The other criticism I have is more practical. And that is: How does a Democratic president enact her or his agenda without a Democratic Congress?
Naturally, in the era of intractable gerrymandering, a Democratic House is probably a dream, but a Democratic Senate is still well within reach. It behooves any Democratic presidential nominee to help fund down-ballot races as much as possible. Even if Democrats can't take back the House, the bluer the better. And a Democratic majority in the Senate is a huge asset to a Democratic president.
Hillary Clinton has been doing significant down-ballot fundraising. Trevor LaFauci reported earlier this month:
While Hillary Clinton's Victory Fund has raised at least $26 million for the national Democratic Party and its state groups, Sanders has a raised a total of $1,000 and that amount was provided by the Democratic National Committee for him to open a joint fundraising account. However he has yet to add to this account and has yet to do any fundraising for anyone not named Bernie Sanders.Last night, Rachel Maddow asked Bernie Sanders about whether he will start doing fundraising for down-ballot races at any point:
MADDOW: I have to ask, though, if you have thought about whether or not you will, at some point, turn your fundraising ability toward helping the Democratic Party more broadly, to helping their campaign committees for the House and the Senate and for other – for other elections?Okay. There's nothing wrong with having your focus on winning the nomination. Presumably, Hillary Clinton is pretty focused on winning the nomination, too. That is her immediate priority.
SANDERS: Well, right now, Rachel, as you are more than aware, our job is to – what I'm trying to do is to win the Democratic nomination. […]
MADDOW: Well, obviously your priority is the nomination, but I mean you raised Secretary Clinton there. She has been fundraising both for the nomination and for the Democratic Party. At some point, do you think – do you foresee a time during this campaign when you'll start doing that?
SANDERS: Well, we'll see. And, I mean right now, again, our focus is on winning the nomination.
But she's clearly also looking forward to when she might get the nomination, and might thereafter get the presidency, and investing in building as strong a Democratic caucus as possible, which will be key to her executive success, if elected.
I understand Sanders' contempt for the Democratic establishment, and I'm sure that's part (if not all) of what's underwriting his resistance to down-ballot funding. But, that said, given how the US government works, and our current two-party system, I am struggling to see how he imagines he's going to get anything accomplished if he doesn't make nice with the Democratic establishment at some point.
Because the Republicans sure aren't going to help him.