'We Have Just Written Half of the GOP Platform': Progressives Dismayed by Dem Party Platform
Sanders supporters celebrated $15 minimum wage amendment and declaration of 'climate emergency,' but condemned Clinton surrogates' rejection of a postal banking system and an end to corporate welfare
As the contentious Democratic Party platform drafting committee negotiations come to an end, many Bernie Sanders surrogates have watched in disbelief as core progressive principles have been waylaid—largely by Hillary Clinton supporters.
"Congratulations everyone! We have just written half of the GOP Platform tonight, Democrats!"
—Nomiki Konst, progressive commentator
The trend continued on the second-to-last day of platform negotiations in Orlando, Florida, when Clinton surrogates on Friday rejected an amendment supporting the creation of a postal banking system, modeled on the one in North Dakota, as well as measures that would end corporate welfare and lay penalties on companies for offshoring jobs, lift the $250,000 income cap on the social security tax, and expand cost of living increases for senior citizens' social security benefits.
Yet there was one "real victory," as former NAACP leader Ben Jealous put it, when the committee passed an amendment supporting a $15 minimum wage and union protections. The amendment was introduced by Ohio state senator Nina Turner and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Mary Kay Henry.
Progressives in attendance and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders cheered the amendment's passage on Twitter:
Tonight we won real victories incl. getting a $15 federal minimum wage and union pension protections in the platform! Good work. Good night!
— Ben Jealous (@BenJealous) July 9, 2016
A few years ago, the fight for $15 was considered radical. Today, it is a cornerstone of the Democratic Party. Now let's make it the law.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 9, 2016
— #SeattleSandernista (@jeffkessock) July 9, 2016
— Bill Cimbrelo (@Bill_Cimbrelo) July 9, 2016
Environmentalists also applauded the passage of a declaration of a "climate emergency" proposed by committee member and climate activist Russell Greene.
The amendment reads in part: "The reality is that the climate emergency and the objective of expanding the middle class demands that we make the most ambitious investment in American infrastructure since President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system."
At other points during the protracted negotiations—they lasted until 1:30am local time—progressives decried the platform committee's rejection of what they argue were once core Democratic Party principles.
Journalist Nomiki Konst voiced her frustration on Twitter at one point: "Congratulations everyone! We have just written half of the GOP Platform tonight, Democrats!"
Progressives took to social media to voice disappointment, confusion, and anger:
All the grandmothers who voted 4 Hillary were betrayed. Her #DemPlatform committee members voted down cost of living social security raises.
— Christyne Harris (@NoniATX) July 9, 2016
Amendment 2 make it the policy of #DemPlatform 2 oppose corporate welfare 2 companies shipping jobs overseas was rejected by Clinton folks
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) July 9, 2016
Kind of stunned that #DemPlatform session has voted against supporting North Dakota model for public banking. Ds should be for this.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) July 9, 2016
#DemPlatform amendment to expand social security by getting rid of cap on income above $250K goes to roll call, FAILS 74-100
— arit john (@aritbenie) July 9, 2016
The final session of platform negotiations begins in Orlando on Saturday at 10am Eastern Standard Time.
The first item on the agenda? The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which both Clinton and Sanders oppose—but Clinton supporters on the platform committee have fought to voice support for it within the Democratic Party platform.
Watch the meeting live on CSPAN here.