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Is Conservatism Dying?
Townhall.com ^ | 17 March 2007 | Patrick Ruffini

Posted on 03/17/2007 3:11:01 AM PDT by Aussie Dasher

Time magazine has chosen a weeping (and Photoshopped) Ronald Reagan for its first redesigned cover in 15 years. The theme: "How the Right Went Wrong."

This is not the first time Time has run an altered photo of Reagan on its cover. The August 16, 1993 issue featured Reagan turned upside down, and the blaring headline: "Overturning the Reagan Era." The implicit message in the wake of the 1992 defeat and the passage of the Clinton tax increase: the Age of Reagan was over. Higher marginal tax rates and HillaryCare were here to stay.

The American people had something else to say about that in November 1994.

Once again, conservatism is being left for dead. The November elections were a body blow. The mood at CPAC was said to be glum (funny, I didn't see anyone roaming the exhibit hall with their heads hung low, but I don't seem to have the same magical divining powers as reporters). And conservatives are said to be disaffected with their choices for President.

As conservatives, we face challenges to be sure. But forgive me if I'm not exactly quaking in my boots at the latest in a string of Time magazine covers or New York Times/CBS News polls portending doom for Republicans.

As I wrote on my blog a little over a month ago, we can expect a concerted effort to depress Republican turnout going into 2008. The Democrats will be portrayed as fresh, vigorous, and exciting. Republicans will be framed as disappointed in their candidates, hungering for someone new.

Lo and behold, that is exactly the message we see from this Time cover, and the New York Times/CBS poll earlier in the week purporting to show that most Republicans want new options in the 2008 race.

What's left unsaid is that leading Republican Rudy Giuliani (who campaign I support and am doing some work for) has a greater favorable-to-unfavorable ratio of any the Democratic candidates amongst his own party. To the extent that the Republican candidates are less favored, it's because they are not as well known. (An average of 33% of Republicans don't know enough about any given member of their Big Three; for Democrats that number is 13%.) And the Republicans are not as well known because none of them has received Obamamania-like coverage.

Despite all this, the leading Republican candidates are leading or competitive in the polls. According to the Real Clear Politics average of all public polling, Giuliani leads Hillary Clinton by 4.8 points, while John McCain is up by 1.6 points. We are told that Democrats lead by 20 points or more in the Presidential generic ballot (traditionally a dubious measure). The fact that they can't keep pace in head-to-head matchups says more about public dissatisfaction with their candidates than it does of Republicans.

Sometimes, it seems like Republican despair (the Times uses this word in their piece) and division is mostly an artifact of press rooms and cocktail parties than it is of grassroots voices in the Republican Party. Indeed, this seems to be their strategy. Democrats can't attack Republican candidates who are broadly popular nationally using the standard playbook, so they'll play up Republican division and "despair."

This isn't to say that the primary season won't see disagreements. That's what primaries are for. But more often than not, these divisions will be greater in places like Washington, D.C. than they will in the heartland.

Another interesting fact Time ignores is this: contrary to the conventional wisdom, this primary race is in many ways more conservative than 2000. In 2000, George W. Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" largely uninterested in deep cuts in government spending. Today, virtually every Republican carries the banner of spending discipline. With the exception of Chuck Hagel, the primary candidates or prospective candidates haven't really wavered on the prosecution of the war.

So, if conservatism is a "broken" brand, wouldn't candidates be running away from it rather than running on it?

2006 taught us the consequences of running away from the core principles that unify all Republicans, chief among them smaller government. Had we stood unambiguously on these principles, we would have fared much better than we did. The appeal of our ideas is the same or stronger than before; it was our leaders' willingness to carry them through in 2006 that "went wrong," not the conservative movement.

Times like now teach us almost nothing about broad shifts in public opinion. At this point in 1999, George W. Bush was leading by double digits -- at another time when the Republican brand was in the media doghouse after the Clinton impeachment. No one could have predicted the razor-tight 2000 election back then. Until the February 5 GigaTuesday primary, the parties will be focused on duking it out for the nomination. At that point, public opinion will realign based on the parties' nominees, and this will become a contest about the future. With Democrats lacking in bold ideas and a clear direction on the war since taking control of Congress, the Time cover looks like another example wishful thinking and media cocooning for the Democrats.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; frogdroppings; thegreatronaldreagan; time
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I'm not sure Rudy winning the nomination is going to boost conservatism enormously...
1 posted on 03/17/2007 3:11:02 AM PDT by Aussie Dasher
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To: Aussie Dasher

This article sidesteps the issue of what is going on with the conservative movement and just talks about the likelihood of another Republican president. Also, I love the ridiculous spectacle of the communist Time magazine opining on how conservatism has gone astray. Man, keep to your own party. Nobody's buying it.


2 posted on 03/17/2007 3:15:14 AM PDT by billybudd
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To: Aussie Dasher

"The Democrats will be portrayed as fresh, vigorous, and exciting. Republicans will be framed as disappointed in their candidates, hungering for someone new"




They may be portrayed that way...but i think all Americans on both sides are disgusted with politics and politicians in general...IMHO.


3 posted on 03/17/2007 3:22:49 AM PDT by chasio649
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To: Aussie Dasher

"The appeal of our ideas is the same or stronger than before; it was our leaders' willingness to carry them through in 2006 that "went wrong," not the conservative movement."




No argument from me...


4 posted on 03/17/2007 3:24:31 AM PDT by chasio649
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To: Aussie Dasher
Is Conservatism Dying?
No
Just weeding out CINOS

JMHO
V537

5 posted on 03/17/2007 3:30:54 AM PDT by DeaconRed (If it weren't for the United States Military-There would be NO United States of America.)
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To: Aussie Dasher
Is Conservatism Dying?

Eat the apple, it won't hurt conservatism...
6 posted on 03/17/2007 3:31:39 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Aussie Dasher
"Is Conservatism Dying?"

No!



We're just tired of being lied to by CINOs.


We wasn't born yesterday, ya know!

7 posted on 03/17/2007 3:36:44 AM PDT by blues_guitarist ( . . . As in the days of Noah!)
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To: blues_guitarist


Not at all, being in power too long has caused us to lose focus and enthusiasm.

Focus on lower taxes, less government and individual rights and we will win everytime.


8 posted on 03/17/2007 3:44:16 AM PDT by padre35 (I am from the "let's stop eating our own" wing of the Republican Party)
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To: blues_guitarist

> We're just tired of being lied to by CINOs.

And being told that CINOs like Rudy are "good for us", are "our only chance to win" et cetera ad nauseum.

Core principles are core for a reason.


9 posted on 03/17/2007 3:45:35 AM PDT by VictoryGal (Never give up, never surrender!)
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To: Aussie Dasher
Look, these are rough times: Bush is caving to the libs in the political arena, though he still seems strong on the WoT and taxes...our candidates aren't overwhelming us...and we're coming off a defeat in the mid-terms (though that is expected in the 6th year of an administration!).

But dead?? Dead? Hell no.

I, for one, have just begun to fight.

10 posted on 03/17/2007 3:48:46 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
I, for one, have just begun to fight.

I, for one, am ready to give "Goldilocks" a boot in the ass!

We built this party up from permanent minority status, but they keep running things...what's up with that?

11 posted on 03/17/2007 3:58:12 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger

It's called being co-opted.


12 posted on 03/17/2007 4:00:54 AM PDT by ichabod1 ("Liberals read Karl Marx. Conservatives UNDERSTAND Karl Marx." Ronald Reagan)
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To: Aussie Dasher
Conservatism won't die.

The left might be able to finally succeed in stamping out the display of it in the public square but it won't die.

God knows they are trying.

13 posted on 03/17/2007 4:11:56 AM PDT by Condor 63
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To: Aussie Dasher; beltfed308; Sun; Suzy Quzy; JockoManning; abigailsmybaby; Hydroshock; ...
Hey, Ruffini, you forget something. You left out a few important details.

On Jan 23, the NY Post reported that Rudy Giuliani hired Patrick Ruffini, President Bush's Webmaster, to map Giuliani's Internet strategy.

Now Ruffini's pontificating, not as a Giuliani employee, but posing as a "disinterested campaign obvserver" who makes only a passing reference to his day job.

ROTFLMCO.

Losing your marbles, eh, Ruffini? Either you are a sap-happy Polyanna, or you are braindead. Take your pick.

In any case, you have our sympathy----working for a jerk like Rudy will do that to a guy.

14 posted on 03/17/2007 4:14:24 AM PDT by Liz (Hunter: For some candidates, a conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope.)
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To: Liz
What's left unsaid is that leading Republican Rudy Giuliani (who campaign I support and am doing some work for) has a greater favorable-to-unfavorable ratio of any the Democratic candidates amongst his own party.

That doesn't sound like a disinterested campaign observer to me.

15 posted on 03/17/2007 4:29:52 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: ichabod1

The question was rhetorical ;o)


16 posted on 03/17/2007 4:32:20 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Aussie Dasher

Ruffini = RudyBot


17 posted on 03/17/2007 4:40:23 AM PDT by johnny7 ("We took a hell of a beating." -'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell)
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To: Calpernia

Have some pity.

Ruffini is working overtime.....it's a rotten job trying to make the lisping liberal twit Giuliani look good.

I hope this guy Ruffini is paid well to get on his knees to praise Giuliani everyday.


18 posted on 03/17/2007 4:41:25 AM PDT by Liz (Hunter: For some candidates, a conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope.)
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To: Liz
Rudy Giuliani hired Patrick Ruffini... to map Giuliani's Internet strategy.

LOL... I've got an email to prove it! I laughed my a$$ off when I saw who wrote this trash.

19 posted on 03/17/2007 4:49:09 AM PDT by johnny7 ("We took a hell of a beating." -'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell)
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To: Liz

Was Patrick Ruffini a web person for Bush just during his campaign? Or did he do any work at the White House?


20 posted on 03/17/2007 4:49:15 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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Wow, Patrick Ruffini has a lot of Democratic references on his site. As a webmaster, he should know that helps search engine returns for the 'other side'.

check out this pole even:

Which 2008 Democrat candidate has the best website?

Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd
John Edwards
Barack Obama
Tom Vilsack

Results

Why does he want to send traffic to Democrats?

21 posted on 03/17/2007 4:54:18 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Aussie Dasher

No, conservatism is not dying, just having a hard time being heard over all the howling 'Bolsheviks' out there.


22 posted on 03/17/2007 4:56:47 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: papertyger
We built this party up from permanent minority status, but they keep running things...what's up with that?

Over 900 FBI raw data files on leading Republicans is what's wrong with that. If we really pay attention, their actions will expose those who have been compromised and place career ahead of principle.

23 posted on 03/17/2007 4:59:33 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Liz

Found my answer:

"Patrick Ruffini, who served as the Web master of President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and then served in a similar role at the Republican National Committee."

Very interesting that he worked during 2004. That campaign is under investigation.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Log_Cabin_Republicans
Log Cabin Republicans campaigned AGAINST Bush in 2004.

Log Cabin (Republicans) need to account for where they got the money to fund the $1M ad campaign against President Bush in 2004 in key battleground states. This is a Federally-regulated organization (IRS and FEC rules apply!), but they have never documented where this money came from.

And now he is working for a Log Cabin Campaign.

Not that any of that is related. Just making an observation.


24 posted on 03/17/2007 5:01:12 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: chasio649
The Democrats will be portrayed as fresh, vigorous, and exciting.

Wow! Hillary pooped into my mind when I read those words. Describes her to a T.

25 posted on 03/17/2007 5:02:43 AM PDT by nativist
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To: Aussie Dasher

I'm not sure Rudy winning the nomination is going to boost conservatism enormously.



Winning the White House and Congress will.


26 posted on 03/17/2007 5:06:30 AM PDT by Senator Goldwater
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To: Aussie Dasher

We'll be asking if liberalism is dead in two years. When Giuliani wipes out Hillary nationally, many Demoscum Congresscritters like Dick Turban will be replaced by actual conservatives.

Those who are having an Inquisition against "RINOs" aren't seeing the big picture.


27 posted on 03/17/2007 5:08:41 AM PDT by JHBowden (President Giuliani in 2008! Law and Order. Solid Judges. Free Markets. Killing Terrorists.)
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To: johnny7
I laughed my a$$ off when I saw who wrote this trash.

The article this poseur wrote is an anagram for "I get paid very well to co-opt conservatives even though flacking Rudy's sorry backside is a pain."

28 posted on 03/17/2007 5:09:24 AM PDT by Liz (Hunter: For some candidates, a conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope.)
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To: Aussie Dasher; OrthodoxPresbyterian
Time magazine has chosen a weeping (and Photoshopped) Ronald Reagan for its first redesigned cover in 15 years. The theme: "How the Right Went Wrong."

This is not the first time Time has run an altered photo of Reagan on its cover. Time went wrong by misrepresenting Reagan, misrepresenting conservatives, and falsely portraying the follies of liberal Republicans as conservativism.

Patrick Ruffini went wrong by supporting Giuliani and avoiding coverage of conservatives like Ron Paul, Jim Clymer, and Chuck Baldwin.

29 posted on 03/17/2007 5:11:31 AM PDT by The_Eaglet
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To: Calpernia; johnny7; Aussie Dasher
PREZ-MINDED RUDY TO SHED FINANCE BIZ By MAGGIE HABERMAN, NY POST, 1/23/07
EXCERPT Giuliani yesterday added former Bush-Cheney campaign adviser Brent Seaborn to his staff. Seaborn was involved with so-called "micro-targeting," which helped boost GOP votes for Bush in his 2004 campaign. He also hired Patrick Ruffini, President Bush's Webmaster, to help with his Internet strategy.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01232007/news/regionalnews/prez_minded_rudy_to_shed_finance_biz_regionalnews_maggie_haberman.htm

30 posted on 03/17/2007 5:12:41 AM PDT by Liz (Hunter: For some candidates, a conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope.)
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To: Smokin' Joe; Aussie Dasher
No, conservatism is not dying.

"

31 posted on 03/17/2007 5:14:47 AM PDT by The_Eaglet
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To: papertyger
We built this party up from permanent minority status, but they keep running things...what's up with that?

Socons are taking over, which is their right. They DID build the GOP up from permanent minority status and won Congress in 1994 and the White House twice.

In the process of "taking over", they have lost virtually all liberty folk and many fiscal conservatives.

The most distressing think about the socon ascendency is that they don't know, or care, that they are only 25-30% of the voting population. They can sink the GOP on their own, but they can't get elected dogcatcher on their own - and yet they keep showing up with Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo.

As if.

32 posted on 03/17/2007 5:17:45 AM PDT by Jim Noble (But that's why they play the games)
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To: Aussie Dasher
I despise Time Magazine and haven't read it since the early 60's.

Their staffers and upper management pray to their gods (phallic symbols and the ACLU charter) that their headline rings true.

It doesn't.

They, like the rest of the pansy liberal politicos who would like to run our lives, are dead wrong. It may be a small majority, but the majority of Americans want this nation put back on the track. A leader must come along that will take a meat axe to this federal government and cut it to the quick.

Believe it or not, he's out there someplace and so are that slim majority of Americans who see the evil destination this nation is headed and would like to either completely reform the RepublicRAT Party, or go to a legitimate and vocal third party.

If all else fails, then perhaps we've failed our founding fathers and are in need of a benevolent despot.

When the Republican Party calls me (and they do constantly) asking for money, I tell them I am no longer a Republican....I am now a Monarchist.

33 posted on 03/17/2007 5:20:24 AM PDT by mborman
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To: Jim Noble

Two words.

Term Limits.


34 posted on 03/17/2007 5:21:41 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The Clintons: A Malignant Malfeasance of the Most Morbid)
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To: The_Eaglet
No, conservatism is not dying.

But it has been deprived of leaders...

35 posted on 03/17/2007 5:23:38 AM PDT by johnny7 ("We took a hell of a beating." -'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell)
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To: Aussie Dasher

I'm not sure Rudy winning the nomination is going to boost conservatism enormously...


If Rudy boosts conservatism it will be in the same way that Clinton did.


36 posted on 03/17/2007 5:24:15 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Duncan Hunter: pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-border control, pro-family)
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To: philman_36

Eat the apple, it won't hurt conservatism...


Oh great, now Snow White is shilling for Rudy.


37 posted on 03/17/2007 5:26:01 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Duncan Hunter: pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-border control, pro-family)
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To: nativist

Hillary pooped into my mind when I read those words.


There's a limit to how open your mind should be. :)


38 posted on 03/17/2007 5:31:02 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Duncan Hunter: pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-border control, pro-family)
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To: freedomfiter2

You've misinterpreted the symbolism I intended. Do I need explain?


39 posted on 03/17/2007 5:31:35 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Jim Noble
The most distressing think about the socon ascendency is that they don't know, or care, that they are only 25-30% of the voting population.

What percentage of the voting population do you think the MoveOn.org types make up?

If socon's got their party's respect the way the moonbats do, Ann Coulter would be chair of RNC.

40 posted on 03/17/2007 5:33:29 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Jim Noble

Socons are taking over,


Funniest post of the day. If the Socons are taking over, why is it that they only time they even get lip service is a couple weeks before the election.


41 posted on 03/17/2007 5:35:21 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Duncan Hunter: pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-border control, pro-family)
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To: freedomfiter2
Hillary pooped into my mind...

There's an abstract poem there somewhere.

42 posted on 03/17/2007 5:37:29 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: philman_36

You've misinterpreted the symbolism I intended. Do I need explain?


Sorry, I made a feeble attempt at humor. I agree whole heartedly with your point.


43 posted on 03/17/2007 5:37:59 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Duncan Hunter: pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-border control, pro-family)
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To: freedomfiter2
And the dwarves are the rest of the candidates.
Want to guess who Dopey is in my mind's eye? LOL
44 posted on 03/17/2007 5:39:50 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Aussie Dasher
Conservatism is not dying, it is being defeated. We have no champion opposing socialism strong enough to win the battle. Politically the battle is lost. Republicans have evolved into a weak party of effete followers.

To be a conservative one must be aware of what a conservative is conserving. The 30 or so million illegal aliens do not. Not only are they fodder for socialism because of their total ignorance of self-government, economics, history, geography education, etc., they are immediately drafted into the Democrat party base.

I no longer think Conservatives can win because we are simply being outnumbered.
45 posted on 03/17/2007 5:41:12 AM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: R.W.Ratikal

Don't get me wrong. I don't think we can win but I will never give up to socialism. I will keep right on opposing Democrats until they put me up against a wall.


46 posted on 03/17/2007 5:43:27 AM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: freedomfiter2
The old lady with the poison apple (really the evil step mother) are the rinos, trying to get the conservatives to take a bite..."Go ahead, take a bite, all your dreams will come true." Lies, deceit, trickery, deception, death etc..
47 posted on 03/17/2007 5:51:14 AM PDT by Esther Ruth (Ravenous wolves, every one of them, can't believe a word they say!)
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To: Aussie Dasher
No, Conservatism is in fact being murdered by the MSM, liberal Dims and RINOs.But despite the fact that the previously mentioned Toxic Trio has tied granny knots in Conservatism's IV tubes and are ceaselessly pouring poison into it's feeding tubes, Conservatism still remains more healthy, morally,mentally and spiritually than those who plot to murder it.

Note to anti-American ,liberal and RINO conspirators: Don't start celebrating the death of Conservatism, Patriotism and Americanism, just yet.
48 posted on 03/17/2007 5:53:15 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Dems and RINOs: Too stupid 2 lead, too vain 2 follow, too egotistical 2 get the hell out of the way!)
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To: Esther Ruth
I'm impressed. Still, something else is missing.
Will there be a prince to awaken the slumberer?
49 posted on 03/17/2007 6:00:20 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: Aussie Dasher
"Once again, conservatism is being left for dead."

Perhaps by the Republican party leadership, it is. Among the population, it is strong.

50 posted on 03/17/2007 6:01:45 AM PDT by meyer (Bring back the Contract with America and you'll bring back the Republican majority.)
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