Recall, after the 2008 election, the ideological triumphalism of the liberal alpha consumers? Obama's successful journey through the bowels of the electoral system represented the defeat of the Republican world view. The GOP "narrative" had been crushed. The brand and its managers were humiliated. The voters had spoken with a thundering voice, etc., and the right wing ontology had been demolished. That lasted, what? Six months? Less? Then the tired, standby tropes of their exculpatory Bush regime blustering started creeping back into their writing and talking head presentations. The Democratic leadership was once again on the liberal psychoanalysis couch. The big favorite was a modified battered spouse diagnosis...
The chin-stroking class was desperate enough that even Lakoff enjoyed a minor surge (he's back, by the way, still trying to work the neuro-linguistic programming shuck and jive). But control of the imperial presidency doesn't lend itself well to pleas of helplessness and by 2010, they had to content themselves with mocking Sarah Palin, ridiculing the self-consciously ridiculous teabaggers and blaming an apathetic electorate for its failure to "put pressure" on whatever it was that would respond to pressure. Occupy! gave the strokers a touch of cheer, but when it was clear it couldn't be suborned for Obama's coming re-election campaign they sulked and psycho-analyzed while the cops got busy. And now, needless to say, they're working the "narcissism of minor differences" angles for all they're worth. With a difference. They're not noticing them. They're in them, neck deep.
Oops. What a come down. But the Democratic perception managers don't notice their setbacks any more than the GOP brand managers noticed their own "evisceration". Nor should they, really: there's nothing there. The diagnoses are crap. The psychology is junk and dumpster-ready junk at that; plagiarized from television shows and waiting room magazines.
There's a general agreement in SMBIVAN circles that electoral triumph is bad for the moral character of the Democratic Party faithful. The realities of formal bourgeois democracy entail an endless, tail-chasing effort to justify and defend toxic continuity. With psychologizing on the menu, I have my own diagnosis: corporate infantilization. In formal bourgeois democracy, the go-along to get-along people never become political adults. They never get a chance to think and work things through, make mistakes, live with mistakes, fix them and try to get things right. They get soap bubbles and sucking voids.