As a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former speechwriter for President Bush, you're surprisingly critical of him in your new book, claiming he has appointed "consistently mediocre people" to important jobs and made "a shambles" of the Iraq war. Do you see the book as a mea culpa?
No. Mea culpa is a kind of hand-wringing, breast-beating, woe-is-me attitude that I don't share. What I am saying is that there is exhaustion, intellectual exhaustion on the part of Republicans and conservatives.
And that their long winning streak in Congress has ended?
What I am terrified of is that the Republican Party is heading into a period of political defeat. We lost the election in 2006. I am terrified that we can lose the election in 2008. We can lose in 2012, and it will take us half a dozen years to do the rethinking we need to do.