Liberals Are 'Bittersoft'

William Kristol coins a phrase, with help from President Obama
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2011 12:44 PM CDT
President Obama greets supporters after speaking on his proposed American Jobs Act in September.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – President Obama's recent comment that the nation "had gotten a little soft" reminded William Kristol of the time he said small-town Americans were "bitter" and clinging to guns and religion. "So, according to Obama, Americans are both bitter and soft," writes Kristol in the Weekly Standard. "We’re a bittersoft nation." But the president is wrong, he declares: It's only liberals who are bittersoft.

Liberalism, he explains, is "bitter about the American people’s resistance to doing what their liberal betters tell them to do. It’s soft in its understanding of the exigencies and limitations of the real world." Conservatives are neither bitter nor soft with their "get to work as self-governing citizens" ethos. "The experience of the Obama administration could prove, in the fullness of time, to have been a necessary step in the liberation of America from the grip, at once bitter and soft, of contemporary liberalism."

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