It would probably be easier to list the presidents who were less “qualified” than Clinton than those who were more, and the idea that she was the most qualified is a joke.

I could not agree with you more.

When it came to the general, discussion of substantive policy virtually ceased. Clinton ran a “vote for me because Trump sucks even worse” campaign (and Trump was running the same campaign on her).

Yep. Amazing, that somebody running against a candidate as poor as Trump still managed to snatch defeat from the almost-certain jaws of victory.

In that sort of dispute, Sanders represents the party base. There’s no popular support for the rightist policies of the “neoliberals,” which is the thing that divides them from the liberals. They have a lot of money behind them — when you pander to the bottom line of Big Money interests, you’ll always have that. Those are the grounds on which the dispute will be fought.

From looking at Pew and Gallup polling on self-identifiers, I think the base is rather evenly split between those who identify as “progressives” and those who simply identify as Democrats.

The “dispute” isn’t fought nationally; it’s fought state by state. The progs can take 100% of the vote in CA, NY, NJ…etc….and they still lose the electoral if they can’t move votes in WI, MI, PA, OH, and/or FL into their column.

That’s a rather different challenge, hence my reference to a Manchin type figure. A Manchin wins those states against a Trump outright, no contest. A Sanders? Highly questionable.

Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.