expansion of entitlements is the single most destructive thing you can do to stiffle an economy. The individual who is being taken care of has no incentive to excel, and neither does the individual who is being taxed at a higher rate. Why work hard if you can live comfortably on what the government gives you? Why work hard if the efforts of that work will be taken from you to support someone who is not working?

If you remember correctly, Reagan was able to grow the economy with a tax cut. Kennedy did it before him. If the Democrat Congress had had any fiscal reponsibility at all during the eighties, there wouldn't have even been a deficit, but they saw the money coming in and decided to spend even more. With a tax cut and a five year freeze on spending increases, we could have a balanced budget today.

While Hillary says with one breath she wants to use the federal government to "promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all", what she is advocating is equal distribution, and that has never been what America is about.

Posted by Gary Gross | May 30, 2007 3:44 PM

Ed, it's possible the media didn't cover it because they thought Hilary's socialist leanings simply aren't news. Posted by: Kent at May 30, 2007 8:58 AM

Whatever happened to the public's right to know? That alone should justify their covering this speech.

Posted by Joshua | May 30, 2007 10:20 PM

Re: docjim505 at May 30, 2007 9:36 AM

I suspect it goes even deeper than that. Many of the bloggers I read have noted that collectivism still sells, in spite of its many known and proven shortcomings, because the idea taps into deeply embedded desires in the human psyche - the desire to belong to something greater than yourself, and to be part of a righteous struggle against the wicked, uncaring corporate Goliaths. In this way, collectivist economics can galvanize its followers in much the same way as a religion. (Here is an excellent treatment of this thesis.)

Posted by docjim505 | May 31, 2007 5:24 AM


Yeah, you're right. It's kind of ironic, though, that the libs who hate "wicked, uncaring corporate Goliaths" absolutely LOOOOVE government Goliaths. When one considers that "the State" has been responsible for tens of millions of murders around the world in the last century, it seems that the libs would be less trusting of "the State" than they are.

As far as I'm concerned, that they aren't is simply further evidence of the fact that liberals are mentally defective and hence have no real grasp on reality.

Posted by swabjockey05 | May 31, 2007 6:11 AM

Dr J, many libs are not mentally defective (I know my wife is not...)

They know about the State killing millions ...but, to them, it wasn't the idea of collectivism that slaughtered the people, it was poor leadership that killed them (and of course U.S. policies share the blame for the slaughter)...the Libs think that with them in charge, collectivism/Communism would "work" because the “American” Libs are so much smarter than everyone else...they could "make" it work.

Posted by John | May 31, 2007 10:11 AM


Ask your wife one question, and if she answers it honestly, she cannot hold the position that socialism works in theory, but not in practice.

The question --

How can a society that rewards failure and punishes success not be DOOMED to fail?

Posted by swabjockey05 | May 31, 2007 4:33 PM


The Libs would never agree with you on the terms of your question...your definition of "reward failure" and "punish success" would be totally different from the lefty’s definition.

Your question wouldn't be worth the breath required to ask it...

Posted by Joey @ Pheistyblog | May 31, 2007 8:35 PM

The stranger thing is that when things like this happen, the media has a tendancy to take one AP article and rename it several times.

Check this out: An article was written by an AP Correspondent (I'm assuming she's a young, sacrificial lamb, willing to do anything to get a story) glorifying Clinton's speech. I found several links to the same article on news websites, but each one seemed to have a different name, all pro-Hillary.

Here they are:

Clinton Outlines Broad Economic Vision

Clinton: shared prosperity should replace ‘on your own’ society

Clinton promotes shared responsibility

We Are All in It Together, Clinton Says

Clinton: ‘On your own’ attitude must go

Clinton Emphasizes Shared Prosperity

Hillary pans ‘on your own’ society

I'm sure they do this a lot, but what would be the point of renaming all of those articles? It accomplishes two things:

1. It makes it look like there are more articles than there are, so it looks like there is actually some reporting going on.

2. It gives the media a chance to 'sell' Hillary's view without really endorsing it by using 'creative language'.

It's creepy.

Posted by Joey @ Pheistyblog | May 31, 2007 9:00 PM

I'm not good with this trackback stuff, yet. I'll try it again. Sorry. :(

Posted by swabjockey05 | June 1, 2007 10:51 AM


creepy is the correct term