On Friday evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders told supporters in Syracuse, N.Y., that the Democratic Party was not yet embracing the progressive platform planks that he wanted — that the whole movement wanted. On Sunday, he repeated himself, telling CNN's Jake Tapper that "we're going to take that fight to Orlando, where the entire committee meets in two weeks, and if we don't succeed there, we are certainly going to take it to the floor of the Democratic convention."
In the meantime, four of Sanders's five appointees to the platform drafting committee had signed off on their partially finished product. (Cornel West was the lone holdout.) Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who had starred in an America Rising video that aimed to show Democrats that they were getting sold out, voted for the platform and praised its "significant accomplishments that move our party firmly toward justice, fairness, and inclusion."
What were they? Two days later, the Democratic National Committee has yet to release the actual draft language. It has released summaries that suggest this platform has advanced from the bland language of 2012, when the goal of the little-watched drafting committee was to make no noise.
Minimum wage. The 2012 platform was rote, promising that Democrats would "raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation." That did not happen, something the party could always blame on Republican control of the House. According to the party, the new platform "already included language declaring that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour," but with a commitment that fell short of what Sanders wanted. It also calls for an end to "sub-minimum wage for tipped workers"; tipped workers were not mentioned in the 2012 platform.
Earned income tax credit. The 2012 platform praised the president and congressional party for expanding the EITC, with no detail. The draft language for 2016 apparently includes language "expanding the EITC to low wage workers who don’t have children and to workers age 21 and older," courtesy of Ellison.
Breaking up banks. The 2012 platform treated the 2008 financial crisis as an afterthought, something dealt with by an effective president. "Democrats are holding Wall Street accountable, bringing new transparency to financial markets, and ending taxpayer-funded bank bailouts and the era of 'too big to fail,'" it said. The new platform, according to the DNC, suggests "an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall and breaking up too big to fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy" and notes that Clinton's allies (who made up a majority of committee members) suggested this.
Social Security. In 2012, Democrats again praised themselves for protecting the status quo against Republicans. "Democrats believe that Social Security and Medicare must be kept strong for seniors, people with disabilities, and future generations," they wrote. This year, they adopted language that would raise the cap — a long-held goal of progressives — and start "taxing some of the income of people above $250,000." The summary language describes this as "expanding" Social Security, though it falls short of what many Sanders voters want.
Immigration. The new platform calls for the closing of private detention centers, a Sanders goal not mentioned in any way four years ago.
Criminal justice reform. In 2012, the party claimed to "understand the disproportionate effects of crime, violence, and incarceration on communities of color and are committed to working with those communities to find solutions" and promised to "fight inequalities in our criminal justice system." This year's language is more specific: It calls for "ending the era of mass incarceration, shutting down private prisons, ending racial profiling, reforming the grand jury process, investing in re-entry programs, banning the box to help give people a second chance and prioritizing treatment over incarceration for individuals suffering addiction," according to the summary.
Those are all wins for Sanders — but Sanders, crucially, has been describing the platform as too compromised, as he negotiates for more. The only part of his reaction to the platform that made news was his criticism.