So the question becomes, how would Sanders get any of his agenda passed short of having a progressive majority in the House and super-majority in the Senate? This weekend, Chuck Todd posed that question to him on Meet the Press. Here is Sanders' response:
What I understand is that the power of corporate America, Wall Street, the corporate media is so great that real change to transform our country does not take place unless millions of people begin to stand up and say very loudly and clearly that the United States government has got to represent all of us, and not just the top 1%.OK, but aren't millions of people already saying that? Sanders got even more specific when Todd asked him how he'd press his agenda with a House that will likely remain in Republican control.
No president, not Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, anybody else is going to be able to accomplish that unless millions of people stand up and say, "You know what? You guys are not going to get it all." 58% of all new income is not going to go to the top 1%. We're not going to have incredible, grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality.
What do we do? This is what you do. You say to the speaker of the House, "Hey, you don't want to negotiate with me? I think we should make public colleges and universities tuition free. And I think we should pay for a tax on Wall Street speculation."Ahhh...I get it. Once the Republicans see a million young people marching for college affordability, they'll totally cave and give them free tuition paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculators. Who cares what those fat-cats think - there are a million students standing out there making demands. Yeah, I can totally see that happening. Because standing outside Republican's window and protesting is a complete game-changer. If you ever doubted that, just watch how these Wall Streeters were cowered by OWS participants marching in the street. I'm sure the response from Congress to something like that would never be what Dick Cheney said when he was told that 2/3 of the American people didn't support the war in Iraq.
Now, do I think the Republican speaker of the House will agree with me? No, I don't think so. But I think he'll have to look out the window and see a million young people demonstrating and marching in Washington saying, "You know what? We want to see affordability in college."
After that one, we'll get a million people to march for a raise in the minimum wage. And another million to march for single payer healthcare. Then a million for an infrastructure bank. You see where this is going, don't you? Good thing gas is still relatively cheap - because you can count on lots of road trips to D.C.
Of course I'm being a little silly here. It just strikes me as odd for someone to claim that President Obama was naive about Republican opposition and then turn around and propose this as their supposedly non-naive alternative.