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.