The major media is missing the full magnitude of the grassroots Republican surge that will soon transform the 2008 field.

The remnants of the Bush presidency and recent Republican Congress is a crisis of conservatism with a major backlash brewing beneath the surface. None of the Big Three (McCain, Romney, or Guiliani) has won the confidence of authentic conservatives. The boomlet for Fred Thompson will grow and challenge the conventional wisdom, again.

What is modern conservatism? Major budget deficits, trade deficits, current account deficits? A mismanaged war with military advice often ignored and a catastrophic scandal in treatment of wounded troops? Massive pork-barrel spending with a Big Government superstate more reminiscent of French Gaullism than American conservatism?

What happened to conservative libertarians and "strict construction of the Constitution"? Presidential signing statements sweeping aside federal statutes? Massive violations of privacy that attack constitional protections without the rule of law? New revelations that the FBI apparently violated the law itself while the firing of U.S. attorneys under questionable circumstances faces major investigation?

What happened to sound management? More than $10 billion of U.S. Iraq reconstruction money missing, stolen, or wasted, with tons of Iraqi cash lost in space? Incompetence and neglect in military care of heroes? Katrina? Abu Ghraib? Conservatism?

New Republican candidates consider running by revealing their adultery while congressional pages were violated and Republican leaders passed the buck (at best)? "Conservatives" now champion a pardon for putting one's hand on the Bible and lying under an oath to God?

The list goes on. This crisis of conservatism not only alienates the conservative base of the Republican Party, but moderate Republicans, independents and Reagan Democrats as well.

Howard Baker is brilliant and right in promoting Fred Thompson. The pundits are wrong, the field is wide open, half of the Republicans are not happy with the choices and there is a real chance of a Thompson surge. Conservatism has always included fiscal conservatism, libertarian conservatism, moral conservatism, respect for commanders, patriotic commitment to troops, sound management, small-sized government and respect for the Constitution.

Every one of these is under seige.

Conservatism is in crisis.

Fred Thompson is waiting in the wings.

Dont belive the pundits. Get ready for the surge that will transform the Republican race.