08/13/2007 01:47 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Karl Rove's "Permanent Republican Majority"

George Will on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning, discussing the Iowa straw poll:

"The Republicans realize that their brand is badly damaged and that there's no heartthrob out there. I happen to think that this weird waiting for Fred Thompson is a sign of the decadence of the conservative movement. The fact that a man who's known, best known, for theatrical roles and for a southern drawl to be anointed the next Reagan."

What is so telling about this field of Republican presidential candidates is that after eight years of having the White House, 12 years of having the House, and the Senate much of that time, the "bench" of the Republican Party is so thin, so poor in terms of seriousness, intellectual heft and ability to articulate a vision.

What, exactly, was being built in all these years of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay and Trent Lott and Bill Frist and, since 2000, Karl Rove, the fabled Architect???

The legacy of Bush abroad is the Iraq war that has the U.S. military firmly planted in the middle of Arabia, and a world that hates us. The legacy of Bush at home is the bizarre Terri Schiavo affair, Katrina, a worsening health care crisis, etc. The people observed all of this, in real time.

Karl's vision has always been, in his own words, a "permanent Republican majority." The political legacy of Bush and this era of modern Republicanism is a Democratic-controlled House, a Democratic-controlled Senate, and most likely a Democratic-controlled White House next year.

Them's what I call consequences.