You might be a progressive if: The president of the United States is up for reelection, looking for every headwind he can find, and yet he doesn't show up for your party and you say that means nothing, because it's your party.
Did Wisconsin progressives really believe this? Who knows. But obviously the White House knew perhaps the only truth that Scott Walker told in the last few days: The cavalry isn't coming to progressives' rescue, because the progs are hopelessly surrounded. As Ezra Klein notes this morning, "Before the vote, the Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Walker up by 6.7 percent. He won by seven percent." Woe to those who laugh in the face of lethal statistics. The White House didn't.
Here's another stat, from exit polling, and again, rather lethal. Only 21 percent of Tuesday's turnout declared itself "liberal" (of which 86 percent went for Barrett). And year after year, Gallup's polling of ideological self-identification has revealed an American electorate that is ... 21 percent liberal.
From this, let's connect two loose yet incomprehensibly unconnected dots. Today's progressives are essentially yesterday's conservatives, battling to preserve the New Deal-Great Society status quo. Contemporary conservatives, on the other hand, aren't really conservatives; they are reactionary radicals. Now, if one wishes to win popular elections, one might also wish to identify with the vast majority, which in modern America's case self-declares as roughly 80 percent moderate-conservative. OK ... and I'm trying my best to say this calmly ... if your political policies reflect a conservative ideology of stability, tradition, continuity and preservation ... then ... Why don't you call your team conservative?
This is not a malappropriation of terms or some diabolical deceit of Orwellian twists. It's bloody reality. You are the conservative. The other guys are radicals. So claim your proper identification and run it through the opposition like crap through a goose. If radicals can call themselves conservatives, so can conservatives. Right?