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In Defense of the Democratic Establishment

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Lach Litwer

As anyone who follows my social media knows, I support Hillary Clinton for president. I also like Bernie Sanders... his unabashed liberalism, his candor and his wild enthusiasm for making America that beacon on the hill, resonate with me as it does with many in my generation. But the Democratic establishment bashing I hear in his speeches is just plain wrong-headed.
The way he spits the words "We're taking on the democratic establishment" suggests a cabal of faux liberal stuffed shirts sipping wine in rooms with many leather bound books that smell of rich mahogany while the progressive agenda burns around them.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the last 20 years, the GOP has waged a very well-vunded, highly disciplined and inflexibly dogmatic campaign to undo many of the bedrock new deal, square deal, great society, and environmental victories our predecessors secured for the American people. Thanks to the efforts of policy experts, campaign operatives, fundraisers, media spokespersons and even politicians who are collectively known as the Democratic establishment, we've seen these crucial legal protections not simply defended from these attacks, but expanded!
Indeed, I shudder to think of the harm the GOP would have done in a post Tom Delay environment if not for the efforts of the Democratic establishment! So yes, I like Bernie Sanders. I'm glad he decided to come on over to the Democratic Party. But make no mistake, we do our best work when we cooperate over time, when we help one another, and when we reward good work with the opportunity to do more of it... that's called establishing our party, and if we want to keep winning on policy, we'd best get busy building up our vaunted Democratic establishment and be thankful the political and policy professionals who make it the tremendous progressive asset it is.

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