In the wake of the debt-ceiling debate, young voters might find it hard to believe that just ten years ago, "compassionate conservative" was a mantle worn with a straight face by many GOP leaders. In fact, you could argue that George W. Bush split the independent vote with Al Gore in 2000 because of his image as a compassionate conservative. Now, of course, in the era of the kick-ass-and-kill-programs Tea Party, few Republicans who value their careers would run as a touchy-feely politician. But is compassionate conservatism dead, or just mostly dead?
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