Contrary to Beck and J.E., I see little difficulty in “co-existing” with a conservative progressivism. J.E. defines progressivism as “antithetical” to constitutional conservatism, but even that definition suggests a relationship of mutual dependency, not a fight to the death – a dialectical yin and yang of the sort that the American system and the Constitution itself were designed to synthesize and re-synthesize, not to settle perfectly and forever. The Founders were not utopian fantasists.
Those who have lately been using the word “progressive” as a curse word, or who have been using “progressive,” “statist,” and “liberal” interconnectedly and even interchangeably, may refuse to believe that an authentically conservative progressivism could even exist except as some demon sheep in wolf’s clothing. Others may identify progressivism with the tedious nostrums of Barack Obama, the legislative misbirths of Reid and Pelosi, the musty interest group agenda of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, or the pretty vicious rants of sundry nutroots bloggers. Yet as I’ve participated in discussions inspired by the “War on Progressivism” – to use my co-blogger adam k’s term – I’ve increasingly seen a conservative progressivism, a radical reform conservatism, traced out as the course conservatives have been, will be, and in my opinion should be following in response to the challenges of our times.