This was a great political analysis by Rachel Maddow. This is one of the areas where liberals in general and democrats in particular, need a lesson in politics. Liberals want to have a war of ideas, which they invariably lose because our message is often too nuanced to be attractive. Conservatives, on the other hand, just want war. Among their tactics are the creation of easy to learn easy to understand memes about government being the problem and tax and spend liberals, and infusing confusion into debates in which the data overwhelmingly supports liberal ideas. But most importantly, conservatives understand the importance of attacking the institutional framework used by liberals to manifest their ideas.
Every group must have an institutional matrix in which to exercise the fulfillment of their ideas. Institutions are the framework of power, the social mechanism that focuses the energies of its constituents toward a larger goal. Without that institutional framework there is no means by which achieve one’s goals.