Whenever a piece of writing is headlined by something like the title above, I cringe, because it's bound to be followed by the opinions of one writer presuming to analyze the inner lives of a group to which he doesn't belong. Sure, one can deduce goals and desires by observing speech and action. But still, there should be a rule that all such headlines end with an unstated "In my opinion."
That caveat notwithstanding, George Lakoff's piece is really very good. The assault on the middle class that we're seeing in Wisconsin has spurred many writers and thinkers to consider important issues. When people complain about the fact that American paychecks have been shrinking since the 1970s, except for the wealthiest people, or about the fact that only 54.4% of American wealth is in the hands of the workers, the lowest percentage in history, they're accused of class welfare. But when the rich buy influence through media ownership and lobbyists and friendly politicians, when they nearly destroy the economy by systematically dismantling the regulatory structures that should be protecting it, when they establish businesses intended specifically to prey on the poor with, for instance, mortgages they can't really afford--then, they say that's just the free market, and nobody points out that class warfare cuts both ways.
Lakoff looks at that--and at the way that Democrats are helping conservatives have their way, by buying into their basic arguments. Instead of addressing the real issues, everyone's talking as if the deficit is the number one issue facing America and the only disagreements should be over how much spending on poor people we cut. The conservative proganda machine, comprising Fox "News" and the rest, has been far too successful at staging the conversation. We need to steer the conversation back into more relevant areas before it's too late.