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Bleeding heart liberal

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 15, 2006

In Reply to: Bleeding heart liberal posted by m on November 14, 2006

: bleeding heart liberal

This phrase almost amounts to a "kenning." In Republican campaign jargon certain words are always accompanied by a negative attribute. A bleeding heart liberal is one who thinks tax dollars should be used to keep people from starving to death, whose "heart bleeds" at the suffering of those who are unable to care for themselves or whose daddies are improvident or absent. It means that "liberals" are born suckers for sob stories. It does NOT distinguish one kind of liberal from another. It emphasizes one aspect of all liberals, or so they would wish you to believe. Truth in phrase-finding compels me to admit that I am a bleeding-heart liberal, so be warned.

Another example of campaign-language "kenning" is "tax-and-spend Democrat." The intent of the attribution is to make really ignorant people think that Democrats are always careless with tax dollars, having the temerity to spend them.