“I am a progressive who gets things done.”
Let’s do a little Chomsky transform on this phrase:
Clinton claims to be a Progressive. On the surface she’s associating herself with the Progressive movements of the past that aimed to improve the lot of the common folk.
When she adds the qualifier: “who gets things done” she completely changes the meaning contained in the first part of her statement. She’s implying most Progressives don’t get things done. We can’t tell if she’s implying that she’s the only Progressive who is capable of getting things done. It’s clear she didn’t mention any contemporary Progressives who are getting things done. In order to understand what this statement in its entirety means we have to look at what those things that she got done actually were.
I’ll leave that to those interested in following that line of reasoning to work out. I’ll focus on this, instead:
It is entirely truthful to state that Progressives are not getting much done these days. Why is that? In today’s corporate-funded political system the deck is stacked against the common folk. Working class and middle class families, the elderly, the young, communities of color and/or communities predominately populated by those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale, in fact, the majority of Americans who are the common, politically unconnected folk who are no longer represented by their national and state governments.
Progressive issues are being co-opted by the political establishment. The politicians take control, rewrite the issue, and pass mutant legislation that turns the issue on its head and makes things worse for the common folk. The Affordable Care Act is a chief example. My sister, who is now covered by Medicare, reports the cost of her health insurance rates increased by $50 per month on January 1st… Living on a fixed income, she cannot easily absorb this increased expense.
The only Progressive issue that matters these days is the degree to which our political system has become corrupted, and the need to institute real and actual reforms to reverse the concentration of political and economic power special interests currently hold. Effectively address that issue and the rest will fall in line.
The bottom line is this, IMO: Hillary claims to be a Progressive, then pivots and changes the definition of what Progressive means. She’s not claiming she accomplished Progressive goals; she’s claiming she holds to Progressive ideals and willingly compromised those ideals in order to get something, anything, accomplished regardless of how badly that accomplishment damages the basic Progressive goal of improving the lot of all Americans.