UNAPOLOGETIC….I too noted the description of Nancy Pelosi as an “unapologetic liberal” in Mark Leibovich’s recent profile of her. Matt Y. explains the problem:

Calling the Pelosis and Ted Kennedys and Dick Durbins of the world “unapologetic” has two problems. On the one hand, it suggests that maybe Pelosi should be apologetic about her liberalism. That, at a minimum, apologizing is something liberals should think about in a way conservatives shouldn’t. Second, it reinforces the idea that more centrist Democrats are not, in fact, moderates but rather apologetic liberals with secret far-left hidden agendas.

I actually think #2 is the bigger problem, and this has nothing to do with Leibovich’s choice of words. Rather, it’s got to do with the fact that for a long time an awful lot of liberals really have been sort of apologetic about being liberals. The blogosphere may have plenty of pluses and minuses, but I think one of its pluses is that it’s promoted a broadly read conversation in which liberals aren’t apologetic, and that’s now started to catch on in the rest of the world too. If the phrase “unapologetic liberal” ever becomes extinct, the liberal blogosphere can probably take a little bit of the credit.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation