Conservative label poised for stigma

· Among the Barbarians

Liberals often complain that the liberal “brand” has become sullied by its relentless tarring from the right as the philosophy of weakness, equivocation, elitism, wastefulness, and self-delusion.
This is nothing new. Kennedy had to defend the term liberal long before Dukakis danced around it. Kerry ducked it and couldn’t resist the liberals’ favorite sophist tactic: “You’re not even really conservative.” (OK, he actually said “‘compassionate Conservative’ … what does that really mean?” but his point was the same)
In Yes, These Are Conservatives at MyDD, Chris Bowers turns the whole thing on its head at last.
Stop saying “these people are not true conservatives.” Stop trying to sell liberalism as the natural response to honest bedrock conservatism. Accept that the meaning of the label conservative has also changed, and that it’s poised for ruin.
Conservatives now control two branches of the federal government, a majority of statehouses, and a plurality of state legislatures. Their grip on the judicial branch has strengthened.
Over the course of the next two to four years (and beyoond), the liberal opposition headquartered in the Democratic party should be prepared to point out the weakness, equivocation, elitism, wastefulness, and dishonesty of the ruling conservative ideology.