This has not been a good year for the country and for President Bush as far as his erstwhile conservative allies are concerned. A year ago, when the Heritage Foundation asked conservative leaders to grade Bush, the president got grades ranging from B to D. This year he did worse, thanks mainly to his flip-flop on taxes.

Martin Anderson, a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, flunked Bush on budget and economic policy, but rated Bush a B-minus overall.

Edward H. Crane, president of the Libertarian Cato Institute, said, "George Bush will go down as one of the worst presidents in American history," adding, "The Republicans were the anti-tax party and now they are the dumb party." He gave Bush an F.

It was a D from James C. Miller III, a Reagan budget director now chairman of Citizens for a Sound Economy, because of Bush's "incredible blunder" on taxes.

Heritage Foundation senior vice president Burton Yale Pines, who has suggested that a conservative challenge Bush in the 1992 presidential primaries, also gave Bush a D. "At best, he is reactive," Pines said. "At worst, he risks being a Herbert Hoover-William Howard Taft one-term president."