RNC’s Michael Steele: Dems’ Health Proposals Sought to “Own the Means of Production”

by Matt B. on February 3, 2010

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele

During his visit to Harvard Kennedy School this evening, I asked Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele whether he would commit to not use intellectually dishonest language like “socialism” and “government takeover of the health care industry” to describe Democrats’ efforts to reform health care, and whether he would encourage his party to do the same.  He interrupted the question to ask, “It isn’t?” and “What would you call it?”  Later, he described Dems’ reform efforts as an effort to “own the means of production.”

In other words, not only did he fail to disown the socialism charge, he went further and quoted Marx himself.  It’s hard to know what to do with this.  Does Steele know he’s being irresponsible here?  Or does he genuinely think that there’s some sense in which these phrases accurately describe Democrats’ efforts to ensure that all Americans have health care?  If it’s the latter, does Steele also think that Medicare is a “socialist, government takeover of healthcare for the elderly”?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Miller February 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

Medicare can’t be socialist – it’s popular, and old people won’t vote against it. That’s cool that you got to look into the man’s eyes. Was there anything behind them?

Matt B. February 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Nothing particularly honest, as far as I could tell.

Dan February 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Great question. You are good on TV.

Dan February 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Um, you didn’t seem nervous. How’d you pull that off?

Matt B. February 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Ha – thanks man. I was, I was. Guess the mic didn’t catch my raspy breathing.

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