As always, John, a solid take on the situation. Pelosi did well in organizing the House for this year's midterms and she has earned her speaker-ship, although the problem of age-ism in the top slots is still a problem. But let's set that aside. We should give Sanders credit where it is due--and that is in making it possible for the the progressive wing of the Democratic party to organize behind a single leader at a national level. While it is true that the party has moved further left--ahead of and now along with the American public on so many issues as gun control, marijuana legalization, health care, and minimum wage--what it did not have was a champion who took that vision into the presidential arena. (Note that person was not Obama, although he might have given a good impression of having done so, especially given his community organizing background.) The progressive left had had occasional voices on the floor of the House in such highly vocal, often theatrical (and, in the end, self-detonating) actors as Alan Grayson of Florida and Anthony Weiner of New York and sometime populist rostrum thumpers as Tom Harkin, but really, who ever took it to the presidential level? Perhaps we came closest with the again self-immolating Jon Edwards and his “Two Americas.” But, in the end, it was Sanders who gave a unified national voice without blowing himself in the process through personal aggrandizement or just plain bizarre behavior. (Warren, in this regard, is the latecomer to the game--with a further left politics ahead of her but no record behind her.) I'd also add that one key difference between Sanders now and Sanders then is that Sanders as an independent was able to move the Democratic party left so that now those within the actual party system can represent his politics. This change is also one of the more tactile reasons Sanders isn't welcome to the Party's party. In brief, unlike Clinton, Sanders never paid any dues by being a part of the Democratic exchange system. He was a spoiler in one of the truest senses of the terms: he ran for the votes of the one party that he deigned not to join. Notwithstanding the DNC fight that recently occurred over superdelegates (rightly decided by reducing their impact), if there was any one person who didn't deserve superdelegate votes--the votes of Democratic politicians who did pay their dues to the party in every which way one can define the paying of dues--that one person was the very individual who never paid any of those dues: Bernie Sanders.