from Mona Charen at National Review, How Bernie Sanders Became the Conscience of the Democratic Party
“Socialist” was once an epithet in American politics, but the Obama years may have effected a change. Fully 25 percent of Americans, Pew reported in 2014, disagreed with the statement “free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.” Fans of irony will note that only 3 percent of Vietnamese said the same, with 95 percent endorsing capitalism. Bernie Sanders thunders that the U.S. can become a good Scandinavian-style socialist paradise — but without the huge taxes on the middle class that support those systems. (Denmark has the highest taxes in the world.)
Sanders may be disillusioned to discover that Scandinavian countries have thriving private sectors and are in many respects more business-friendly these days than the United States. Norway funds its welfare state through the sale of — wait for it — fossil fuel pumped from the North Sea. But Bernie doesn’t pause over pesky details like how to afford things. He and his party are officially in the reality-free zone where, if you close your eyes and wish with all your heart, dreams really do come true. He’s Santa Claus with a Brooklyn accent. This is not politics for grown-ups.
Bernie is defining the Democrats as socialists. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is either unable or unwilling to draw a distinction, and Hillary refuses to comment.