As heartening as it was to hear President Obama's full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan -- he didn't pull any punches -- what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.
The point of the remarks was primarily to advance two goals: explain why Paul Ryan's radical proposal must be rejected and present a "balanced" alternative towards long-term deficit reduction.
But along the way, the president made a point of reminding his audience that government, the institutions of the modern welfare state, and the modern social compact are worthy of a spirited defense. Indeed, to hear Obama tell it, the progressive vision is the American vision.
The "sellout of the left" this wasn't. What we saw today was an unapologetic defense of a progressive vision of government, cased in terms that were equal parts moral and pragmatic. America doesn't hear it often enough, and Obama delivered it with passion and conviction today.