Lately, we have heard many Bernie supporters claim we need a revolution to save us from the corrupt Democratic establishment. Instead of speaking on the qualifications of their candidate, Bernie Sanders, they immediately label the establishment as bad and against the people. Well let’s talk about that Democratic establishment that Bernie so desperately has tried to paint as horrible. Let me remind you of just what the establishment has accomplishmed over the last seven years. Now, you can choose to believe this or you can immediately go back to defending Bernie as the anti-establishment candidate that we need.
1. Over the last century, five presidents have attempted to create and provide universal healthcare to the American people, yet it was the Democratic establishment and the leadership of Democratic President Barack Obama that achieved the first major success towards Universal Healthcare by passing the Affordable Care Act, even with extreme Republican obstructionism. The ACA or Obamacare was passed in 2010 after the Democratic establishment stood up for the American people to offer the first major step towards full universal healthcare.
2. When the American people suffered through one of the worst financial disasters in modern history, it was the Democratic establishment who fought and pushed through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in 2010 in an effort to re-regulate the financial sector. The new law tighented capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions. It went a step further than the previous Glass-Steagal as it also included non-traditional banking establishments. It required derivitives to be sold on clearinghouses, mandated large banks provide “living wills” to avoid devastating bankruptcies and limited trading abilities using customer funds for profit. It also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was a major addition to crack down on abusive lending practices. Remember, this was the establishment that worked hard to get these protections put in place while facing Republican obstruction tactics.
3. It was the Democratic establishment that passed a $787 billion stimulus program called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. This was created and signed into law by President Obama to spur economic growth and set off an economic recovery that spurred millions of new jobs after the previous administration was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. I would also like to remind you that we have had 71 consecutive months of job creation and have an unemployment rate of 4.9%. Please let that sink in while you continue to blame the establishment for all of your problems.
4. In 2011, it was the Democratic leadership and establishment that ordered special forces to raid a secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that ended up taking out the most wanted man in the world, Osama bin Laden. Should I also remind you who the Secretary of State was in the war room during that raid? In case you missed it, that would be Secretary Hillary Clinton.
5. It was the Democratic establishment who finally ended the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy against allowing members of our LGBT community to openly serve in our military. It was the establishment who pushed for marriage equality finally achieving the goal with the historic Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v Hodges in 2015 giving our LGBT members an historic win of civil rights after many decades of opposition.
6. It was the Democratic establishment who protected and confirmed two liberal Supreme Court Justices when we needed them the most.
7. It was the Democratic establishment that ended the Bush torture policies which, I would like to remind you, caused many of our allies to lose faith in the United States and our ability to lead the world. In a survey from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, favorable opinions towards the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries during the period from 2008-2011, with an average increase of 26 percent.
8. It was the Democratic establishment under the leadership and guidance of President Obama that tightened the sanctions on Iran and made a historic agreement to curb nuclear proliferation in Iran. The deal reduced the number of centrifuges from 19,500 to only 6,000. It also required Iran to remove all but 300kg of enriched uranium, while also requiring the Fordow enrichment site to be decommissioned and to also make it impossible to produce weapons-grade plutonium at the Arak site.
9. It was the Democratic establishment who kicked banks out of the Federal Student Loan Program and expanded Pell grants, saving the US Treasury over $67 billion over the span of ten years. This also allowed an additional $36 billion to go to expansion of Pell grants for low-income citizens.
10. It was the Democratic establishment that reached out to a global coalition of world leaders to remove Moammar Gaddafi from power in an effort to free the Libyan people from a terroristic dictator in 2011. While many like to call this a mistake, we saved thousands of lives and no American lives were lost in the operation.
Let me finish on this last little nugget of truth about the establishment that Senator Sanders likes to attack.
Bernie Sanders has been in Congress for over 25 years and has little to show in terms of successful implementation of his big policy promises. Also, it was the Democratic establishment that shared Democratic voter data to his candidacy when they had every right to keep it from his campaign, even after his own staff was caught illegally viewing the private data of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was the Democratic establishment that invited him to our DNC fundraisers where he happily mingled and hob-knobbed with rich donors while he eagerly played the establishment game. It was the Democratic establishment that helped funded his Senate campaign, which he eagerly accepted without complaint. He happily took the money and took the re-election without any complaints against them. It was the establishment that opened our coffers to insure he got re-elected when they could have easily closed their wallets and filled the seat with a true Democratic candidate. But go ahead and blame our establishment for his failure of pushing his qualifications and progressive record of legislative victories.
This election is about the qualifications of our candidates, yet Bernie Sanders is short on qualifications and long on blame. His supporters refuse to discuss his record and eagerly blame the establishment and anyone else for his lack of traction. For this reason, I stand by my endorsement of Hillary Clinton and I will continue pushing the successful Democratic records of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. If you want Bernie Sanders to win the election, you need to start pushing his legislative record and the reasons why he is the best candidate. I have a feeling that his supporters will continue talking about the revolution without even trying to acknowledge his actual congressional record and that is a shame. While Bernie Sanders has some great ideas, so does Santa Claus. Santa Claus offers a bunch of free stuff also, but the reality is your parents and my parents paid for that. At least be honest when you support Bernie by saying he is offering a bunch of free stuff without the ability to pay for that. You can not promise the world when you fail to have the key to the vault. That key lies in the hands of Congress and Bernie hasn’t been able to get that key to open his magic vault.