Deflating the Elephant is, as you may have guessed by now, so blatantly partisan that it loses all credibility very quickly. Lakoff's rooting interest is apparent from the outset, and not just in the case of tort reform. He reveals that in late 2004, he was asked by Nancy Pelosi to speak to the congressional Democrats about "framing" the issue of Social Security reform. Now, speaking before a group of Democrats doesn't necessarily make you partisan, but when you're leading what amounts to a team-building exercise on strategy to defeat a Republican-led movement (privatization), then I think you've compromised your objectivity.
Co-host Sean Penn echoes the theme that the Democrats are the good guys in his commentaries. He begins with the claim that "history shows that traditional American values have always been liberal and progressive." This is, of course, utter hogwash. Traditional American values included the statutory preservation of slavery for 100 years, followed by federally mandated racism, segregation and pseudo-slavery for another 100 years. That's not very "progressive." Traditional American values accepted the genocide perpetrated upon the Native Americans. That's not very "liberal." And traditional American values accepted the right of the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus long before the birth of George Bush. I could go on and on. The only way Penn's statement is even partially correct is if you use an extremely narrow definition of "liberal" and "American values." Penn thus uses a narrow and misleading definition to make his argument — or, you could say, he "frames" it.
Lakoff's weak attacks against Republicans are manifest. The section "On Religious Politics" begins with a discussion of two dominant theories of religion: God as the "stern father," and God as the "nurturing parent" (atheists, apparently, need not apply). He links the "stern father" theory firmly to conservatism.That's true to a point, I guess, but it's such a generalization that it doesn't offer much insight into specifics.
But then Lakoff reaches his lowest point. He starts by making broad statements about all conservative Christians, most of which are blatantly overgeneralized. Lakoff then claims that conservative Christians are better politically organized than progressive Christians because of their child-rearing. This is an outrageous statement, but he's just getting started.