They'll Never Learn Dept.
As I've stated before, Thomas Frank is that rare public intellectual who, no matter what he writes about, always manages to get it wrong.
Still, his latest in The New York Review Of Books, "What's the Matter with Liberals?," is breathtaking. The piece is another thumbsucker on why liberals are out of power. As you can predict from the title, echoing Frank's book What's the Matter with Kansas?, it's once again the fault of the common people for just not getting how much better liberals are than conservatives. By the way, Frank spends a bit of time in West Virginia to answer the titular question, proving he's capable of misunderstanding other states.
There's hardly any nonsense liberals tell themselves that Frank leaves out. (I could be wrong, but he even seems to believe the National Guard documents CBS used as ("as" Tom, not "for"--the documents WERE the piece) a story against Bush might not be fraudulent.)
It's all here. The assumption that liberals are obviously better for the economy than conservatives; that "moral" issues are purely symbolic and mostly a matter of posturing; that conservatives control the debate which is why average people are too dumb to vote their interests; and (most sickening of all) that liberals are just too darn nice and refuse to attack.
I can imagine the Democrats regaining power. I can even imagine them doing it by telling the people things that aren't so. But can it really be helpful when they regularly lie to themselves?