The Cato Institute
Jeb Bush got it right. He told conservatives at the National Review summit this past weekend that Republicans lost the 2006 elections because they abandoned their principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.
Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections on a limited-government platform. Bush has twice squeaked through with his big-government conservatism.
The Republican Congress came to power in 1994 promising "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money." But for the past six years, with Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress, they have instead delivered the biggest spending increases and the biggest expansion of entitlements since Lyndon Johnson, the federalization of education, the McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech, and the Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory burden.
When you combine that with a misguided war and a series of scandals that reminded voters why no party should stay in power too long, is it any wonder that conservatives were dispirited in the 2006 election?