{Empty title} | The Nation

There is another side of this that I have never understood. Conservatives talk about the "liberal elite" as an oppressor. Even when they gain political power (Congress in the 1990s, Bush in 2000), they pose themselves as the "victim" of the liberal press. Even as they dominate radio talk shows and cable news, they are the Davids fighting the Goliaths of the "liberal establishment."

Even when Bush invaded Iraq, they complained about the liberal criticism against it.

In certain respects, this reflects the the genius of conservative public opinion appeals. But it also underscores an insecurity. As long as conservative pundits and analysts insist on blaming all ills of the country on the liberal elite, they strike the pose of a hollow, "backlash" movement that depends on defining themselves against "the enemy" for survival.