Peggy Noonan, the former Reagan speechwriter and now Wall Street Journal columnist, proclaimed an almost starry-eyed faith in (some would say, crush on) George W. Bush for years. Today at the Journal she admits: "George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.
"Were there other causes? Yes, of course. But there was an immediate and essential cause. And this needs saying, because if you don't know what broke the elephant you can't put it together again. The party cannot re-find itself if it can't trace back the moment at which it became lost. It cannot heal an illness whose origin is kept obscure.... The truth will out, like steam from a kettle. It hurts to say something you supported didn't work. I would know."