Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee for president, but he’s certainly achieved greater success on the ideological front. His surprising showing during the primaries gave him a platform to offer his voice in shifting the party more to the left. The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel wrote about the draft of the 2016 Democratic platform, which is (surprise!) more to left on taxes, abortion, and the death penalty. On Israel, Democrats favor a two-state solution, which isn’t an alien concept, while their stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership sort of tacitly acknowledges that the party is divided heavily on trade. They note that any agreements must protect workers and the environment.
Yet, abortion seems to have taken an odious left turn, with calls to repeal the Hyde Amendment that bars federal funding of abortion:
We will continue to oppose — and seek to overturn — federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment ... we support the repeal of harmful restrictions that obstruct women’s access to health care information and services, including the “global gag rule” and the Helms Amendment that bars U.S. assistance to provide safe, legal abortion throughout the developing world.
On taxes, Democrats want to codify the Buffet Rule:
Democrats will claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminate tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, and crack down on inversions and other methods companies use to dodge their tax responsibilities. We will make sure that our tax code rewards businesses that make investments and provide good-paying jobs here in the United States, not businesses that walk out on America. We will end deferrals so that American corporations pay U.S. taxes immediately on foreign profits and can no longer escape paying their fair share of United States taxes by stashing profits abroad. We will then use the revenue raised from fixing the corporate tax code to reinvest in rebuilding America and ensuring economic growth that will lead to millions of good-paying jobs.
We will ask those at the top to contribute to our country’s future by establishing a multimillionaire surtax to ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. In addition, we will shut down the “private tax system” for those at the top, immediately close egregious loopholes like those enjoyed by hedge fund managers, restore fair taxation on multimillion dollar estates, and ensure millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretaries.
They also want to close Gitmo and abolish the death penalty.
So, there’s some stuff that’s as expected in the socioeconomic sphere, though the language on Hyde pretty much confirms what we already know about liberal Democrats, which is that they’re the party of abortion. The only thing saving them from being labeled the pro-death party is the rather paradoxical provision that they want to abolish capital punishment. It appears that liberals have still not truly pondered when does life begin?
Yet, the fact that the Democratic National Committee gave Sanders one-third of the platform committee seats means that the lurch to the left on some issues was inevitable.