The Problem, In One Tweet

This one. 

Maybe – maybe – you could make an argument that the reason this failed is due to the messenger. That Bernie Sanders’ name has become toxic in the Democratic establishment to such a degree that even good, commonsense legislation he proposes is defeated, when the same thing proposed by anyone else might very well have passed.

If you think that, however, take a look back at Sanders’ record of legislation prior to the 2016 campaign, and you’ll find it’s the same: the very same progressive policies we need and should have…arestymied. It’s not Sanders’ personality or his political affiliations that are the problem. 

A 10% cut to the bloated-beyond-belief military budget of the United States is the kind of moderate, incremental reduction that could easily be done given the overall size in total dollars of the budget. And owing to that budget’s enormous size, the 10% cut that the Pentagon would scarcely feel…would be a comparative TON of money to other domestic agencies and priorities. 

Unfortunately, such a cut, aimed to “create a domestic federal grant program to fund health care, housing, childcare and educational opportunities for cities and towns experiencing a poverty rate of 25% or more,” despite this being the age of wokeness and poverty/racism awareness, is apparently just too heavy a lift for either Senate or House Democrats. The Senate was a foregone conclusion, with the GOP in control and the filibuster still a thing, but 93 votes in the House of Representatives, which the Democrats control, shows just how far we haven’t come, and how much more still needs to be done. 

Back in the days when Daily Kos was still a relevant website, Markos used to talk about electing “not just more Democrats, but more and better Democrats.” With only 93 Dems out of 233 (including John Lewis) voting for the Sanders/Markey amendment, that leaves 140 to go. This is the work we have cut out for us. At the end of the day, it matters little whether those 140 voted it down because they genuinely don’t think the Pentagon budget should be cut, because of defense industry ties/campaign contributions (or worse), or some other combination of factors.

They must be either persuaded or threatened by a public movement such as what is stirring right now from within the ranks of their own party/allies, or primaried and replaced. Keep pushing.