National Review Online has a good editorial on the 2006 elections up here.  The money quote:

“It is congressional Republicans, more than the president, who are responsible for the loss of the party’s reformist credentials. Republicans were perceived not just as the party in government, but as the party of government. That perception, deadly for the relatively conservative party in our politics, was accurate. When it came to earmarks, or Social Security reform, or the Foley scandal, or lobbying reform, the Republican Congress seemed more interested in preserving its own power — or sticking with dysfunctional Hill traditions — than in the public good. The Senate inexplicably dropped the issue of judges. There will, and should, be changes in the Republican leadership now, starting with Denny Hastert’s departure.

“Iraq policy was obviously President Bush’s major contribution to the debacle. It may very well be that even under the best of circumstances the war would have gone badly and that one of its less important consequences would have been to hurt Republicans. But we cannot say that we have done everything possible to win it. If the short-term political pain of sending more troops to Iraq, or expanding the army, had made a difference in Iraq, it would have been worth doing, and it would have led to long-term political gains. Nor can it be said that the president has performed one of his principal wartime tasks — the maintenance of domestic will to win the war — as well as he could have. He kept to the ‘stay the course’ mantra for far too long, and his manner of signaling American resolve was hard to distinguish from mulish stubbornness. Bush has a justified reputation for not listening to critics either inside or outside his party. When you don’t listen to your critics, you can’t engage them — and you lose your ability to affect the conversation.”