The one thing you need to keep in mind is that no matter how hard Sanders sells his personal agenda and how much work Hillary does to get his ideas across the Republican party is going to do all they can to stop everything. Voters who believe in the Sanders point of view need to get Democrats or sympathetic non-Democrats elected to any seats coming up for election. The Republicans are trying to hold the Supreme Court hostage in order to pressure the Oval Office to give it up. They have consistently gone against any bill proposed by the Democrats and wasted time and money doing it, thereby cheating the citizens of their taxes and rights.
It's not just the Republicans. The Republicans have been the focus of Congressional inaction for pretty much this entire decade because they opposed things like gay marriage, Obamacare, even routine stuff like budget bills (though that was mostly the fault of Ted Cruz and his Freedom Bloc). But the Democrats can be - and frequently are - just as bad
. The recently-released DNC e-mails showed that the Democrats were considering things like outing Bernie as an 'atheist' (he is Jewish, but how much of that is cultural and how much of that is truly religious, I don't know, but frankly it shouldn't matter a damn) in the Southern states in order to erode Bernie's support down there (since that's part of the Bible Belt). Why? Because Bernie represents an active threat to corrupt Congressmen, regardless of their party affiliation.
And even though the GOP tag has become synonymous with government inaction, keep in mind that not all Republicans are of the same stripe - most of the blame for political action can be laid at the feet of the Freedom Bloc, Ted Cruz, and the Tea Partiers. These are people who really believe the conservative line; most Republicans will compromise on principle if it means good political maneuvering or coming out ahead personally - but not these guys. Most of the recent budget and debt ceiling crises can be heavily attributed to the Freedom Bloc and Tea Party trying to essentially crash the federal government to prove that 'people don't need big government.'
This is, of course, like trying to demonstrate you can kill bees with a hammer. You can technically do it
, but you're getting how many
people caught up in the collateral damage? (At least in this case, you have a dead bee. In the case of the Tea Party argument, you might end up proving that no, people actually do need it, and in the worst way possible.)
Something to keep in mind - between the Freedom Bloc (House only), and the Tea Party, they constitute 80 of the House's 435 delegates (approximately 18%). In order for a bill to pass in the House, it needs the signatures of 290 representatives. The Democrats alone have 187, which means they need 103 of the House Republicans in order to pass a bill - if you exclude the Tea Party and Freedom Bloc, that means that approximately 60%
of the Republicans remaining have to vote in favor of the bill. (Math can be demonstrated if requested.)
It's not much better in the Senate - while officially, only 4 Senators belong to the Tea Party (as the Freedom Bloc does not exist there), a number of Senators have been identified as having 'Tea Party-like' principles. The official rolls and 'allies' of the Senatorial Tea Party brings the numbers up to 16. Math done similarly in the House shows that Democrats (and Bernie, the single Independent) would need to persuade about 55% of the remaining Republican Senators to pass a bill, approve an appointment, etc.
Quite simply, the far-right groups in Congress could be described with a variant of the old gay march saw - they're there, they're a pain in our derriere, get used to it.
Sanders is going to go after his pound of flesh. It's what he does and who he is. But in the end he's smart enough and pragmatic enough to know that if he doesn't swing all of his energy and support behind Clinton there is an extremely good chance we'll end up with TrumPence. Famous quote time: A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Most people remember this part - but they forget the part that comes after.I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
My particular worry is that by aligning with Clinton, it will give legitimacy to her particular political ethos (if she can be said to have one other than 'I must win'). Like Lincoln, I don't expect that to happen, but I expect that it will be a great battle for Bernie's political viewpoint to finally triumph.
It's not "good" per se. But I think on many social issues the Democrat-nominated judges more closely reflect the majority opinion of the American people. If that makes them "better" than their Republican-nominated counterparts is something everyone will have to decide for themselves, but it may be worth thinking about.
Three ex-SCOTUS justices are still alive today; John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, and David Souter. Of the three, two - Stevens and Souter - are considered liberal justices of the modern era. Stevens was nominated by Gerald Ford; Souter by Bush Sr. Stevens' appointment was barely contentious - approved with a 98-0 vote. Souter's appointment was approved with a 90-9 vote. Slightly more contested, but still not a nail-biter.
The key - which is the thing I keep telling my Democrat friends - is the Senate. During both appointments, the Senate was controlled by the Democrats. It doesn't freaking matter
who the President is, the President's only job is to find people to nominate for the position - whether or not that person gets approved is dependent on the makeup of the Senate. Trump & Pence can nominate David Duke for SCOTUS, but it won't matter a damn if the Republicans don't have the votes to approve him.
That general political sentiment of mine carries to the rest of Congress - it's why I'm voting for Jill Stein for President but largely voting Democrat for Congressional seats (and ones who have been confirmed as sharing Bernie's politics in particular). The political gridlock in Congress are part of why the executive order has been expanded and abused so much, and why SCOTUS is playing an increasingly important role.