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Thank you. Your post is spot on.

"Conservative ideals used to mean something."

When was that? I've been reading about the 1920's lately and the runup to the depression. Tax cuts for the rich, no corporate regulation, lofty blabbing about government waste, corruption on a vast scale- it was all there.

Unfortunately, in this country, conservatism has pretty much always been a euphemism for unchecked greed. The conservatives have now had the first real chance since the depression to really put their plans into operation, and here we are again. Of course, they want to blame it all on Bush and deny that he is a real conservative.

Green Eagle: Move up in time a smidge. From the end of WW II to the so-called "Reagan Revolution", roughly 35 yrs, conservatives (and the GOP) were "Eisenhower conservatives" - centrist, practical, with certain fiscal policies they favored and principles of independence and non-governmental interference. Some of them supported Roe v Wade because they didn't think what a woman did with her body was any of the govt's business. Bob Michel, Howard Baker, and Henry Hyde (pre-impeachment) were examples of tough negotiators but honorable men whose actions were consistent with their beliefs (which sometimes meant going against their own party leaders).

Those were the conservatives I grew up with, the conservatives who were a reaction to the sanctimonious corruption of Harding and Herbert Hoover, and the philosophical bankruptcy of 19th century conservatism. Not that they were perfect (there was always a cadre of Jamie Eastlands out there feeding the rednecks and preaching unchecked corporate greed as the answer to any problem) but they outnumbered the ideologues and thieves for more than 3 decades and made conservatism a legitimate alternative - and one that needed to be listened to.

It was Reagan and Gingrich et al who brought the 19th century headset back and used it to take over the party. It was Bush who put it all in motion and created the most political, self-serving, and corrupt presidential administration since US Grant.

So let it be said that, even tho it may be a small chunk of their overall existence, there was a time when conservatives were principled, idealistic, and had integrity. Hard to believe, I know, but true just the same.

We used to call him an ARCH-conservative, but William F. Buckley had one thing right. In one column of his I read many years ago he stated something to the effect that Conservatives should never hold political office because that meant they had to satisfy a whole constituency. This in turn meant to Buckley, that they would have to compromise their Conservative principles and thus they would not be true Conservatives.

He further said that Conservatives' sole purpose in politics was (paraphrased) "to stand astride the stream of 'progress' as a check against the Liberal tendency to progress too fast and/or too far."

Perhaps he was the last of those Conservatives to which many here have alluded.

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