If there's one thing Bernie Sanders can do, it's paint a beautiful dream of all the things he will accomplish if elected president. But after watching his campaign for a few months now, I'm left to wonder if he has much connection to the real world. How is he going to actually get any of his promises into law? Can he bring any of them to fruition?
He doesn't seem to realize that he cannot do that alone. There is a Congress in Washington that must approve what he wants to do. What has he done to make sure he will have a friendly Congress to work with? The answer is NOTHING. He has not campaigned for any Democrats, and he has not raised any money for Democratic candidates (or the DNC). He seems to think his "revolution" will automatically bring a flood of new Democrats into Congress, without him having to do anything.
That's not reality. The truth is that his socialist label (which he wears much more proudly than the Democratic label) will probably scare many Democratic candidates. Instead of uniting with his campaign, most are far more likely to separate themselves from it.
The best case scenario for the Senate is that the Democrats become the majority. But don't fool yourself into thinking it'll be a filibuster-proof majority (if it happens). There will not be the votes to override a filibuster by the GOP, and you can bet the GOP will filibuster any of Bernie's radical changes.
The hopes for the House are not even that good. It is possible that Democrats will gain some House members, but almost no one believes they will have the majority in the House. The Republicans will still be able to block anything Bernie proposed -- just like they do to President Obama.
So, how is Bernie going to overcome a do-nothing, block-everything Republican Congress? The only answer I've heard from him is that he'll bring in so many new voters with his revolution that they'll force Congress to go along with Bernie programs and proposals. Are you kidding me? The Republican Congress has already showed us that you can't "force" them to do anything -- no matter how many people want it.
Remember that 80% to 90% of the people want loopholes closed in the background check law for gun purchases. Congress didn't care, and won't even seriously discuss doing that. And substantial majorities of the public favor raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, protecting gays from discrimination in the workforce, higher taxes for the rich, making corporations pay their fair share of taxes, making sure we have clean air and water, and stopping the export of good American jobs. Has the Republican Congress allowed a serious discussion of any of these things (let alone a vote on them)? Of course not.
Most of the Republicans in the House are in safe gerrymandered districts -- and as long as they say nutty right-wing things, they can get re-elected. They don't have to care about what the public wants.
I think Bernie knows he is making promises he can't keep. But even sadder, I think many of his supporters know that also. A progressive blogger that I have always respected said as much a couple of days ago. He said Bernie's supporters (like him) know Bernie can't get anything done if elected, but that doesn't matter. They are voting for a dream -- a idea. That may make them feel better, but it doesn't do anything to help hurting Americans.