A few years ago, during the ascendancy of Donald Trump, there were many pundits, mostly on the political left, who contended that if Ronald Reagan were running today, he would be too far left for the Republican party. Well, the wishful thinking notwithstanding, President Reagan is still a hero among Republicans and Conservatives, and he accomplished all that he did despite his party never having a US House majority.
Along those lines, Barack Obama is still a hero among the Democrats and Progressives, but there is a school of thought that the Barack Obama who ran on the 2008 platform would be too far right for the modern Democratic party. We don’t think that is true, either, but the 2020 batch of candidates, or at least the ones with a reasonable shot at winning the nomination, are definitely far to the left of Barack Obama, 2008 model.
What’s more, today’s “moderates” are far to the left of Barack Obama, 2012 model and even the Hillary Clinton, 2016 model, although she has moved leftward at a rapid pace.
All of the major current candidates have promised more free stuff than Obama and Hillary combined (and that is going some) and they have absolutely no way to pay for any of it.
But the spending promises (or in the case of Republicans, the spending cuts) never seem to fully take place – largely because our Presidents are not dictators (the exaggerations of the House Impeachment managers aside), and Congress will have its say. We think it unlikely that the wild spending schemes, or most of them, anyway, would ever come to pass.