It is true that when President Bush and Republican Congress's were piling up debt and deficits in the 2000's and the economy sunk in 2008 and we were involved in two wars oversees with no clear end in sight, that Republicans didn't seem to have a problem with that. Not all Republicans, Representative Ron Paul, Representative Walter Jones, Senator Tom Coburn and Senator Chuck Hagel, all had problems with the debt and deficits that were piling up during these years and don't give President Bush high marks for his handling of the economy or Afghanistan and Iraq.
But the so called Tea Party wing of the party, were practically invisible until the fall of 2008 when President Bush and a Democratic Congress passed TARP. ( Or Temporary Assets Relief Program ) And then of course after Barack Obama becomes President of the United States and the Republican Party not only becomes the opposition party in America, but also the minority party in Congress both in the House and Senate.
When political parties that are use to governing and being in power suddenly lose that, there's a transition there that has to be made. And when you are in the opposition you don't have that one person that can lead your transition unless you have a very powerful and effective National Chairman that not only knows the weakness's of your party, but how to fix them and what the next course of action should be. And how to bring members of the party with you and that's what the GOP went through in 2009-10.
|Source: AEI: John Podhoretz- On The Golden Age|