Bernie Sanders has done an amazing great job identifying a key problem with our democracy — the corrupting influence of money in politics.

He has done an amazingly poor job in identifying—and building a movement for—real solutions that would actually solve the problem.

His stock answer about solutions is to talk about amending the constitution (not happening) or appointing justices to overturn Citizens United (not a remedy). In the first 100 days, he has committed to a string of small-bore transparency measures —again, changes that will change nothing. And when he finally gets around to addressing the only thing that could really have any effect—proposals to change the way congressional campaigns are funded—he says that is something to “move toward” “over the long term.”

“Over the long term” is not a solution.

I’m with Elizabeth Warren — changing the way campaigns are funded is something we should be pushing immediately, not in the long term. And I have lost patience with politicians who use this issue for their own political gain, without advancing the cause of getting America behind real and effective solutions.

Sanders’ strategy is a strategy for defeating Hillary Clinton. It is not a strategy for fixing this democracy. I know we all desperately want to believe it is more than it is. I want to believe that too. But again and again, Sanders gives no reason to believe that he would be able to enact any fundamental reform beyond what Clinton has also committed to — appointing justices who would reverse Citizen United. That is not enough.

Written by

law professor, activist.

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