“We don’t have an endless amount of time,” is how Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his presidential candidacy. Sort of. The democratic socialist made the remark at the top of a press conference in April 2015, when he revealed he would be running for the White House. The utterance was neither a reference to the warming of the planet nor the shrinking of Americans’ real incomes. Nor was it meant to allude to Corporate America’s grip on the US government and the impending calamities they portend. Sanders was on his lunch break and on the grounds of the US Capitol—limiting what he could say and do, per federal finance laws and his daily workload. “I’ve got to get back,” he said.
Although it was a throw-away remark, we latched onto it. Not only was Sanders foreshadowing his Larry David sending-up, with an introduction to his observational style, it casually evinced a scrappiness and an awareness he has demonstrated time and time since: “Let’s get on with this.”
While far from perfect, Sanders has proven that Americans can credibly challenge their millionaire and billionaire overlords. Americans who have suffered for decades under a neoliberal consensus don’t want to wait any longer for someone to tear it down. They don’t have an endless amount of time, either.
It is something we identify with. When we started The District Sentinel, we set out to create a progressive record to help document how callous elites and poisonous conventional wisdom dominate Washington—and how they can both be challenged. Like Sen. Sanders, we set out to do it on something of a wing and prayer. We hope to one day have a small sliver of the impact that he has already made.
To that end, we published We Don’t Have an Endless Amount of Time: A First Draft of 2015. It documents our first full year of progressive policy and legislative journalism in Washington DC, covering a rage of topics. Issues discussed include: the Iran Deal, criminal justice reform, the Mediterranean Refugee Crisis, corporate dominance of trade policy and Wall Street, and, of course, Sen. Sanders’ campaign.
The book focuses on stories we covered throughout the year, with some personal anecdotes intertwined, and fills in the gaps by highlighting important reports written by others. We Don’t Have An Endless Amount of Time paints a picture about the activities of the United States government throughout 2015, and helps explain why the presidential campaign—at least on the Democratic side—has thus far been characterized by informed mistrust of the status quo.