My Federalist column today explains that "reform conservatism" has been alive and well for years, and it is about time pundits start taking notice:
Ross Douthat's recent New York Times column argues the most consequential recent development for the GOP has been "the fact that reform conservatism suddenly has national politicians in its corner." Indeed, Douthat writes: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have presented reform ideas that "are already more interesting and promising than almost anything Republicans campaigned on in 2012."
Welcome, Ross, to what many of us have been saying for the last several years. Republicans ran a campaign in 2012 premised on keeping their heads down and not "making ourselves the issue." Senators Lee and Rubio have more in common, however, than just having recently introduced bold policy ideas. They also bucked this advice and ran insurgent campaigns against Establishment-backed candidates and won because they inspired people with bold ideas.