PAUL RYAN:…[W]hat I’ve been trying to do is indict the entire vision of progressivism because I see progressivism as the source, the intellectual source for the big government problems that are plaguing us today and so to me it’s really important to flush progressives out into the field of open debate.
PAUL RYAN: So people can actually see what this ideology means and where it’s going to lead us and how it attacks the American idea.
GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second. I ‑‑ did you see my speech at CPAC?
PAUL RYAN: I’ve read it. I didn’t see it. I’ve read it, a transcript of it.
GLENN: And I think we’re saying the same thing. I call it ‑‑
PAUL RYAN: We are saying the same thing.
GLENN: It’s a cancer.
PAUL RYAN: Exactly.
The above exchange, from a first “meeting” that went on for a good while, occurred on Glenn Beck’s radio show on April 12, 2010, then was re-broadcast on Beck’s Fox News Channel program. It has recently been dug up at the Nation and on the Ed Show, among other places where human carcinogens learn their trade, but it has a personal meaning for me.
At that time in 2010, I was still writing at HotAir.com as a guest blogger. Congressman Ryan, then in the House minority, had just published his “Road Map 2.0,” but for my own reasons I was more interested in some remarks he had made ten days earlier in Oklahoma City, on the subject of Progressivism:
Early Progressives wanted to empower and engage the people. They fought for populist reforms like initiative and referendum, recalls, judicial elections, the breakup of monopoly corporations, and the elimination of vote buying and urban patronage. But Progressivism turned away from popular control toward central government planning. It lost most Americans and consumed itself in paternalism, arrogance, and snobbish condescension. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson would have scorned the self-proclaimed “Progressives” of our day for handing out bailout checks to giant corporations, corrupting the Congress to purchase votes for government controlled health care, and funneling billions in Jobs Stimulus money to local politicians to pay for make-work patronage. That’s not “Progressivism,” that’s what real Progressives fought against!
Ryan’s language on “real progressives” seemed to echo a piece I had written at the beginning of March concerning certain contemporary Republicans including Ryan himself. His language was close enough to mine to make me wonder if he or some aide of his had noticed the post, either through HotAir or via a link at The Weekly Standard blog.
Sensing that I might be on to something, and in any event feeling grateful for the new ammunition against my “true conservative” critics, I blogged a follow-up on “Paul Ryan’s Real Progressivism,” hoping for more validation, dreaming a little about joining together with my new friend in the good fight against lunacy and extremism in our own ranks…
…but it wasn’t Ryan or one of his aides, it was lunacy and extremism himself who got to “Paul Ryan’s Real Progressivism” first. The day after I posted, Beck was on his radio show quoting from the piece – though without naming me – and wondering whether Ryan might not turn out to be “the next John McCain,” which in Beck-world means a disease attacking America’s essence of purity. In short order, Paul Ryan had swept into action against “that blogger” who done him wrong, and the rest is never having to say you’re sorry.
As for “that blogger” – that is, as for me – I might even stand by some of the arguments and observations that got Glenn and Paul so bothered and hot two Springs ago, but I won’t link the pieces: I don’t have time for wanna-be rightwing hacks anymore, especially when they’re me.