Larison arrives late to the debate:

The reality is that Republican gains this year are the product of immense economic discontent and anxiety to which few conservatives have plausible answers. One doesn’t have to like the policy recommendations of “reformist” conservatives to acknowledge that they have been just about the only ones on the right trying to provide those answers. Their answers have tended to dominate discussions of reforming conservatism because they’re the only ones actively engaged in the conversation. When the dust settles and Republican office-holders are looking for advice on policy and legislation, “reformists” will win the day for lack of serious competition.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.