“We wouldn’t be there without him putting out $6 trillion," Sen. Tim Kaine says about Democrats agreeing to the largest social spending bill in American history due to Sanders' original high price-tag
Over the last few years, Bernie Sanders has been blasted by a growing number of hardened progressives as a sell out, fraud, and sheepdog for the Democratic Party as these former supporters grow more frustrated by what they view as Sanders’ evolution from the author of a revolutionary takeover of the Democratic Party to inside deal-maker within the party.
Although I’ve never gone as far as coining Sanders as a fake, I’ve certainly done my fair share of criticizing him for weakness during his two presidential campaigns—and glaring mistakes—along with him receiving zero concessions in exchange for his Biden endorsement and getting steamrolled by Biden on a $15 minimum wage, healthcare, and other progressive priorities in the early days of Biden’s presidency.
But, whether a journalist, activist, or pissed off YouTube viewer, one has to be willing to mix in credit and props along with their criticism.
Not only does Sanders deserve a lot of it right now—but the very Squad that attributes Sanders’ presidential runs as motivators for them to run for Congress deserves a heightened pressure campaign for them to start following suit.
“Bernie Sanders is like a human embodiment of shifting the Overton Window,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Politico about the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package Democrats just pledged to pass.
When added to the over $600 billion in new infrastructure spending potentially coming from a separate bipartisan deal, that’s $4.1 trillion in new spending on infrastructure, healthcare, childcare, and climate change provisions.
“We wouldn’t be there without him putting out $6 trillion,” Kaine added on Sanders.
What Kaine, as corporate and establishment as they come, is referring to is the fact that the only reason Democrats agreed to $3.5 trillion for the bill—which would, among other things, provide free universal pre-K, extending the child tax credit, expand Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing, and enact climate change provisions including creating an 80 percent clean electricity and dropping carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030—is because Sanders set the tone for negotiations early by first promising not to vote for a bipartisan infrastructure bill without an additional large Democratic-only reconciliation bill.
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