As we reported last night, the rise of Donald Trump to the top echelons of the Republican Party is one of the most stunning political stories in the past century.
Also, the campaign of Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton all she can handle, and who would have predicted that?
The popularity of both men is based on promises, things they say they will do if elected president.
Talking Points believes that many, perhaps most followers of Trump and Sanders do not really care whether the men can deliver.
It's their tone, point of view, philosophy that is mesmerizing millions of voters.
Because the truth is Sanders and Trump will not be able to do some of the things they are promising.
We believe they want to do them, but they will not be able to overcome our political structure.
Let's take Donald Trump first.
He says he will build a wall between the U.S.A. and Mexico. That is certainly possible.
It will not be a continuous wall. There are natural barriers that will stop that.
However, the construction of an effective barrier is possible and would happen if Trump is elected president:
TRUMP: “We are going to have a strong border – we are going to build a wall. It will be a real wall. A real wall! ((EDIT)) Who is going to pay for the wall?”
One problem: Mexico will not pay for the wall no matter what a President Trump might threaten.
His proposed action to stop Mexicans illegally in the USA from sending money back to their family and friends is impossible.
No one can stop the mail.
Mr. Trump also says he will deport perhaps as many as 12 million illegal aliens within two years.
Again, the courts would likely block a mass deportation and if they did not, each individual alien would have to have a court hearing before any action would be taken.
Right now the average wait time for an immigration hearing is about two years.
Realistically for a mass deportation to take place, hundreds of billions of dollars would have to be allotted. And even then, the actual movement of that many people would be unprecedented.
And what about Mr. Trump's wish to temporarily ban Muslims who live in areas dominated by terrorism from coming to America.
Again, the courts would likely block the action based on the equal protection clause, whereby you cannot single out a specific group for legislative action.
Finally, Donald Trump wants to force China from devaluing its currency.
He says if they do not stop that there will be a trade war.
Here Mr. Trump is on solid ground.
The trade deficit with China was $366 billion last year.
That means they get all of those billions free and clear above what we are buying from them.
Donald Trump could certainly renegotiate this appalling situation. That is a job killer for Americans.
On the Bernie Sanders front, it is a similar situation.
He says he will break up the big banks:
SANDERS: “They are too powerful economically, they are too powerful politically. And that is what I believe, and many economists believe. Time to break them up.” Of course the courts would stop that. The only way the federal government can destroy a banking concern is if it poses "a grave threat to the financial stability of the United States."
No president can break up any private enterprise unless there is a drastic reason to do so, and
then the federal apparatus would have to approve, not a single individual like a president.
Senator Sanders is also proposing much higher taxes for just about everybody in the country.
But he would never get that through Congress if Republicans hold even 40 senators in that chamber.
The GOP would block any drastic tax increase.
Sanders says he will defeat ISIS by somehow convincing the Muslim nations of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and the Emirates to launch ground attacks against the terror group.
You can file this under amazing, fantasy, or, to be more kind, wishful thinking.
Only if the West leads would anti-ISIS Muslim nations initiate ground action.
Finally Senator Sanders wants to add $14 trillion in government spending over a 10-year period to provide healthcare run by the government.
The national debt is now approaching $20 trillion, so, again, this is a dangerous fantasy.
Sanders says he would raise taxes on business and workers to pay for the $14 trillion, but nearly every single analysis of the subject says the new taxes would not even come close to covering the health expense.
An out of control national debt could collapse the U.S. economy, and punitive taxation would likely strangle economic growth.
Senator Sanders is talking theory when reality dictates that the federal government must stop running up massive debt.
We are not Sweden here with nine million people.
All government programs are rife with wasteful spending and inefficient performance.
Does Sanders have a magic wand to fix that?
I mean we can't even provide an efficient health care system for our vets, and he believes the feds can serve 323 million people?
Summing up, Trump could probably do two out of the five things he is promising.
Sanders, zero for five.
But again, it doesn't really matter to many American voters. They like what they are hearing from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and that's enough.
And that's “The Memo”.