I’ve read some takes along the lines of: “We don’t need Bernie anymore because all of the likely 2020 dem candidates now support his platform.” I’m not convinced.
All of the leading candidates for the 2008 nomination supported a public option, but once elected, Obama bargained the public option away behind closed doors.
The point is, when a candidate adopts progressive policy positions because of political expediency, it means very little. For example, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker now support Medicare For All, which is great! The more supporters, the better.
But why didn’t Senators Gillibrand or Booker voice their support for M4A in 2015 or 2016? The answer is obvious. Eyeing 2020, both Gillibrand and Booker are trying to gain favor with the party’s base.
So just how solid do you think Gillibrand and Booker’s commitment to M4A is? Can you imagine a President Gillibrand or a President Booker relentlessly barnstorming the country to garner public support for Medicare for All? I for one, cannot.
Bottom line: if you want to know what candidates truly believe, look at the policies they promoted BEFORE they had presidential aspirations. I’m not saying the 2020 nominee has to be Bernie, but the guy has been pushing single-payer legislation for 30 years.
That counts for a hell of a lot in my book.