The sobering reality of Barack Obama's presidency has been the difficulty of achieving the change that he promised. The surprising development of the 2016 campaign is the degree to which a large segment of Democratic voters, at least in the early voting states, appear to have forgotten or rejected that lesson.
They seem willing to entrust their hopes of retaining the presidency to a candidate envisioning change far more radical than anything Obama ever dangled before them.
Bernie Sanders' voters remind me of women who, once the baby is delivered, instantly forget the pain of childbirth and are prepared to do it all over again. Except that this analogy fails when it comes to the question of ultimate payoff. Why would voters, after watching Obama's excruciating experience with congressional Republicans, believe that Sanders could deliver his promised "political revolution"?
For all the fevered Obama-is-a-socialist rhetoric of Republican imaginings, the facts remain that he ran -- and has governed -- largely as a rather centrist, pragmatist Democrat. Sanders is an actual socialist.