Paul Ryan to Glenn Beck and Hot Air: I'm not a conservative progressive

Via the Right Scoop, the exciting conclusion to Thursday’s cliffhanger in which Beck cited CK MacLeod’s post at HA as evidence that Ryan might just be sweet on Woodrow Wilson and the gang. Not so, says Ryan, phoning in for the first time; CK just completely missed the point. Which is unfair, I think: CK’s point was that conservatives should champion the best ideas of early progressives, like popular referenda and government transparency. Ryan’s point in his Oklahoma City speech was that today’s progressives have completely betrayed those original good-government impulses — a descriptive observation, not a prescriptive one like CK’s, but similar insofar as both see some virtue in some elements of old-school progressivism. The confusion, I think, stemmed from CK straining to apply the “progressive” label to Ryan and Beck mistakenly assuming that that meant Ryan was on board with most/all of the Wilsonian program. Not by a long shot, as you’re about to see. In fact, with just this one phone call, it seems like Beck’s found himself a new favorite Republican. Watch your back, Sarah!

Exit question: Isn’t this basically the blog equivalent of that Marshall McLuhan scene in “Annie Hall”? Ryan taps CK on the shoulder and says, “You know nothing of my work.”

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David Strom 9:21 PM on March 24, 2023