It’s hard to remember the time when the general liberal position was against meritocracy; that is, some things should be taken as a given and even if you’re brilliant/disciplined/good-looking you shouldn’t get exclusive access to them. Right now there’s basic health care and basic food that liberals are willing to support universal access to, but that’s about it.
It’s also hard to see someone arguing that we need to go beyond meritocracy when the US is so far away from meritocracy. With the “sons of ” and a league of strategically stupid people running everything, meritocracy is better than the status quo.
But even idiots deserve an equal voice in government, if for nothing else other than to keep the smart people honest. Dick Cheney had lots of foreign policy experience, Larry Summers is a well-educated economist, Barack Obama is a constitutional law scholar, etc., but they didn’t produce all that much in their respective leadership positions.