John Andrews

McCain, now as lonely a voice in the Senate as Churchill had been in Parliament before 1939, pointed out that the Patriot Act and FISA surveillance could probably have averted the Second 9/11. But few listened, especially after the Super Fairness Doctrine was signed, muzzling conservative voices on cable and the Internet as well as talk radio.

Did I mention it was depressing, that GOP caucus I magically attended in 2012? It was the pits. Speaker Charles Rangel had passed a black reparations bill in 2009. The Tribe court had ordered gay marriage in 2010. Israel had fallen in 2011. Why didn’t thinking Republicans work harder to prevent the 2008 schism, we sat there asking each other.

The upside, we told ourselves, was Barack’s vulnerability for reelection against Condi or Newt or Jeb. Even Huck and Rudy were talking of a comeback. Chances seemed good, considering the recession triggered by Rangel’s huge tax increase, along with global tension over an Al Qaeda-dominated Iraq, an Iran with nukes, and a China that had seized Taiwan while the US stood by.

Predictably, Obama-Care was way over budget and already unpopular. Thankfully, his Supreme Court nomination of Bill Clinton, a payoff to Hillary for the DNC deal on super-delegates, had failed. Republican hopes were reviving. But what a price to pay for getting America’s conservative party unified and competitive again.

Then, snap! I was back at the wheel, and it was still 2008. Heaven protects day-dreaming pundits. Headlights showed my garage door going up. My party might still avert self-destruction.

John Andrews

John Andrews is former president of the Colorado Senate and the author of "Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen's Guide to the Next American Century"