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The Fastest Fall: On the Need for the Conservatives To Get Their Game Together Soon
The Richmond [VA] Times-Dispatch ^ | October 13, 2005 | Ross Mackenzie

Posted on 10/12/2005 6:06:38 PM PDT by quidnunc

Try this for a picture:

The nation with a President whose Investor's Business Daily Leadership Index stands at 41, a 9-point plunge since August; Republicans, who during his presidency have rated him as high as 95, now rate him at only 79. Declining support for the American presence in Iraq. Deficit spending at record levels, with more to come for Katrina recovery. Gasoline at $3 per gallon, and big jitters over the prospect of winter heating bills double those of just a year ago.

-snip-

So what is it about this, perhaps the fastest fall in presidential approval?

The ideologization of the right.

For decades, a conservative ideology — a set of "correct" beliefs forming a lens through which one views reality — did not exist. The conservative movement, such as it was, contained former Communists and anti-Communists, free marketers and compassionists and private-sector welfarists; unionists (Ronald Reagan's "hardhats") and those driven by a commitment to the Taft-Hartley Law's section 14-B; Burkeans, traditionalists, libertarians, religionists, and believers in living one's life according to an individualized secular virtue; neo-con refugees from the liberal swamp.

The conservative umbrella kept the rain off all these disparates; the conservative tent had room for just about anyone.

Conservatives took over the Republican Party and drove it to political power. On their way to consolidating power, two things happened. (1) They demonstrated time and again that they were not particularly good at government — that in many ways they don't do the governing thing well, often not so well as liberal Democrats. (2) They coalesced around a set of views and values one generally had to embrace in order to have one's claim of allegiance to the conservative flag accepted.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at timesdispatch.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatives; mackenzie; miers
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Conservatives had better learn — and learn damn fast — that unless a party can gain political party and hold on to it, no amount of ideological purity will be much more significant than breaking wind in a cyclone.

Just as conservatism evolved away from the isolationist, business-versus-labor model — leaving Pat Buchanan and his ilk floundering about in the political wilderness like beached whales — so too is conservatism evolving apace away from the small-government, libertarian model so dear to the hearts of Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes.

Bush has recognized this and has parlayed it into two presidential terms.

However, if movement conservatives start an ideological war withing the GOP, everything which Ronald Reagan and those who believe as he did accomplished is in danger of being wrecked.

The my-way-or-the-highway conservatives are fast becoming the mirror images of the lunatic-fringe Democrats from moveon.org.

If the GOP is driven to the right, the Reagan Democrats who are socially conservative but fiscally liberal will be alienated and will rejoin the Democrats.

This is the reason Bill Clinton was elected twice.

1 posted on 10/12/2005 6:06:39 PM PDT by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

The GOP better get THEIR act together.


2 posted on 10/12/2005 6:09:02 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: quidnunc
And people forget just how genuinely crappy life was at the end of the BJ Clintoon administration.
3 posted on 10/12/2005 6:09:02 PM PDT by xcamel (No more RINOS - Not Now, Not Ever Again.)
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To: quidnunc
Just as conservatism evolved away from the isolationist, business-versus-labor model — leaving Pat Buchanan and his ilk floundering about in the political wilderness like beached whales — so too is conservatism evolving apace away from the small-government, libertarian model so dear to the hearts of Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes. Bush has recognized this and has parlayed it into two presidential terms. However, if movement conservatives start an ideological war withing the GOP, everything which Ronald Reagan and those who believe as he did accomplished is in danger of being wrecked. The my-way-or-the-highway conservatives are fast becoming the mirror images of the lunatic-fringe Democrats from moveon.org.

BTTT...

4 posted on 10/12/2005 6:10:46 PM PDT by veronica ("clowns clones clowns/ it's raining clowns/snarling FR obsessed clones/ claws bared clowns"...)
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To: quidnunc

So all it takes to stay in power is to rally behind a cause inimical to our best interests?

If I wanted that I'd be a Democrat.


5 posted on 10/12/2005 6:12:20 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Bush's judicial philosophy - Aliens' rights > your rights)
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To: quidnunc
Pragmatic Conservatism Is The Only Way for a Long Lasting Conservative Majority.
6 posted on 10/12/2005 6:14:05 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: quidnunc

For what it's worth, conservatives didn't start this food fight. Bush did.

I have supported Bush for five years, in spite of his sometimes doing things I don't like. But as I've said before, judicial appointments are the bottom line. A lot of other conservatives feel the same way.

Bush has done this to himself. There still may be time to pull his ratings and his reputation back up, and he has certainly shown himself capable of recovering before. He can be a fighter, but I hope he decides to fight his enemies instead of his friends. I hope he takes a good hard look at this whole business and finds a graceful way to back out of it and start over.


7 posted on 10/12/2005 6:14:30 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: xcamel

I remember but I haven't seen anyone to vote for. The only interesting one, has his hands full with a pit bull DA right now.


8 posted on 10/12/2005 6:14:43 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: quidnunc

So, do you think your comments promote unity or drive people away?


9 posted on 10/12/2005 6:14:45 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart. Ps. 51:17)
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To: thoughtomator
So all it takes to stay in power is to rally behind a cause inimical to our best interests?

If I wanted that I'd be a Democrat.

BUMP!

To some, it is "ideologization"...
To others, it's called "integrity"...

10 posted on 10/12/2005 6:15:57 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: thoughtomator
Just remember, the interest of the individual is secondary to the interests of the party comrade.
11 posted on 10/12/2005 6:15:58 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: jveritas
Pragmatic Conservatism Is The Only Way for a Long Lasting Conservative Majority.

But is that Conservatism? At what point is "pragmatic" actually "selling out"? And who cares about a majority if you don't get what you want anyway?

12 posted on 10/12/2005 6:17:26 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: quidnunc
Just as conservatism evolved away from the isolationist, business-versus-labor model — leaving Pat Buchanan and his ilk floundering about in the political wilderness like beached whales — so too is conservatism evolving apace away from the small-government, libertarian model so dear to the hearts of Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes.

Do you think the evolution away from small government by conservatives is a good thing?

13 posted on 10/12/2005 6:17:29 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: quidnunc

Let me see if I got this straight.

"First the GOP gets rid of the isolationist non-free-traitors. Then it shakes loose that pesky small-government, libertarian wing. Ideological purity? That's just silly talk. Dig up the corrupt Jay Hanna GOP of the Gilded Age, that's WAAAAAY better than trying to get elected based on a platform. Screw these people who want a party philosophy...we run to put our people in power, the only principle is WIN!"

I'm aghast at how fast you people want what had yet been a party of principle to race to join the Democrat whoring. And you think...somehow...it's VIRTUOUS to do so. Who are you, and why do you call yourself conservative, anyway?


14 posted on 10/12/2005 6:17:42 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, Raich and Roe-all them gotta go. Pick Judge JRB! She'll nuke `em 'til they glow!)
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To: thoughtomator
thoughtomator wrote: So all it takes to stay in power is to rally behind a cause inimical to our best interests? If I wanted that I'd be a Democrat.

No, it means that in order to be a successful politician you have to walk the line between a lot of competing interests, and it's usually not possible to eget everything you want.

So the choice is between compromising ibn such a way as to advance your agenda a little at a time, or howling the cant of your pure ideology in the political wilderness while the othere guy advances HIS agenda.

15 posted on 10/12/2005 6:19:34 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
If the ultra conservative ideologists want to leave so be it. It happened before when the Buchananite wing of the Republican party left or was kicked out, and since then the GOP has won the Congress and state governorship since 1994 then the White House in 2000 and 2004.
16 posted on 10/12/2005 6:21:17 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: CindyDawg
Pit Bull, no, can of stinky old bull sh!t, yes.

"Supporting Bush is like having your cake and eating it too. The cost is many extra hours on the stairmaster, not running away like a confounded dim."

17 posted on 10/12/2005 6:21:53 PM PDT by xcamel (No more RINOS - Not Now, Not Ever Again.)
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To: quidnunc
...compromising ibn such a way as to advance your agenda a little at a time...

But that's not what's happening... What's happening is "compromising in such a way as to retreat our agenda a little at a time"...

18 posted on 10/12/2005 6:22:02 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: quidnunc

The GOP better get their act together and start acting like Republicans. Where is the smaller government? Even Bill Clinton won by declaring the era of big government is over. The GOP should impliment that popular sentiment if they really want to win.


19 posted on 10/12/2005 6:22:25 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Cicero
Cicero wrote: But as I've said before, judicial appointments are the bottom line.

And you have no concrete evidence thus far that you have been betrayed on this point.

20 posted on 10/12/2005 6:22:25 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: quidnunc

"so too is conservatism evolving apace away from the small-government, libertarian model"

You're saying this as if it's a good thing...or am I missing something?


21 posted on 10/12/2005 6:25:52 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: quidnunc
And you have no concrete evidence thus far that you have been betrayed on this point.

The nominee could be the most fervent strict constructionist justice we've had, and the betrayal has still occurred. Such a weak appointment implies weakness and an unwillingness to take on the left.

22 posted on 10/12/2005 6:26:49 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: quidnunc
This is the reason Bill Clinton was elected twice.

BS ... the liberal MSM put his piece of crap over the top twice. Had he been a Republican they would have torpedoed his candidacy way back in the early '90's.

23 posted on 10/12/2005 6:27:44 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: jveritas

Think of it as "trickle down" Conservatism! We are not a party, we are a Very big tent! It's not necessarily a bad thing to have this family fight! Perhaps we'll get some of our family members into "re-hab" with some tough love sooner rather that later!
Either way every one has to come out "honest" or they don't make it through tough love!


24 posted on 10/12/2005 6:27:52 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: quidnunc
...small-government, libertarian model so dear to the hearts of Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes...

This seems to describe that antithesis of Rush & Co.

25 posted on 10/12/2005 6:28:29 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: quidnunc

There are two things that kept George in office for his second term...And barely, at that...

The first thing is that we wrapped ouselves in the flag to support this two-term long war...

The second, George promised to pick Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Thomas and Scalia...

Question: Where would George be without the war???


26 posted on 10/12/2005 6:28:59 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Gondring
Pragmatism is to reach your goal without the need to bloody idealogical battles that will lead to defeat in many cases and alienate a large portion of the electorate.

Do you know the reason why 30% of conservatives are against the anti-Miers nomination? It is because they did not get the BLOODY battle that they were waiting for with liberals. They want a fight more than anything else. They want an openly know conservative judge so they will drive the liberals and the media insane and in raged with hate and they in turn will spew anger and hate toward liberals. Although there is over 80% chance of losing the war of getting the conservative judge on the Supreme Court because of liberal and RINO senators, but it seems that winning the war for them is not the goal but rather the emotional intensity of fighting a bloody war with the left.

27 posted on 10/12/2005 6:29:44 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: acapesket

I prefer sleeping bags to tents but I stay close:')


28 posted on 10/12/2005 6:29:47 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: quidnunc

Well, I won't argue it with you yet again. I think the appointment already has been very damaging for Bush and the judicial appointment process. I devoutly hope that, if she is confirmed, she will prove to be a real conservative justice. I would take no pleasure in having my fears confirmed.


29 posted on 10/12/2005 6:29:48 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Iscool

Bigger question: Where would this country be without George?


30 posted on 10/12/2005 6:30:26 PM PDT by small voice in the wilderness (Behold the Riderless Pony. Bringing doom and destruction on a smaller scale.)
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To: ConservativeDude
ConservativeDude wrote: ("so too is conservatism evolving apace away from the small-government, libertarian model") You're saying this as if it's a good thing...or am I missing something?

I'm saying that it is what it is, and no amount of fulminating and pontificating will make it otherwise.

The small-government model is fading and the model which advocates using government to move towards desirable, socially-conservative outcomes like the ownershio society is in the ascendency.

31 posted on 10/12/2005 6:30:32 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: LibertarianInExile

I prefer to be a loser with my integrity and ideals intact than a bought and sold winner.


32 posted on 10/12/2005 6:31:19 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: quidnunc

(This is the reason Bill Clinton was elected twice.)

I have seen governor Ryan (R, Illinois) voted for twice. I have seen Bill Clinton voted for twice. Both men destroyed their party.

There is something to be said for integrity.


33 posted on 10/12/2005 6:31:30 PM PDT by winner3000
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To: jveritas

anti-Miers=Miers.


34 posted on 10/12/2005 6:32:16 PM PDT by jveritas (The Axis of Defeatism: Left wing liberals, Buchananites, and third party voters.)
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To: ModelBreaker
Do you think the evolution away from small government by conservatives is a good thing?

Big Government Conservatives have been the rule since 1964.

35 posted on 10/12/2005 6:32:37 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Cicero
"Fear":

False Evidence Apperaing Real

The whining over the "unknown" is really starting to grate on my good nature.

36 posted on 10/12/2005 6:32:39 PM PDT by xcamel (No more RINOS - Not Now, Not Ever Again.)
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To: quidnunc
It says Bush's approval ratings are down. What's that got to do with conservatives?
37 posted on 10/12/2005 6:34:49 PM PDT by D.P.Roberts
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To: cripplecreek
cripplecreek wrote: I prefer to be a loser with my integrity and ideals intact than a bought and sold winner.

That's a common brain-fart of the far Right because integrity ancompromise are not antithetical one to the pother.

38 posted on 10/12/2005 6:35:11 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: Always Right
Where is the smaller government?

Smaller government is a myth. Only Calvin Coolidge was able to actually shrink the size of the government, during his term.

Nobody-NOBODY- else in the 20th century did anything but grow the size of the government. Even the sainted Ronald Reagan.

The American people don't want smaller government. If they did, they'd put people in office who could actually shrink government and not worry at the next election.

What are YOU willing to give up so that government can shrink? Nobody wants to "give up what's comin' to me" so that programs could be reduced or eliminated.

The American people have what they want: a government that responds to lots of their needs for which they are willing to pay high taxes.

39 posted on 10/12/2005 6:37:50 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you're not willing to give Harriett Miers a hearing, I don't give a damn what you think.)
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To: quidnunc

I fail to see how this article can claim that Republicans are no good at governing. Bush has been very successful until about 6 months ago. His alleged failure at Katrina was more a political failure (not getting in front of the cameras quickly) than anything else. He is not directly responsible for FEMA's incompetence, and he is not at all responsible for the Louisiana government and New Orleans failures. He fired the FEMA head and that is really all he can do.

None of this proves that Republicans "can't govern." I'd like to see them try to defend a nation against terrorism and bring democracy to the Middle East. They all lack any kind of vision, and of course won't allow for any mistakes.


40 posted on 10/12/2005 6:38:00 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: jveritas
If the ultra conservative ideologists want to leave so be it. It happened before when the Buchananite wing of the Republican party left or was kicked out, and since then the GOP has won the Congress and state governorship since 1994 then the White House in 2000 and 2004.

So that's yer problem...Your memory is shot...

When we conservatives left the party, you stayed and let Clinton get elected...We came back because there wasn't enough of you to keep Gore and Kerry out of the White House...NOT because of Georgie...

And you imply we were kicked out??? You don't have a party without us...All you have is John McCain...

41 posted on 10/12/2005 6:38:01 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: quidnunc

some people will never understand.


42 posted on 10/12/2005 6:38:45 PM PDT by birbear (Admit it. you clicked on the "I have already previewed" button without actually previewing the post.)
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To: small voice in the wilderness
Where would this country be without George?

Can you say President Gore? N..o..w freepers, let go of the Internet. You h..a..v..e to share. Repeat after me. The U.N. is o..u..r friend.

43 posted on 10/12/2005 6:41:15 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: quidnunc

You should try to intimidate and ridicule democrats into agreeing with you, it works better.


44 posted on 10/12/2005 6:41:42 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: jveritas

With all due respect, your view is too short-sighted and narrow. The American people are getting sick of the games of the left, and if President Bush had made a courageous appointment and wasn't intimidated into a "Stealth" candidate, then the left either had to accept the nominee or look bad by rejecting the nominee. Conservatives would win either way.


45 posted on 10/12/2005 6:43:00 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: quidnunc; Sacajaweau
The basic compromise that was made as a matter of politics was for conservatives to accept the socialistic tendencies of George W. Bush in exchange for the moderates' cooperation in the reversal of many decades of judicial tyranny - the prime motivator for conservative voters. This nomination appears to be a breach of that basic agreement, not by the conservatives, but by the moderate politician in whose charge this agreement was kept.

I know you have both been here long enough to remember the innumerable times that this appeal was made to persuade conservatives to support Bush in 2000. The offer was accepted, and followed through... until now. This was a key opportunity, at the very core of the conservatives' interests, and it appears to have been carelessly squandered. I realize that there is a small but nonzero chance she may actually turn out like Thomas. Given the historical percentages, there's less than a quarter chance this will happen.

But make no mistake. It was the President's act that precipitated the fallout. This is do-or-die for the conservative voter not persuaded by the President's considerable personal charm. Conservatives are simply expressing the natural reaction to a knife in the back, at the hand of a trusted friend. Y usted, George?

46 posted on 10/12/2005 6:43:21 PM PDT by thoughtomator
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To: jveritas

Conservatives realize that the best defense is a good offense.

As long as the Republicans are attacking the Democrats, the Democrats will be on the defensive. That allows the Republicans to set the agenda, while Democrats can only rebut the Republican argument.

That leaves the Republicans with the upper hand.

President Bush and the RINO's have been trying to reverse that; having the Democrats on the offensive. And that is a sure-fire way to lose.


47 posted on 10/12/2005 6:44:24 PM PDT by gogogodzilla (Raaargh! Raaargh! Crush, Stomp!)
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To: jveritas
Do you know the reason why 30% of conservatives are against the anti-Miers nomination? It is because they did not get the BLOODY battle that they were waiting for with liberals. They want a fight more than anything else.

You've gone off the deep end...WE, want to get back to a Constitutional Government...You don't get that, do you??? That means nothing to you...It's not even in your deck of cards...

48 posted on 10/12/2005 6:44:37 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: quidnunc

When they rejoin the democrats will they take Bush with them????


49 posted on 10/12/2005 6:44:42 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: Zack Nguyen
I fail to see how this article can claim that Republicans are no good at governing.

That line got me, too.

50 posted on 10/12/2005 6:45:51 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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