06/25/2008 10:48 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Conservatives Reveal Principles

There are those of us on the bleeding-heart (wait, shouldn't that term now be restricted to those killed in Iraq?) Left who, cynically, believe that conservatives have no true political principles, that they justify whatever policy benefits them and their supporters by an ever-changing set of criteria. But the Inspector General's report of "politicized hiring" at the Justice Department finally allows us to pin them down.

The report says less-qualified conservatives were consistently chosen for positions over Democrats and "liberals." What's cool is that the report lists the specific organizations that qualified for this dual epithet. Therefore, through simple inversion, by knowing what conservatives are against, we can determine what they are for.

According to the list, then, a true conservative is against helping battered women, at least furriners (Battered Immigrant Women Project); gay people (but you knew that) (Bisexual Gay Lesbian Advocates); gay people with AIDS (Gay Men's Health Crisis); animals (National Wildlife Federation); human rights (Human Rights Watch); estuaries (San Francisco Estuary Project) (though, frankly, I'm no big fan of sea inlets myself); stopping sweatshops (Students Against Sweatshops); stopping torture (Amnesty International); the environment (The Nature Conservancy and others too numerous to mention); lawyers for the poor (Public Defender Service); clean water (Lawyers For Clean Water); and innocence (The Innocence Project).

The list goes on and on and, in a departure from usual conservative practices, is breathtaking in its inclusiveness; anyone to the left of Attilla The Hun (Dick Cheney) qualifies. If there's any solace to be taken from its length and breadth, it's that our society has truly moved forward; Nixon merely had an enemies list -- the Bushies have an enemies database.