Jul 10, 2016
When contentious Democratic Party platform negotiations finally came to a close late on Saturday, progressives again left disappointed.
"I'm so disappointed that I walked out, as many of my friends as well did ... [We] walked out in disgust."
--Steve Wisniewski, Communications Workers of America Local 3108 At the committee's final meeting in Orlando, Florida, supporters of Hillary Clinton successfully voted down amendments supporting a single payer healthcare system, a nationwide ban on fracking, as well as an amendment objecting to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and characterizing the settlements as illegal.
The losses stung progressives already dismayed by the committee's refusal to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the platform earlier that day, among other defeats.
"I'm very disappointed," said Steve Wisniewski, president of Communications Workers of America Local 3108 in Orlando, to the Orlando Sentinal. "I'm so disappointed that I walked out, as many of my friends as well did ... [We] walked out in disgust."
"If the Democratic Party can't even just state that the Israeli squatter settlements are illegal, which is what the U.S. signed on to when it ratified the Geneva Conventions, then it should change its name to the Colonial Party," argued political commentator Juan Cole.
An amendment supporting renewable energy sources over fracked gas was included in the platform, which some environmentalists saw as at least a partial victory.
After such a the divisive series of meetings, the final hearing "erupted into chaos" at the end of the night, according to one attendee, when Clinton supporters proposed a "unity" amendment that would have the platform explicitly voice support for Clinton.
National Nurses United union president RoseAnn DeMoro decried the proposal as "arrogant":
\u201cArrogant! After denying people healthcare and loss of jobs through complicity on #TPP #DemPlatform @mlighty60 https://t.co/a1NhdKhJuk\u201d— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnn DeMoro) 1468126104
Dr. Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders appointee to the committee, at one point called on progressives to "keep the pressure on" elites to bring about real change.
Sanders supporters also vowed to "take the fight to Philadelphia" to the Democratic Party convention in a last-ditch effort to pressure the party to support the progressive issues at the core of Sanders' presidential run. The convention runs from July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Those opposing the TPP are hoping to force a floor vote on the trade deal at the party's convention. Both leading Democratic candidates publicly oppose the TPP.
Progressives took to Twitter to voice their disappointment with the platform:
\u201cHillary delegates lead the charge to successfully defeat an amendment acknowledging humanitarian suffering in Gaza. #DemPlatform\u201d— Michael Tracey (@Michael Tracey) 1468105602
\u201cHRC supporters vote down #SinglePayerNow at #DemPlatform\u201d— Nomiki --- "No-me-KEY" (@Nomiki --- "No-me-KEY") 1468117093
\u201cHillary supporter argues against universal healthcare in #DemPlatform bc it would disrespect Obama's accomplishment with ACA. I'm floored\u201d— Rania Khalek (@Rania Khalek) 1468116993
\u201cWe lost on the #fracking ban -our work contiues for it. But we won something huge-a victory for renewable energy over #fracking power plants\u201d— Josh Fox \ud83d\udc00\u2721\ufe0f (@Josh Fox \ud83d\udc00\u2721\ufe0f) 1468116740
\u201cThe Democratic energy platform is essentially the opposite of what Obama's done the last 8 years. Because science changes, policy must too\u201d— Bill McKibben (@Bill McKibben) 1468114806
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