Former Bush White House advisers Mike Gerson, who was W's top speechwriter, and Pete Wehner, who worked on policy and strategic initiatives, are out today with the latest in a long line of articles on why the Republican party is in trouble, close on the heels of Robert Draper's piece this week in the New York Times magazine.
Gerson and Wehner's piece in Commentary magazine is, unsurprisingly, well-written, and includes some specific policy ideas that they think will help the GOP: pull a Roosevelt (Teddy) and break up the big banks; prison reform; an emphasis on worker training, and some others.
But the real strength of the piece is the historical perspectives they bring to the table. They go over the last few decades of presidential elections, and then trace the rebirth of the American Democratic Party led by Bill Clinton, and of the British Labour Party led by Tony Blair. The modern GOP, they argue, is in the same position and in the same need of dramatic reform.
The line that stood out to me was when they described the 2010 midterms, which marked the rise of the Tea Party.
"The resounding Republican midterm victory in 2010 now seems more like an aberration – a temporary backlash to presidential overreach – than evidence of an upward trend," Wehner and Gerson write.