Last July, thanks to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, the Democratic Party agreed to the most progressive platform ever.
As the Post explained last July:
From the opening of the 2016 draft platform, one can see the rhetorical fingerprints of progressive movements, especially Black Lives Matter and the insurgent presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders … Though the 2012 platform repeatedly criticized inequality and — to a lesser extent — discrimination, it had none of the stridency of the 2016 draft version. “The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street must be brought to an end,” it declares. (Can you imagine the New Democrats of the 1990s putting illegal behavior and Wall Street in the same sentence?) Later, the authors promise that the party “will push for a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter.” Not too long ago, more politically cautious Democrats would have steered clear of phrases like that, but here they are.
In an election cycle where candidate Clinton returned again and again to Wall Street’s collection plate, it was refreshing to read these words in the preamble:
But too many Americans have been left out and left behind. They are working longer hours with less security. Wages have barely budged and the racial wealth gap remains wide, while the cost of everything from childcare to a college education has continued to rise. And for too many families, the dream of homeownership is out of reach. As working people struggle, the top one percent accrues more wealth and more power.
I’ll amen to that, as the hungover churchgoer said to the request for silence. The Dem party platform, which stated “we are stronger together,” was a real, no-joke, Ramones-style hey-oh-let’s-go achievement.
So why are they still such a centrist, neoliberalism-loving party? Why are the party’s rank-and-file still wedded to discredited Nineties practices?
Maybe because most of their members don’t seem to take the platform that seriously. Fortunately, there is a site to help interested persons keep a sharp eye on platform adherence. The site is called Summer for Progress. It’s a project of Our Revolution, the political organization that grew out of the late Sanders campaign. According to the homepage:
The Democratic Party Platform makes it clear that Democrats must fight for these issues as a party. We’re asking all House Democrats to commit to supporting our #PeoplesPlatform bills by signing on as a co-sponsor when Congress comes back in session in September.
In other words, the site seeks to tell where real progressivism can be found in the halls of Congress. The site contains a scorecard chart for Dem members on Capitol Hill. Congresswomen Barbara Lee of California and Janice Schakowsky of Illinois’ 9th have cosigned on one hundred percent of the platform:
Unfortunately—and predictably—they are the only full-hearted supporters The next-highest co-signer, Ro Khanna of California, ranks in at 88 percent. Surprising absolutely nobody, Pelosi ranks near the bottom:
Sign on to see if your Congressperson has signed off on the 2016 platform—or whether they’re just fine with bouncing progressive checks, and would rather stay in the red.