"Let's face it: We Republicans are now, by any reasonable measurement, deep in the political wilderness," said U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona in The Washington Post. But conservatives can bounce back if we admit the "folly" of the budget-busting Bush administration and return to the bedrock principles of "limited government" and expanded economic freedom. "America loves a chastened and repentant sinner."

Republicans have clearly lost their way, said USA Today in an editorial, and not just by "spending with abandon and gambling heavily on an ill-conceived war." The GOP was defeated in this election partly because so many of its candidates substituted "fear-mongering" for sound policy proposals on the campaign trail. "If they are to find their way back, Republicans need more ideas and fewer attacks."

Conservative ideas still resonate deeply with the American people, said former House majority leader Tom DeLay in The Washington Times. “We are still a center-right nation" where the majority still favors "conservative approaches to taxes, spending, regulation, foreign policy, and traditional values.” All the GOP needs now is “a new, 21st-century political coalition" to remind people of that fact and restore faith in "actual conservatives."

See, liberals, conservatives are down but far from out, said Thomas Frank in The Wall Street Journal. Democrats shouldn't fool themselves that the culture wars are over, and "that stupid bankers sank conservatism for good. This movement will be back, and the biggest fights are yet to come."