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Opening Arguments

Dirty word

"Liberal is no longer a dirty word," and the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, himself of that persuasion, couldn't be more delighted:

A third theory, which I find compelling, is that the rise in liberalism is a backlash against the over-the-top conservatism displayed by the tea party movement. The Pew Research Center and others have documented a dramatic increase in ideological polarization within political parties over two decades. The Republican Party has long been dominated by conservatives, and the recent rise in liberalism among Democrats may be a mirror image of that — the beginnings of a tea party of the left.

Whatever the cause — and it’s likely a combination of all of the above — the change brings welcome balance to the political system, but also risks. The rise of a more liberal ideology suggests Democrats could become just as uncompromising — and just as insistent on ideological purity — as Republicans have been. The hardening ideology also suggests the national polarization could endure even if gerrymandered districts are undone.

The Democrats could become just as uncompromising? That observation suggests the columnist is clueless about why the tea party movement came about in the first place -- as a pushback against the excesses of liberalism. He also tries to explain why the movement left is just on social issues and not on economic ones without taking into account that the primary mission of the rtea party was about economics, not social issues. Becoming more tolerant of gay marriage does not make one suddenly more accepting of huge tax bills.

Still a dirty word to me. It shouldn't be said in polite society.