MATTHEW YGLESIAS IS RIGHT -- AND WRONG
Matt's really on to something when he says this about Representative Alan Grayson's "die quickly" speech:
I think the real issue -- and the real import -- of Grayson's statement is that it involved breaking one of the unspoken rules of modern American politics. The rule is that conservatives talk about their causes in stark, moralistic terms and progressives don't. Instead, progressives talk about our causes in bloodless technocratic terms. This is also one of the reasons that Ted Kennedy's stark, moralistic attack on Robert Bork's legal theories are for some reason often cast by the MSM as some kind of illegitimate smear campaign. The reality is that it was just him talking about a conservative the way conservatives relatively talk about liberals. Like Grayson he characterized his opponents' views polemically, but wasn't offering any kind of wild factual distortions. But moralism from the left is very unfamiliar to American political debates.
But then Matt says this:
There's a semi-legitimate practical reason for this, namely the fact that substantially more people identify as conservatives than identify as liberals.
Matt, is it possible you're confusing cause and effect? Do Democratic pols refrain from this sort of rhetoric because there aren't very many self-identified liberals -- or are there not very many self-identified liberals at least partly because Democratic pols hardly ever talk this way?