Michael Barone astutely notes that today's Liberals are actually sort of . . . reactionary:

Once upon a time, liberals were the folks who wanted to change society. They thought existing institutions were unjust and that individuals needed protection against the workings of the market. They looked forward to a society that would be different. . . .

Looking back on election year 2004, I am struck by how many of the constituencies supporting Democratic candidates oppose, rather than seek, change -- how they are motivated not by ideas about how to change the future, but by something like nostalgia for the past.