Al Franken, Katrina vanden Heuvel and everyone's current favorite (though not mine) George Lakoff make an appearance, weighing in on the right wing media's distortion of the concept of liberalism, and what can be done about it. Vanden Heuvel, editor of the stalwart progressive weekly The Nation, said:
We have seen the right wage unrelenting war on the legitimacy of the kind of affirmative state with which modern liberals are identified. So you had a moment in the presidential debates where John Kerry, who by any measure is a liberal, refused to be categorized by that term. That loss of nerve has allowed conservatives both to define and demonize liberalism.Zerbisias adds:
Never mind that liberals fought for social security, civil rights, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, child labour legislation and the G.I. bill. Thanks to the right, its media mouthpieces, and a lack of cohesion on the left, knowledge of liberalism's benefits has slipped down the memory hole.There's also a reference to one of the campaign grenades that had my jaw dropping, the notion that supporters of Howard Dean were a "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show." Have any of these people ever been to Vermont??
It's funny, too, how those adjectives are all lumped together. Me, I love sushi, hate lattes, don't own a car, do read the New York Times, dismiss Hollywood - and body piercing, well, I'm noncommittal on that.