Republicans must have a “driving desire to lose,” said Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. Otherwise, why would conservatives have reacted so negatively to the “listening tour” launched recently by GOP officials? Former Florida governor Jeb Bush was accused of spitting on Ronald Reagan’s grave for saying that Republicans need new ideas—he was just trying to lead his party out of “the kingdom of irrelevance.”
There‘s nothing wrong with sticking with conservative values, said Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. There are “honest differences” about how to rebuild the party, but there are limits. And people like former secretary of state Colin Powell—who think “embracing bigger government, higher taxes, and Obama is the formula for success”— have lost touch with what most Republicans want.
What the Republican Party needs is its own Bill Clinton, said Ross K. Baker in USA Today. Back in the 1980s, the Democrats were the ones wandering lost in the wilderness. Clinton remade his party and made it relevant again. His “formula for success was understanding that the differences between liberals and conservatives are not nearly as significant as the gap between romantics and realists.”