conservative Noonan: Can the Republican Party Recover From Iraq?
Did the Iraq war hurt the GOP? Yes. The war, and the crash of '08, half killed it. It's still digging out, and whether it can succeed is an open question.
Iraq ruined the party's hard-earned reputation for foreign-affairs probity.
It muddied up the meaning of conservatism and bloodied up its reputation.
It ended the Republican political ascendance that had begun in 1980.
It undermined respect for Republican economic stewardship.
It quashed debate within the Republican Party.
It killed what remained of the Washington Republican establishment.
All this of course is apart from the central tragedy, which is the human one—the lost lives, the wounded, the families that will now not be formed, or that have been left smaller, and damaged.
Iraq and Afghanistan have ended badly for the Republicans, and the party won't really right itself until it has candidates for national office who can present a new definition of what a realistic and well-grounded Republican foreign policy is, means and seeks to do.
GOP controlled everything from 2000-2006 which is when the bubble grew and popped. The market collapse was a delayed effect. You could argue that the bubble started on 1998 and you would have a point, but it would not change the fact that the GOP controlled everything from 2000-2006 and they only acted to stimulate the bubble and try to take credit for it. Remember Bush's "ownership society"?