It seems pretty obvious that there`s a huge empty niche open for somebody to come along and embody a very old type of conservatism: Green Eyeshade Conservatism. Sharp Pencil Conservatism.
Picture a suspicious, flinty old bastard who adds up all the numbers twice and makes sure nobody is pulling a fast one with other people`s money. He doesn`t care whether the folks playing fast and loose call themselves "government," "private enterprise," "NGO," or some monstrous hybrid.
It`s not been a popular role lately, so I don`t know who would be ready to step into it. (Maybe California state senator Tom McClintock if he could get himself elected to statewide office in 2010? But that`s a big if.)The picture above is of Golden Age Hollywood`s favorite Green Eyeshade skinflint, character actor Charles Lane, who played bookkeepers, IRS agents, accountants, Mr. Potter`s rent collector in It`s a Wonderful Life, and other killjoys in 344 films and TV shows in a career lasting from 1931 to 1995. He died in 2007 at age 102. (He was the cousin of Mickey Kaus`s grandmother.)