Rush read most or all of this terrific editorial by Daniel Henninger and about why "ideology" is what voters crave in their politics these days. I wouldn’t exactly call it ideology, if I were smart enough to write about this, but people certainly do seem to be searching for the real meaning of American politics--there is decidedly less policy wonk talk these days. One reason, to be sure, is that policy is boring--it can only excite the mind when it is tied to a notion of right or wrong. The problem the Dems are having with their "young intellectuals" (as Henninger calls them) who blog to the point of obscenity about their leaders in the political world stems from the fact that Dems no longer understand (or perhaps have basic awareness) of their "ideology."
These young bloggers and "intellectuals" understand that their policy preferences come from something--an idea about the good or an idea of what America should be. Leading Democrats tend to take it as a given that a majority of Americans agree with their aims--they think politicians just have to work out the details of how best to accomplish Democratic aims and prove to us that they can do it. They don’t get that the reason they’re getting defeated is that we don’t like where their policies are headed. We disagree about the aims. The emerging liberal intellectuals understand that basic point of non-conversation between themselves and us. They want Democrats to defend their ideology and engage with and rally the public behind them on that point. But the Dems can’t do it. No, seriously, they really can’t. They can’t because they’re not capable and they can’t because--even if they were capable--it would blow a cover that is at least as old as FDR. Possibly older.
I mean to take nothing away from FDR’s success as a wartime leader or suggest that he was anything other than a patriot in his intentions. But FDR was a master at disguising Progressive ideology in the clothes of American ideas of equality and liberty. Whether he did this because he actually believed that Progressivism was the true meaning of America or because he was a clever usurper of the idea, I’m not smart enough to say. In the end, his intentions don’t really matter. But I do suspect that Roosevelt may have been too clever by half if he wasn’t simply misguided. The Dems today don’t understand America because they think America is Progressivism. They don’t know that there is a competing vision of what America is out there. They don’t know that there is a still small voice in the American breast that hears the words "liberty" or "Constitution" or "Washington" or "Lincoln" or "equality" and gets in some real and deep way that Dem ideas do not exemplify them. They are not worthy of them. Roosevelt’s success may spell their doom. Perhaps he fooled his own party--but he’s not fooling us anymore. Liberal bloggers are sensing this and it scares the pants off of them.