I mean who really gives a rat's whatever? The Republicans spend so much time talking about who the real conservative is and they don't really even agree what a conservative is. So this is, in many ways, all so dumb. How about those Americans who just want something done - you know, the pragmatic, problem-solving Americans who survived the frontier and built towns and communities from scratch?

But these are the primaries and we need to understand the dynamics that govern each party during this season. So we start with the Democrats. Bernie Sanders has decided to take on Hillary Clinton's record on a scale of whether or not she is a true "progressive". That may not mean a lot to most American voters - including the 35% who identify themselves as "conservative", the 40% or so who say they are "moderate", and even half of those who say they are "liberal". It appears to be very narrow and even isolating in today's America. But there is a method to this madness and allow me to disassemble the meaning of it all.

First, being a "progressive" clearly places a candidate in the very important wing of the Democratic party that includes Gene McCarthy (1968), George McGovern (1972), Mo Udall (1976), Ted Kennedy (1980), Gary Hart (1984), Jesse Jackson (1988), Howard Dean (2004), and Barack Obama (2008). Remember that ALL of these candidates were very competitive in both the primaries and at the rules and platform committees at the party's conventions those years. Two actually won the nomination, but importantly all won some concessions in the Democratic Party's hearts and minds, as well as platforms.

Secondly, while there is a strong orientation among all voters and specifically Democratic voters to support a problem-solver and someone who can lead, there is also the extraordinary circumstance among those in the middle class that they have lost ground, that the very rich have gotten richer, and that they have genuinely been losing ground. There is a palpable anger out there in both parties. But among Democrats, there is a sense that it is time to do something beyond the ordinary.

Thirdly, is the euphemism that Sanders has used thus far - and the degree to which it is working for him - that "real progressive" actually means "authentic". And the best way to exploit the greatest weaknesses of his opponent is not to call her a liar or a "corrupt politician", but to question her integrity on ideas. Sanders may be a socialist and a big spender but he is indeed exploiting a real weakness in Clinton. To a great degree it worked for him in Iowa. Clinton should have won in a landslide and she did not. Even the seemingly coin toss victories hang like a cloud as a metaphor of the fact that there always seem to be questions.

Sanders has raised $3 million after Iowa, as of this minute. He has the money and the message to go on probably until the Democratic National Convention in Cleveland. This is something that many of his predecessors - the ones named above have done before him. It worked for them even as it did not work well for the party's eventual nominee.