According to a new Suffolk University/WHDH News poll, Massachusetts' Sen. Scott Brown holds a 9-point lead over Elizabeth Warren. The cause of Brown's surge? Independents, among whom 60 percent support Brown -- a 32-point advantage over Warren. And this was the killer:
When asked what word first came to mind when respondents heard the name Elizabeth Warren, "liberal" was a top reply. On the other hand when asked what came to mind when they heard the name Scott Brown, "independent" and "fair/fair person" were among the top responses.
The embarrassment is far too much of a fait accompli for any dignified hand-wringing over liberals having ceded their own moniker to the dustbin of derision. Although the right began assaulting "liberalism" when liberalism was still king -- one in possession of the resources necessary for lightning retribution -- liberals failed to appreciate that tactical belittlement was politically more lethal than sticks and stones. While liberals fussed over policy, all the good little Luntzian right wingers were reading their Orwell and securing financing for bogus think tanks to disseminate the anti-liberal Word.
Well, whatever. The point now is, "conservatism" has for years been overripe for a bit of proper redefinition, since contemporary conservatism fails to even remotely resemble actual conservatism. Today's conservatives are radicals, pure and simple -- the precise antithesis of authentic conservatism. Every now and then one hears a liberal progressive Democrat mumble some such observation on some cable show; but by and large "conservatives" are afforded by Democrats the presumption of a kind of self-respect, in that these radicals are free to call themselves whatever they like.
The result? Slap "liberal" on Elizabeth Warren and watch her favorables among independents plummet; slap "conservative" on Scott Brown and watch swing voters accept him as an "independent," "fair person."
For the former, and all like her, this political reality is doubleplusungood. Fortunately, the radicals haven't yet managed to make unlawful the equal deployment of Newspeak, but liberals progressives the Elizabeth Warrens of this nation had better hurry in equalizing the linguistic carnage, before it's too late.