Democrats Recreate 1968 and 1972

The unrest on our streets has caused a number of greybeards to suggest we’re living through a repeat of 1968, and this seems reasonable enough on the surface. But the Democrats are also reverting to 1972 when McGovern dragged the party sharply to the left, judging by the results that have come out from their platform committee meetings so far.

From David Weigel’s dispatch in the Washington Post yesterday:

Democrats shift to the left in this past weekend’s platform fight

[W]hat happened this weekend in a sweltering Hilton conference room was remarkable. The Democratic Party shifted farther to the left in one election than perhaps since 1972, embracing once-unthinkable stances on carbon pricing, police reform, abortion rights, the minimum wage and the war on drugs. It did so with very little ideological resistance and a lot of comity between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

“We have produced by far the most progressive platform that this party has seen in multiple generations,” said Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), co-chairman of the platform committee. At one point, Sanders wanted Malloy to quit the committee over his endorsement of Clinton, and Sanders voters protested what were seen as betrayals in his state’s budget. Yet there he was, after midnight, announcing that the progressives had gotten their way.

Fromt this account there doesn’t seem to have been much of a “fight”—just a headlong lunge to the left. The Christian Science Monitor offers more details of interest:

ORLANDO — Bernie Sanders’ still-impassioned campaign electrified debate over a draft of the Democratic Party’s policy positions Saturday, winning concessions on climate change but failing to include opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

During a frequently combative session in an Orlando hotel ballroom Saturday, members of the Democratic National Convention’s full Platform Committee voted down amendments to the party platform to explicitly oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But Sanders supporters exploded in cheers when they won environmental amendments that included support for pricing greenhouse gases, prioritizing renewable energy and limiting fracking.

“None of this would have happened in this forum without Bernie Sanders pushing this issue front and center over and over again,” said environmentalist Bill McKibben, a supporter of the Vermont senator.

In other words, Hillary may be the nominee, but it’s Bernie and Lizzie’s party now. Oh goody.

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