The Last Liberal

Back in the ye olde days of 2004, when I was attending the Republican Convention as a newbie blogger, a liberal friend with the press corps recognized me and, half-teasing, half-mean, warned me "You'll be back!"

He meant I would return to the left after my temporary, "misbegotten," flirtation with the right. As a relatively new apostate, at the point, I felt a small guilty frisson.

Six years later that seems pretty ridiculous. Now I would just laugh and ask "To what?" Liberalism no longer exists. There is no there.

No one really wants more government spending (or admits to it) and, without government spending, what is liberalism, as it is commonly referred to in our culture? (I'm not talking about the real liberalism of other centuries.)

An obvious case in point is the tap-dance being performed on Bloomberg today by writers Courtney Schlisserman and Shobhana Chandra under the Orwellian headline Economy Is Improving, More Stimulus Isn't the Answer, Rubin, O'Neill Say. Stimulus, once the be all and end all of something, seems to be about as popular these days as the measles.

And what about an end to tax cuts? Nyet for the middle class (for the time-being, of course), says Robert Rubin, one of the country's premiere liberal economists and a man widely credited for the Clinton Boom. And he doesn't really define, at least in this article, what he means by the middle class. To someone like Rubin, that could be anything up to five million a year.

So liberalism - qu'est-ce que c'est?

Well, at this point you could call it kind of an employment mafia for union and government workers - only without the good spaghetti recipes. And without those recipes, who wants it?

Maybe that's the "change" Barack Obama was talking about. He's going to be the Last Liberal. All by himself.