Sure, their approach to governance may be of dubious efficacy, but their hearts are in the right place. Judging the left by their intentions and not whether their policy prescriptions succeed on their own terms is how liberalism has managed to avoid critical introspection and soul-searching for much of the modern era – even when it is cast into the political wilderness by the electorate. As the Obama era comes to a close and liberalism faces another time out of the public’s favor, its contemporary leaders seem fit to ignore the lessons of its period in ascendance. Liberalism is utterly undeserving of the benefit of the doubt from which it has so unduly profited. That was always the case, but this summer has so plainly demonstrated this reality that it would be pathologically self-deceptive for the left to continue to ignore it.