Attention Senator Sanders: The ‘Political Revolution’ is Already Underway
By Randy Abraham
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign message is succeeding because it calls on us to build upon the progress achieved under President Obama.
In contrast, her primary opponent Senator Bernie Sanders is calling for a “political revolution.”
The call for revolution from a Democratic candidate is problematic and probably misguided; the vast majority of Democrats are pleased with President Obama’s performance and will like to see it continue. Bernie risks alienating pro-Obama Democrats and liberals, particularly African Americans who are fiercely loyal to him.
Also, what’s really tone-deaf in all this talk denigrating Hillary as just more of the “status quo,” is that the past seven years under President Obama have truly been revolutionary.
· We put an end to the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive wars;
· We finally institutionalized the idea that healthcare coverage merits a collective effort and that the wealthy and those who profit from the healthcare sector have an obligation to contribute;
· We chose diplomacy over belligerence and unilateral militarism;
· We broke the unholy alliance between Detroit and Big Oil in getting U.S. automakers — voluntarily — to double fuel mileage over the next decade;
· We broke the unholy alliance between the government and the energy sector by dismantling the corrupt and scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service in the aftermath of the disastrousGulf oil spill;
· We forced BP to fund a multi-billion dollar damage pool in the aftermath of the Gulf spill, avoiding a decades-long Exxon-Valdez court battle and corrupt low-ball settlement;
· We passed the most stringent banking regulations in 75 years, and now have the authority to break up failing financial institutions;
· We got the banks out of the student loan business and freed up billions of dollars for student loans;
· Marriage equality is the law of the land in all 50 states;
∙ The President recently announced guidelines for school districts that protect the rights of transgender students;
∙ The President has recently issued stringent guidelines on methane emissions that will force responsible behavior in the fracking industry;
· We can talk about racial and economic inequality;
· We’re preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East;
· Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions;
· Insurance companies now must cover contraception;
· We capped profits for health insurance companies;
· Millions of people now have the economic security of knowing they won’t be bankrupted by medical bills;
· Renewable energy is booming;
· Almost 200 countries — including China, the world’s largest carbon polluter — have pledged to address climate change; and
· We joined with the world’s other great powers to forge an international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes — without firing a single shot.
Also, unemployment has been cut in half.
The nation’s financial system was rescued as part of a wider effort of rescuing the general economy. Now, they are forced to hold higher reserves, their ability to gamble with other people’s money and taxpayer insured deposits have been limited, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recovered billions from fraudulent banks and other financial institutions. And they have paid over $100 billion in fines and penalties.
Some large financial institutions have agreed to split up or are considering it. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized, have turned a profit since under government control, and have deposited more than $200 billion in profits in the US Treasury.
Medical inflation has slowed more than any time in the past 50 years, 90 percent of US citizens have healthcare coverage, and the actuarial life of Medicare has been extended more than 15 years — and it’s only been less than six years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act.
All of this was done in the aftermath of the worst financial collapse of our lifetimes, and the first truly global economic collapse in the world’s history. And yet, even though the collapse started here, the U.S. has recovered faster than any other developed nation and has created more jobs than all the others combined.
But to hear some of the most rabid Sanders supporters, Obama is some throwback to 1990s Republicanism, and Hillary’s even worse.
However, when you consider his record, and despite historic levels of Republican obstruction, President Obama’s agenda has been of historic consequence and, yes, revolutionary.
# # #