David Sirota points to several Republican governors who have adopted more-or-less progressive stances on taxation and low-income health care, including Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky,Bob Riley of Alabama, and Mark Sanford of South Carolina. His point is that pragmatic politicians, of whatever party, will sometimes turn to progressive solutions:
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.
One shouldn't make too much of this -- these are mostly, it seems, emergency measures in the context of budget shortfalls. Nevertheless, liberals who think that winning the South must always involve embracing conservative philosophies should take note.