The premise is sound; the conclusion is not.
I've run into this problem twice recently in my own scholarship. Over the past two decades, a group of about a dozen very smart, very productive "elite professors" has engaged in a debate about the relative merits of income vs. consumption taxes. A recent article by a member of this group -- a scholar whose work I regard very highly -- begins: "Recently, a consensus seems to have emerged in favor of a consumption, or cash flow, tax."
A consensus? Really? Among whom? Members of Congress? The electorate? Members of the tax academy? No, to all of the above. The author in question was referring rather to an emerging consensus within the small group reading each other's articles on the issue. That "consensus," in turn, strongly influenced the recent recommendations of President Bush's Tax Reform Panel. Those recommendations, unfortunately, turned out to be completely out of sync with the electorate's views and were pronounced DOA.
In tax, the problem goes even deeper. For the past half century, opinion-shapers in the tax academy have viewed "ability to pay" as irrelevant to tax policy analysis. Congress, by contrast, views it as the starting place for almost all such analysis. See my grumpings on this issue at Seto & Buhai, Tax and Disability: Ability to Pay and the Taxation of Difference, 154 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1053 (2006). In consequence, a colorable argument can be made that elite tax scholarship has actually contributed to the mess that is now the Internal Revenue Code.
My point here is not that they're wrong and I'm right. My point is rather that echo-chamber scholarship does not necessarily lead to liberal conclusions, even if all or most of the participants are liberal. An income tax based on ability to pay is probably as liberal a tax policy conclusion as one might imagine. Both the income tax and ability to pay, however, are currently out of favor among the tax-scholarly in-crowd, almost all of whom are Democratic liberals in their civilian lives.
A similar effect can be observed in a very different context: theories of constitutional interpretation. In his recent extremely helpful posting on Originalism, Larry Solum writes: "These days one is more likely to hear pronouncements that 'we are all originalists, now.'" With respect, Larry, really? Among whom? Judges? Constitutional law professors? Or just constitutional law professors who write to each other about originalism? Again, I find myself wondering how to break into this particular echo chamber, see Seto, Originalism vs. Precedent: An Evolutionary Perspective, 38 Loyola L.A. L. Rev. 2001 (2005). Thus far, no success.
My point again is not that originalism is wrong or, indeed, that I have anything interesting to say about it. But clearly, originalism is not typically associated with liberal modes of thought. The conclusion that echo-chamber effects in a legal academy dominated by Democrats inevitably lead to a liberal conventional wisdom is simply not supported by the facts.