Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says the way to pull the Republican Party out of the mud, said Joseph Curl in The Washington Times, is to set aside conservative "nostalgia" for the Reagan era. At the start of a "listening tour" with other GOP leaders, Jeb Bush said Democrats won in November by tapping voter hunger for hope and change, so Republicans need to fight back with their own "forward-looking and relevant" ideas.
Good luck with that, said Bob Herbert in The New York Times. In Washington, "the incredibly clueless stewards of the incredibly shrinking Republican Party" are "chanting gibberish" about small government, spending cuts, and Ronald Reagan instead of offering helpful ideas to get the economy moving again. And they'll never have credibility until they face up to what they did to the country— Iraq, Katrina, torture—when they were in charge.
"The GOP has had some problems and needs to improve itself tremendously," said Michael van der Galien in PoliGazette, but there's no need for conservatives to panic. Democrats and America's liberal newspapers are hammering the "Republicans are in trouble meme" because it serves their purposes. "They know that a party in disarray, or one that appears to be in disarray," can't challenge Democratic supremacy.