If there is one mantra that leftists love to repeat, it is that their ideas are more "nuanced" than those of conservatives. Consequently, so goes the refrain, they face more daunting communication challenges than folks whose thoughts are so simplistic they can be placed on a bumper sticker--with room to spare.
This communication gap--call it the White Left’s Burden--explains why smarter-than-thous find it so hard to garner a majority of votes in this unsophisticated country. Most folks, it appears, lack the gray matter required to grasp their finely tuned arguments. This gap also explains why the national Democrat Party can only enact its legislative agenda via the least democratic branch of the government--the federal judiciary.
Take as an example that famous declaration, "I actually did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it." It takes a New England preppy who graduated in the bottom third of his college class to fathom the complexity of that assertion. Dimwitted NASCAR-types would simply chalk up an about-face of this sort to the common political desire to have your cake and eat it too.
It also takes more acumen than middle America can muster to understand Howard Dean’s recent comments about "evil" Republicans--"white Christian(s)" who don’t care if children go to bed hungry and who’ve "never worked an honest day in their lives." A professional deconstructionist might be needed to explain to the hoi polloi whether the two senators from Massachusetts fall inside or outside the last of those artfully articulated demographic categories. This tutor might also explain how it is really the Republicans who are poisoning political discourse. (I suspect the words "dialectical," "post-modern," and "grinch" would be employed frequently during this pedagogical session.)
More recently the party of nuance has taken to employing terms like "theocracy" to describe the efforts of religiously-motivated Americans to resist aggressive secularization of the public square. Typical of such "crusades" (or are they "jihads"?) are unsuccessful campaigns to allow public high schools to engage in traditions of minimal piety that have been in place for a century or more.
One can sympathize with cognitive hair-splitters who are now burdened with the job of explaining to simpletons why a minuscule cross on the seal of Los Angeles County constitutes an "establishment of religion"--a task further complicated by the "living document" judicial philosophy that makes all appeals to the Constitution’s text either superfluous or mendacious. Fortunately for these brainiacs, most Americans already believe that the phrase "separation of church and state" is actually in the Constitution-- probably in the section where, simultaneously, senate filibusters are made inviolate and the Constitution infinitely elastic.
The piece de resistance of nuanced discourse has to be Senator Dick Durbin’s recent use of the terms "Nazis," "Soviet gulags," and "Pol Pot" in conjunction with his condemnation of abuses at the Guantanamo detention facility. Only a mind working at warp speed can appreciate the refinement reflected in this three-pronged allusion. An untrained ear might think Senator Durbin was comparing the penal practices of Hitler, Stalin, and the Cambodian tyrant to those employed at GTMO.
Au contraire! The senior senator from Illinois was in no way linking the actions of American military personnel at Guantanamo with the aforementioned regimes. Unfortunately, I’m unequipped to explain this faux comparison that juxtaposes genocidal regimes with the alleged discomforts endured by terrorists at Guantanamo. (Curiously, the word "alleged" seems to be missing from Senator Durbin’s vocabulary.) All I can say is that hinterland Neanderthals tend to hear his statement as an imprudent assertion that will give aid and comfort to linguistically-challenged enemies.
Maybe Ted Turner can explain Durbin’s comparison--or that guy whose definition of the word "is" varies to suit the exigencies of his legal situation. In the meantime we simple- minded, uncaring, luxury-sated, theocratic fascists will have to do the best we can, thesaurus in hand, to master the complexities of sophisticated political discourse.