After sharp Republican setbacks in two successive elections, the latest buzz is about a looming 're-alignment' in American politics. No one ever said it would be easy to fight for a chastened and rational conservatism -- one that is no longer misled by crooks and crazies. Life wasn't easy, either, for the Democrats of 1947. But they kept faith with the moderate spirit of our American wing of the Enlightenment. And liberalism has -- for all its ups and downs -- stayed relevant to this day.