Conservatives love purity myths, those stirring stories of how America was the first nation born without political original sin. It turns out that many liberals like the same myths, with a slightly different focus. George Lakoff and Glenn W. Smith indulge in that myth-making in their piece “How Romney-Ryan’s Budget Would Destroy America’s Soul” on Alternet.

It starts with this “inspiring” sentence:

America was born with a great soul, a moral view of Democracy in which citizens care about their fellow citizens and join together to take responsibility not just for themselves but for each other, for America as a union, a joint enterprise.

and it goes downhill from there.

The authors label the Republican budget plan a “Devil’s Budget” that will bring “Evil with a capital E and the loss of the American soul.” Lakoff has been a popular voice for a tepid liberalism for some time. Even allowing for the hyperbolic nature of campaign rhetoric, this is a particularly embarrassing performance.

Progressives should be thinking about what’s at stake in the 2012 election. Here are two pieces that are more useful. The first, by Bill Fletcher, Jr., and Carl Davidson, makes the case for voting for Obama, “The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama’s Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him.”

Glen Ford critiques that position in “Fletcherism and Fakery: Guarding Obama’s Left Flank.”