After four years of absence, I choke on the "compassionate conservative" line. But the "ownership society" idea is exactly right (and not that far right) for the years ahead. As some semi-conservative commentators like David Brooks have said, the Republicans are shifting from "get the government off our backs" to "have the government provide the tools to support the transition toward greater personal autonomy and away from an economy based on traditional, more-or-less lifetime jobs." [Not direct quotes.] Bill Clinton actually articulated and championed this idea, but "nab the offshoring bandits" seems to be the election theme of Kerry & Co.