Dear Dr. Bones,
Paddy McTammany ’66/’72 seems to be always running into toney upmarket Lieberal / Demoncrat / St.-Elizabeth-of-H*rv*rdy agitprop that runs roughly, or sometimes smoothly, to the tune of
|Conservatives frame progressive taxation as “punishing success” or “class warfare”. That’s silly, and a red herring, in that it proposes an “evil” intent behind the idea of progressive taxation — without actually demonstrating how it would be bad.|
There's so much that is dubious there that one can hardly choose where to start doubting. Indeed, maybe I *won’t* start.
But, no, one must at least wonder outloud why on G*re's green earth ‘evil’ should be shudder-quoted. Neither the kiddie selfservatives nor their Kiddiemasters talk like that much. Freelord Ann of Coulteress, who does, is not to be counted as a host in itself for statistical purposes.
This ploy looks like the flip side of a bent _shtyk_ developed an’ brought to perfection over many years at The New Criterion. Roger, Freelord Kimball in the peerage of Foxcuckooland, invariably kicks each issue off with a feature that is not, I think, expressly labeled, but which ought by whights to be headlined "This Month's Worst Liberal Outrage Ever." Here is a for-instance. When the customer is an ideobuddy, as she usually is, this product seems to have been intelligently designed to induce her to suppose that all swans are cola black. Or, at any rate, fast on their way to becomin' so.
Perhaps it will do no harm to mention the Doubt of Doubts, all doubts excelling, which is based on the fact that the genteel Blazerly mindset does not often make necessary distinctions among ‘conservatives’. The sentences quoted are about as good an occasion as there will be, for Paddy finds it impossible to believe that anything like a majority of American selfservatives could give an accurate account of what is progressive about "progressive taxation."  Guesses by those ignorant of what a thing *is* about its intent are not worth attending to. (Are they?)
Mr. Poster's fudging and glossing over (and perhaps simply not noticing) the dotted lines could be represented, with only a little bit of malicious spoof added, as "Poster thinks the typical Republicanine BOTH understands progressive taxation as well as the fanatics who scribble the op-ed pages of _The Wall Street Jingo_ AND simultaneously account it ‘evil’ after the manner of Brother Savanarola or the Rev. Doc. Elmer Gantry. That fun cartoon does not correspond to ‘conservatives’ with no epithet attached. I am not entirely confident it corresponds to anybooby at all. 
 There may be an admixture of kiddieworthy narcissism at theis point, for Paddy continually finds myself worrying about a topic I have nicknamed "The Anatomy of the Elephant." Mr. Poster (and the general run of GBH nobility and gentry) is evidently a lumper, and Paddy a splitter. The problem with simply saying _De gustibus_ and shrugging and moving on to something more agreeable and agreed on is that Paddy does not much care to be left wondering whether those dotted lines he keeps seeing are only in his mind or actually "out there in the real world," tatooed, as it were, on the hides of the Whight Guard beasties.
 I wish one could be more confident about our side of the isle understanding this one. We jennies and jackasses would probably score a bit higher than Team Hoover, but nothing to write home about Everybody--well, 99% of those--safely gated atop the Great Blue Hill will be able to recite on all the various progressivities of Progressive Humanity in their sleep, yet what percentage of our side of the island politic is the GBH, after all?
"Not that big a one," thinks Paddy, not altogether grammatically.
 Q. But did Paddy himself not just this minute speak of ‘fanatics’?
A. Yes, indeed. But to conflate ‘fanatics’ with ‘evil’ would be more fudge-and-smudge. Savvy of Florence was a fanatic, to be sure, but he is hardly the prototype or paradigm. There are lots of fanaticisms entirely untainted by holier-than-thou-ism. Among them, that of the Jingoes, which consists mostly of their living in Cocktailnapkinland, where, though all taxation is, of course, theft, if an insister insists on putting it that way, the serious adult objection to theft is not that it is immoral but that it tends to interefere with the maximization of productivity, an' profits, an' ((genuflect here)) with sacred jobcreation.
If the militant extremist Jingoes could lynch only one of their long, long list of enemies, I suppose they'd select Professor Krugman, whom, nevertheless, they do not account ‘evil’ in the slightest. Demented, perhaps, but not *E*V*I*L*.