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Progressivism Goes Mainstream

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President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, his joint address to Congress, and his 2010 budget have sent conservatives into fits of indignation over the supposed radicalism of the new president’s agenda. Dusting off red-scare rhetoric from the early years of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, Minority Leader John Boehner declared Obama’s initiatives on energy, health care, and education to be "one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment." At the Conservative Political Action Conference held at the end of February, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina implored the young activists to "take to the streets to stop America’s slide into socialism." Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee added, "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born!" National Review, taking a slightly more measured tone in confronting the specter of collectivist tyranny, asked historians and other academics, "Is Ayn Rand freshly relevant in the Age of Obama?"

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