A HARD political problem faces Hillary Clinton, as she works out how to defeat Senator Bernie Sanders, the left-wing populist running against her for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her most powerful argument is that Mr Sanders is peddling fantasies to his millions of adoring, mostly young supporters, as when he says that he knows how to make Congress and the American public accept a European-style health system that would expand the size of the federal government by 40% in a stroke (though not one Republican member of Congress voted for the far less ambitious health law that is Obamacare).
Here is why making that argument is hard: making it really stick requires convincing those same Sanders supporters that they are naïve and deluding themselves about how American politics works. It is not enough to challenge Mr Sanders’s facts and figures, or quibble with his tactics. For Mr Sanders’s claims and calls for political revolution would not matter a bit if they did not make so many Democratic hearts sing. On February 9th those singing hearts gave Mr Sanders a thumping win over Mrs Clinton in New Hampshire’s presidential primary,...Continue reading