The neoliberal Democrats in New Jersey just passed a $15 an hour minimum wage through the state assembly:
The Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to give minimum wage workers in New Jersey a nearly 80 percent bump in their pay that Gov. Chris Christie is all but certain to strike down.
For the Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly, the veto is not so much a threat as it is a procedural step. They've said they plan to take the wage hike to the voters through a constitutional referendum, bypassing the Republican governor if he intervenes.
The Senate still has to pass the bill, which would increase New Jersey's $8.38 minimum wage to $15, and to what its sponsors say is a more livable wage in a high-cost state where the average two-bedroom apartment costs more than $1,300 a month.
Last month, both New York and California passed $15 an hour minimum wage bills, which were signed into law by their Democratic governors. New York Democrats further appeased their 1% masters by throwing in 12 weeks of paid family leave.
Dropping the snark, it is extremely important that we all recognize the balance of power in the Democratic Party has shifted during the second term of Obama's presidency. It started around the time that Larry Summers was defeated for Federal Reserve Chair, carried over into the successful effort to reform the filibuster (which literally started here on Daily Kos), then on to Net Neutrality, securing the Iran peace deal, the recent ruling to expand overtime to 12,000,000 workers, the defeat of Keystone XL, the $15 minimum wage, and so many more things.
Progressive advocacy runs the party now. Roughly 3.3 million people have donated to either Sanders (2.2 million) or Clinton (1.1 million) at this point--roughly one of out of every seven people who have voted. In 2008, we were nowhere near those totals--even Obama didn't have that ratio on his own.
The rank and file of the party are now majority liberal. In 2014, the majority of people who voted for Democrats for House were self-identified liberals. In the 2016 presidential primaries, over 60% of voters have been self-identified liberals--up from 46% in 2008.
Liberals lost in the Democratic Party for a long time. It is hard to let go of old grudges, and difficult to recognize new trends. But this is your Democratic Party establishment now--it is passing $15 minimum wage laws, and even Hillary Clinton says she would sign into law.
This is our party. We spent a long damn time fighting for it, and we finally won it. Now we need to make sure it wins in November.