The Principle of the Bogeyman
A Bogeyman is somewhat different from a Scapegoat. A Scapegoat is something to blame when times are getting tough. A Bogeyman is an entity that arouses a combination of fear and potency in the audience because it represents an enemy easily defeated, and indeed that has already been largely defeated. It is a scapegoat for when times are good. The two are really identical, the use of one term or the other is really a socioeconomic barometer. I hypothesize that Hippy would morph into Intellectual as we move from Bogey to Scape territory.
So who is our Bogeyman? The Crony Capitalist. Just like the Republicans and hippy-ass-whompings, there isn’t a Liberal on the planet that doesn’t get a smug sense of self-satisfaction when they see a man in an expensive suit getting led away in hand-cuffs. We may not all agree on universal healthcare, tax rates, or gay marriage, but we all love watching this Abramoff thing unfold. We may not agree about gun control, but we all love that sense of satisfaction we get when we see a company being busted for dumping pollution. And we all love to hate Halliburton.
The more we concentrate on grinding our boot into the face of crony capitalists, the better our internal cohesion will be as well as scoring points with swing voters. Boot grinding is an all around inclusive democratic activity, and the party that can organize a more effective (which is to say more enjoyable and satisfactory) stomping will usually control the democratic process. (Of course, that is a weakness of the democratic process. Thank G-d America isn’t a democracy.)