In a domestic political context, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" still retain considerable value. To imagine, however, that the actually existing Democratic Party is genuinely committed to liberal principles or to fancy that the Republican Party qualifies as authentically conservative is to err profoundly. However much Democratic and Republican partisans may pretend to differ, they actually subscribe to a common agenda. Ranking at the very top of that agenda is the imperative of currying favor with the moneyed interests that enable the two parties to sustain their monopoly on power. Party leaders may pontificate about social justice or liberty, but the name of the game is boodle -- federal largesse distributed to secure the allegiance of supporters, "contributions" harvested from those same supporters to buy the next election, all continuing in a cycle without end.
--Andrew J. Bacevich