Joe Klein: How the GOP Lost Its Way

Christopher Morris / VII for TIME

Florida Governor Jeb Bush

"Stop moping around," former Governor Jeb Bush told an audience of conservatives convened by the National Review in Washington last weekend. That wasn't quite fair. The wingers weren't exactly moping. They seemed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the election of 2006, wandering about in a state of shock, certain that it wasn't a failure of principles that had led them back into the political wilderness. "I've just come from our [Republican] congressional retreat," said Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. "The leaders asked the caucus why we thought we'd lost our majority. Was it the war in Iraq? About...

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