“I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive that likes to get things done,”said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the first primary debate. Nevermind that the things Clinton helped ‘get done’ — the disastrous Iraq war, the Patriot Act — should have never been done, the purpose of this jab was twofold:
- Leverage her status as a Washington insider to present herself to voters as a pragmatist uniquely qualified to get things done as president.
- Draw a contrast between herself and her main rival, independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who she insinuated is a progressive that does not get things done.
This line of attack works because it plays on a common stereotype that socialists and progressives are more interested in ideological purity than in making real-world progress, but when we compare the first eight years of their respective Senate legislative records, it turns out Sanders got more meaningful…
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