"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." -- Ronald Reagan
One of the reasons liberals tend to do such an incredibly poor job of governing is that they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the American people. Given that liberals also fundamentally misunderstand Christianity, the Constitution, economics, and human nature, I guess it's no big surprise that they don't get the American people either. Come to think of it, I guess it's pretty much par for the course. I mean, let's face it, without conservatives around to help keep them in check, liberals would utterly destroy everything that is good about America and most of them would be baffled about what they were doing wrong right up until the end. But enough about the Left's general lack of common sense -- let's talk about how they misjudge the American people.
They believe the American people want liberal policies. When you're a conservative, it's almost impossible to filter out liberal views. Your kids are exposed to liberalism at school, Hollywood forces liberal ideas down your throat when you watch TV, the local paper leans left -- you just can't get away from it. On the other hand, if you're a liberal, you really don't have to hear what conservatives think. This can lead to the sort of groupthink that once inspired film critic Pauline Kael to exclaim,
"I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where (Nixon voters) are I don't know. They're outside my ken."
Now, some liberals know better -- which is why every Democratic President runs as a centrist even though they immediately intend to veer way off to the left the moment they're elected.
However, the belief that liberalism is genuinely popular with the American people is still pervasive. For example, on a daily basis, you can hear the netroots claiming that Obama's approval rating is slipping because he's not getting enough of his legislation passed. This ignores the fact that Obama's legislative agenda is having trouble getting passed because it's about as popular as strychnine milkshakes in our center-right country.