Friday, November 05, 2004

Will They Ever Learn?

I've been looking at a fairly even mix of liberal and conservative commentary about the election. Reasonable thinkers on both sides are talking about the clarity of the mandate the country gave to Bush and the Republican Party. They stress the need to reconcile differences and move forward positively.

The more extreme liberals, however, don't seem to get it. In recent years they succeeded in taking the Democratic Party away from moderates, and they're responsible for the Party's breathtaking defeats. But they haven't learned a thing.

For example, Jane Smiley, writing at, offers this analysis ("progressives" is the term for doctrinaire liberals these days):

The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America.... The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

Their sneering, elitist approach to the rest of their countrymen, combined with their death grip on a far-left agenda, will doom the Democratic Party to its current marginal status for a generation. The only hope for moderate Democrats, who are probably a majority of the Party, is that a new leadership will crawl out of the rubble and get the Party back on course.

And for the record, I'm not referring to Hillary Clinton. If they are so obtuse as to nominate her in 2008, they'll suffer an even more painful defeat.


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