Democratic Platform Committee: Bernie Got Plowed Over and Now It Is all about Climate Change

Bernie Sanders AP

Cries of obstruction from the Sanders’ camp echoed from the Democratic Platform Committee hearing in St. Louis last Friday.

By the end of the committee, Sanders delegates were not able to hide their frustration. Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of National Nurses United, took to Twitter to vent her frustrations. She even went as far as to accuse the Clinton camp of obstruction.

Bill McKibben, a Sanders delegate who sat on the platform committee, explained in a Politico article that, ” The Clinton campaign was ready to acknowledge serious problems: We need fair trade policy, inequality is a horrible problem, and unchecked climate change will wreck the planet. But when it came to specific policy changes, they often balked.”

Wednesday Clinton Delegate Carol Browner also wrote an article in Politico in response to the Sanders delegate claims of obstruction.

“It was so disappointing to see other members of our committee accusing the Clinton campaign of obstructionism—and claiming we did not approach the climate crisis as seriously as we should. In both cases, nothing could be further from the truth,” Browner said in Politico.

“We worked together to create a draft that was even stronger than it had been that morning, with new shared goals and ideas. As a representative of Clinton’s campaign, I was proud that we came together as Democrats to articulate the boldest climate vision ever to appear in our party’s platform. And the allegation that the Clinton team is not fully committed to solving climate change is absurd.”

The main point of Browner’s article was to quiet Sanders supporters’ screams of foul following the committee last Friday. “That’s not obstructionism. That’s Democrats being democratic,” Browner proclaimed.

Last Friday delegates from the Clinton and Sanders campaigns met in St. Louis for the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee. Delegates from both camps met to “craft a progressive blueprint for the future.” The fifteen member committee is usually comprised of delegates picked by the committee chair. This year however the Clinton camp received six seats on the committee, Sanders received five, and committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz received four.

Since Clinton all but grabbed the nomination three weeks ago, Sanders has turned the majority of his attention to the party platform for the convention and to see to it that Donald Trump does not win the Presidency in November. However with the outcome of this committee, it is clear that Sanders and his supporters hold very little influence when it comes to the Democratic party.

The Sanders camp proposed a variety of different platform items that included a national moratorium on fracking, an end to the Israeli occupation and illegal settlement, Medicare for all, a rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and nine amendments on climate change.

On trade and healthcare Senator Bernie Sanders’ delegates were completely shut down. The national moratorium on fracking, the end to the Israeli occupation and illegal settlement, Medicare for all, and the rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership were all turned down by the committee.

However on climate change the Sanders’ camp came out a little better. Of the nine amendments that they purposed, four were rejected, four were brought into the platform and are known as unity amendments, and one was reworked.

The four unity amendments that were adopted were opposing utilities’ efforts to undermine renewable energy, have the Department of Justice investigate whether fossil fuel companies mislead share holders, a commitment to power our economy with 100% clean energy by mid century, and to strengthen bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

The platform committee hearing itself was live streamed during the negotiations. However, it was shut off for the actual vote. According to Representative Keith Ellison,it “moves our party firmly toward justice, fairness, and inclusion.”

Although the Clinton camp will agree with Ellison, Sanders supporters still feel that the process was not fair. Although there were still small wins along the way.

As we get closer and closer to the convention in Philadelphia and it becomes ever more clear to Sanders’ die hard supporters that Sanders will not be the nominee, it will be up to them to side with either Donald Trump or Clinton. Where they will side is anyone’s guess, but there is a large number of Sanders supporters that will stay #neverhillary, especially after the outcome of the platform committee.


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