Sorry, John, most of this is just general and not really
directed to you. You just stepped on my Bugaboo. Well, you didn't step
on it. You sort of looked like you might step on it, so of course I must overreact.
My Bugaboo -- or my Hobbyhorse, or my Woobie -- is that we must be careful about putting everything into purely political terms, as if we're cogs in 1984's machinery. I don't think most people identify themselves primarily as ideological beings. (In fact, a large number of them prefer to define themselves as non-ideological or even anti-ideological, despite having a clearly visible ideology -- witness Luntz's Dunces swearing on a stack of Bibles they're open-minded practically-thinking swing voters despite nearly every of of them revealing a pronounced ideology, left or right, as soon as they open their mouths.)
I think this is dangerous for us as a party, to be perceived as the Always Ideological ones, you know? That everything with us is politics first, politics second, politics last. I don't think that's how we really are, but I think we do have be on guard against talking that way.
I realize this is a very odd thing to say from a political writer, to another political writer, posting on a blog in which the main topic is politics and writing for an audience coming here chiefly for political discussion.
Still, I do think we have to be wary of self-ghettoizing ourselves -- especially given that we have so many millions of people working in our Gramsciized power structures to do just that.