But this fissure within the Democratic Party is directly tied to Obama’s legacy. The former president inflamed progressives, empowered and normalized them, but never quite delivered on his lofty promises of change. Even as Obama set the stage for his party’s hard-left shift, he was forced — to his endless frustration — to live within the realities of a representative republic.

Even recently, Obama — just like the progressives running against his legacy — praised Medicare for All as a “good new idea,” despite the fact that its success would mean the repeal of his signature achievement, ObamaCare.

If Obama doesn’t believe in his legacy, why should his ideological progeny cling to it?

In reality, the former president has always been something of an anomaly: a politician who, though personally admired by many voters, is a terrible advocate for anything other than himself. Some Democrats, it seems, have tricked themselves into believing that Obama’s policies, rather than the man, are popular.