Liberals may ultimately come back to the Democrats, but this isn't merely out of blind loyalty or because they're easily manipulated by cheap Democratic fearmongering. It's because the consequences of Republican dominance are anything but abstract.And that makes sense. But there has to be something better for liberals than hoping for better Democratic governance and shrugging our shoulders when we don't get it. (Read Serwer's post, and that's more or less what his position amounts to.) On the civil liberties front, there are plenty of allies across the political spectrum—including, yes, the libertarian-oriented right—that a coalition that exerts real pressure and that can cause real pain ought to be possible. Perhaps I'm too optimistic. But seeing "civil liberties" as the cause of a narrow portion of the Democratic base, I think, is viewing things too narrowly—as is the idea that those of us who care about such issues find our natural home in the Democratic Party. I'm certain that's no longer the case.
Finding a positive way forward—one that's realistic and and create real change in favor of civil liberties—doesn't appear to be an easy project. I'm not interested in spending my days going to Green Party rallies. But I'm not interested in lending legitimacy or support to a president who doesn't deserve it, either.