However. I did search Google for "progressive conservatism." Then I had to search Google for "progressive conservatism america" because without that caveat, all you end up with is stuff from Canada and England. And what I found was an article from 2005, talking about what happens when Republican governors try to act a little progressive:
For their efforts, these governors have been met with derision from conservative ideologues insulated from the real world in Washington.For anyone paying attention, the fools vying for control over the Republicon party have decided that they lost the elections in 2006 and 2008 because they weren't conservative enough. Their rising stars and leading lights include Tim Pawlenty, who thinks the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression is the perfect time to push a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution; Mark Pence, whose vision for the Republicon party is crafted of nothing but discredited bunkum; Michael Steele, who had to run from his moderate past to have a snowball's chance in hell at possibly helming the RNC; and too many godsdamned others to name, but who can be found disgracing the pages of Happy Hours past.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform has attacked Daniels as a traitor to the conservative cause in Daniels' hometown newspaper. Riley was hammered by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and his corporate front group in Washington, who held rallies to ridicule the Alabama governor.
The criticism, of course, is not surprising. The ferocity, however, is. Republicans are, after all, the party whose first guiding principle is Ronald Reagan's famous "11th Comandment": Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
But these governors are not seen as mere turncoats to be ignored - they are seen as mortal threats to conservatism itself. Because by embracing progressive policies during their states' budget crises, they are exposing conservatism as ill-equipped to deal with real-world challenges. [emphasis added]
They are, in effect, publicly admitting that while the mantra of tax cuts and less government makes for nice rhetoric in Washington, it is virtually useless in solving concrete problems.
As far as I've been able to determine in months of reading with half an eye out for things useful to debate, the only time "progressive" comes up in a political context, it refers to something Dems are trying to do. If a Republicon sticks a toe over the line and admits that maybe a little progress wouldn't be such a bad thing, the rabid right tries to hack that foot off. The party's moderates have mostly been driven out, with the remaining Cons intent on destroying any one of the party's members who so much as looks in a progressive direction, and Google tells me that if you want progressive conservatism, you have to leave the country to get it.
Mike can attempt to explain to us in comments here why he believes such a thing as "progressive conservatism" is still alive in this country. The rest of you can have fun piling on. For myself, I am done.