My quickly-written comment is as follows:
You place this under the title "A Conservative with a Conscience" and that says a great deal about how you view what is happening in Washington these days.
Despite what some talk radio types might have us believe, conservatism is not so much a political agenda, as it is an **attitude toward** political agendas -- a look-before-you-leap approach. *Very* broadly speaking, it is the philosophy of the Republican Party.
As a Republican, I find myself disagreeing with most Democrats on a wide range of political issues.
But, far more fundamentally, I am an American, and am happy to work with honest people among the Democrats to uphold what I will describe as Truth, Justice and the American Way.
Does that expression sound cheesy to you?
The current administration is the most corrupt this country has ever had. The previous record was held by the Clinton Administration, with a long laundry list of criminal offenses including racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice, perjury and treason. The Bush Administration happens to be significantly worse -- something that, during the 1990's, I did not think was possible in America.
The Republican Party has always had this "blue-blood" wing to it, an excessively pro-business, ivy-league elite, but the Republican Party has also always had other, more mainstream influences, and the expression Truth, Justice and the American Way comes to mind again. That is why our nation's first Republican President was "Honest Abe" Lincoln, and that is why, historically, the Republican Party has, since its birth, dominated the Presidency.
It is interesting to note that, in pushing for the abuse and mistreatment of "detainees", the Bush Administration is overturning standing general orders that were brought into force by President Lincoln in 1863.
I do not weep for my country, because I know that the Bush Administration will set another precedent in American history -- it will be the first American administration that will be held rather fully accountable for its criminal actions, thus demonstrating that America truly is "one Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all." This, I'm sure, not only sounds cheesy, but even quite impossible -- no matter, from my vantage point, I see it happening.
As a conservative Republican who condemns the Bush Administration's treasonous, foolish, self-serving criminal actions, it often seems I stand alone, as too many "conservatives" and "Republicans" seem to go along with whatever the Dear Leader does, and too many "liberals" and "Democrats" fail to see the bad on their side or the good on the other side. However, I would rather stand alone than stand in bad company, as I stand not on politics, but on principle.
The Bush Administration demonstrates the difference between true Republicans and criminals.
The crimes of the Bush Administration, which are both grave and numerous, seem to be seen for the most part only by "The Left".
The crimes of the Clinton Administration, also quite numerous, seem to be seen only the "The Right".
I see both.
In fact, I see connections between the Clinton Administration's criminal activity, and the Bush Administration's... a great many connections.
So, here I sit -- disavowed by more vocal elements of "The Right" because of my rejection of the criminality of the current administration, and not accepted by the vocal elements of "The Left" because of my refusal to share their political views.
It is rather eerie to be in the Twilight Zone looking out and contemplating the crimes of the Shadow Realm...
Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor....