Quin -- all this seems to redound, to me, to the moral-victory benefit of conservatives. On what issue have the Congress and the President failed by doing the conservative thing? I can't think of a one. The victories have been conservative, like tax cuts and John Roberts, and the victories snatched from the jaws of defeat have been conservative, too -- like Harriet Miers. Bush's losing issues -- even on the left -- come courtesy of stances no conservative loves: No Child Left Behind, the guest worker program, Katrina policy, a flotilla of other domestic programs and half-programs. And Congress has gone right along for the ride on them all.
Query then whether a conservative rebellion against the entire GOP leadership agenda, excepting war strategy, is the only way for Republicans to keep Congress and the vitality necessary for '08. Query when the last time such a thing has happened -- and whether we aren't headed for an extraordinary moment in 2008 when the national realignment Rove had been dreaming of turns out to be less about party and more about philosophy. There are more anti-Bush conservatives now, I think, than ever -- paleocons and paleoliberals who share an unadventurous reticence in foreign, as well as moral, policy. You heard it here first that this is the critical swing vote over the next two years...
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