What's in a Name?

We've all heard that 2008 is shaping up to be a big year for Democrats at the polls.

But what about it being a big year for liberals?

Politico's David Kuhn points out that while Republicans proudly proclaim the fact that they are conservatives, Democrats are having to do verbal back flips in order to avoid tagging themselves with the dreaded "L" word.

No, not that "L" word. Rather, they can't seem to refer to themselves as what they truly are;
liberals:

Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked this summer if she would describe herself as a “liberal.”

The Democratic front-runner shied away, saying the “word” — noticeably not using the word — has taken on a connotation that “describes big government. “I prefer the word ‘progressive,’” she said. It has a “real American meaning.”

Then she expanded the term to “modern progressive,” and, finally, clarified that she was a “modern American progressive.”
Why don't the Republicans have this problem?
At a recent Republican debate, Rudy Giuliani referred to himself as a “conservative” four times in roughly the same time span — a minute or so — it took Clinton to reject the word “liberal” and embrace “progressive.”

In seven Republican debates this year the word “conservative” was used 100 times. In the seven Democratic debates the word “liberal” was used four times — not once by a candidate. “Conservative is identified with a sensibility,” Stanford University linguist Geoffrey Nunberg said.
Nunberg quipped "“You can be as liberal as much as you like, if you are a Democrat, as long as you don’t call yourself a liberal."

And that seems to sum up the Democrat's dillemma. A recent Gallup poll found 40% of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats but only 23% proclaiming themselves "liberal.

Contrast that with only 30% of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans but fully 39% of the country saying they are conservative.

Even with George Bush's approval numbers in the pits, conservatism's attraction survives, probably because most people don't believe the President's brand of conservatism will last beyond his presidency.

It stands to reason then, that the GOP has a much better chance in 2008 if they nominate a conservative.

No wonder everyone is just a little worried about Rudy Giuliani as standard bearer.
We've all heard that 2008 is shaping up to be a big year for Democrats at the polls.

But what about it being a big year for liberals?

Politico's David Kuhn points out that while Republicans proudly proclaim the fact that they are conservatives, Democrats are having to do verbal back flips in order to avoid tagging themselves with the dreaded "L" word.

No, not that "L" word. Rather, they can't seem to refer to themselves as what they truly are;
liberals:

Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked this summer if she would describe herself as a “liberal.”

The Democratic front-runner shied away, saying the “word” — noticeably not using the word — has taken on a connotation that “describes big government. “I prefer the word ‘progressive,’” she said. It has a “real American meaning.”

Then she expanded the term to “modern progressive,” and, finally, clarified that she was a “modern American progressive.”
Why don't the Republicans have this problem?
At a recent Republican debate, Rudy Giuliani referred to himself as a “conservative” four times in roughly the same time span — a minute or so — it took Clinton to reject the word “liberal” and embrace “progressive.”

In seven Republican debates this year the word “conservative” was used 100 times. In the seven Democratic debates the word “liberal” was used four times — not once by a candidate. “Conservative is identified with a sensibility,” Stanford University linguist Geoffrey Nunberg said.
Nunberg quipped "“You can be as liberal as much as you like, if you are a Democrat, as long as you don’t call yourself a liberal."

And that seems to sum up the Democrat's dillemma. A recent Gallup poll found 40% of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats but only 23% proclaiming themselves "liberal.

Contrast that with only 30% of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans but fully 39% of the country saying they are conservative.

Even with George Bush's approval numbers in the pits, conservatism's attraction survives, probably because most people don't believe the President's brand of conservatism will last beyond his presidency.

It stands to reason then, that the GOP has a much better chance in 2008 if they nominate a conservative.

No wonder everyone is just a little worried about Rudy Giuliani as standard bearer.