Democratic candidates in the presidential primary should make clear that there is no longer any ground for bipartisanship in Washington. The grounds for such a policy disappeared when the Republican Party was taken over by right wing extremists with a big assist from their corporate and billionaire backers years ago. In their understanding of political governance, there is no room for compromise. Win at any cost and take no prisoners are their guiding strategy when in power. Or, in the event that they find themselves in the minority, obstruct the legislative process, make government dysfunctional, and blame the other side for the dysfunction and obstruction. What is more, don’t give your enemy on the Democratic side of the aisle or in the White House even the semblance of a victory.

What is the takeaway from this for Democratic aspirants for the presidency? Talk straight to the people. Don’t create illusions about some non-existent ground for bi[partisan solutions to today’s social problems. Make the case for an election outcome that not only lands you in the White House, but secures Democratic control of Congress by a wide majority as well. It also doesn’t hurt to remind voters that President’s Roosevelt and Johnson enjoyed such congressional majorities and were thus able to forcefully address the problems and crises of their time.