Relishing Conservative Feuds on the Front Page

David Kirkpatrick answers the question: How many "conservatives" can fit inside a front-page story?

Friday's off-lead story, "Republican Woes Lead to Feuding by Conservatives," is by the paper's once-and-future man on the conservative beat, David Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick relishes the GOP's intra-party feuding in the run-up to the November 7 election: "Tax-cutters are calling evangelicals bullies. Christian conservatives say Republicans in Congress have let them down. Hawks fault President Bush for bungling the war in Iraq. And many conservatives blame Representative Mark Foley's sexual messages to teenage pages.

"With polls showing Republican control of Congress in jeopardy, conservative leaders are pointing fingers at one other in an increasingly testy circle of blame for potential Republican losses this fall.

"'It is one of those rare defeats that will have many fathers,' said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, expressing the gloomy view of many conservatives about the outcome on Election Day. 'And they will all be somebody else.'"

Kirkpatrick falls into his usual labeling habit - as if he's being paid not only by the word, but byone word in particular - finding 19 "conservatives" (not including quoted matter and two "neoconservative" labels) in a 1,300-word story.

Here's one particularly pungent passage, with a "conservative" label in four straight sentences:

"In the case of the Republican Party this year, the skirmish among conservatives over what is going wrong has begun unusually early and turned unusually personal.

"But almost regardless of the outcome on Nov. 7, many conservatives express frustration that the party has lost its ideological focus. And after six years of nearly continuous control over the White House and Congress, conservatives are having a hard time finding anyone but one another to blame.

"'It is pre-criminations,' said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the conservative magazine."

Alright already, we get the point!