Ezra Klein from the Washington Post recently wrote a column about the irrelevance of liberalism's lack of a brand...
There is perhaps no surer signal that Democrats are about to suffer a terrific defeat than to see liberals begin discussing how to define, redefine, or otherwise burnish their "brand." So far as I'm concerned, this falls firmly in the "doesn't matter" category of American politics. In 2004, all liberals could talk about was the power of the conservative brand, and George Lakoff became an icon because of it. In 2006 and 2008, better branding didn't save Republicans from being devastated in the polls, leading Democrats to the first 60-vote Senate majority since the 1970s. So much for brands....Read the entire column here<--- (via Memeorandum)
Why am I blogging about this? Klein's analysis, like so many other liberal columns, is so irritatingly shallow a shot glass could be mistaken for the Pacific Ocean. Since he is a liberal himself I can't blame him for trying rationalize why the liberal brand is "doesn't matter," but his analysis must have come from an essay written by a 5th grader.
Klein concludes that while the country has always considered itself to be more conservative, especially in polling data, the lurching to the left that has taken place since the 30's by the liberal politicians we elect somehow put truth to the lie that we actually like liberalism and just don't know it because conservatives better brand themselves.
First off, the points of reference he uses point to the liberalism of yesteryear, especially at the end when he goes all the way back to 1936, BEFORE the Democratic Party left Ronald Reagan. If the Democrats of that time were to hear just 5 minutes of Obama, or any modern day liberal, giving a speech on anything they would be left bemused and wondering where they came from and why their accents sound so American.
Second, people are willing to apply the conservative label to themselves because they know the brand is something American, it's that specific. They don't gag when they see our flag, they support our troops WHEN they're fighting, and they believe Biden makes them feel like they can be VP too. They feel its something they can believe in, like their parents before them.
Lastly, liberals do have an identity, they just never have the guts to tell us about it because they know we would never dream of voting for them if we actually knew what they we were getting. That's why the number of people who would re-elect Obama currently hovers in the 30's, we're not interested in becoming repeat customers of the Enron of presidents.
By the way, liberalism only prevails at the polls when conservatism gets afflicted with the political version of mad cow disease. In the real world when cows get sick chicken farmers hit the jackpot. Its the same for liberals, everyone prefers a good burger, but we'll settle for chicken until the cows clean up their act....or until people get tired of the chickens spending all of our money, and offering themselves up for dinner to the countries that don't eat pork and beef, and telling us we're too dumb to cross the road without their help.
Be honest, does anyone have a solid idea of what Democrats actually campaigned FOR in 2006 and 2008.......other than being chickens who are impervious to mad cow disease?
Voters only elect Democrats when conservatives forget they're supposed to be accountable to them. That's when liberals get to skate by without having to talk about all the things that make them lay their rotten eggs...raising taxes, picking activist judges to undermine the constitution, and playing catcher (I'm not talking baseball) for the rest of the world, especially for the nations that hate us.
Do you get it? The entire left wing of the American political spectrum is just one big honkin' ball of opportunistic deceit that doesn't let crises go to waste. We get fooled into handing them the keys to the castle, they trash it like the rock stars they think they are, and then when they finally get tossed out the newly elected conservatives, for whatever reason, do little to nothing to reverse the damage.
Then we get towering pillars of intellect like Ezra Klein, concluding that the country actually loves the crap sandwich that they told us was fillet mignon.
Klein should have waited a month to write the column. The election would've shown him that he needed to conserve his energy so he could write about something that would make him sound a little more intelligent. He could start with "why liberalism is rejected when voters become aware of it."