Ross Douthat (1979-) is an American political author and journalist who explains that his name is pronounced "Dow-thut." He is a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times and a film critic for National Review. Previously, he was Senior Editor at The Atlantic,
Among his interests are restructuring of the U.S. political right. In 2008, he spoke of the U.S. Republican Party being victim of its own successes. "Crime has fallen dramatically since the early 1990s. Marginal tax rates are vastly lower than they were when Ronald Reagan was running for President. The welfare system has been reformed. The Soviet Union obviously no longer exists. And so the GOP has sort of run out of things to say... the most successful conservative reforms for the last 30 years, look at welfare reform, haven't been about abolishing government. They've been taking about taking programs that liberals built and reforming them. The problem is when you run out of things to do on that front. And I think that's one of the deeper problems of the Bush Administration that you know, Bush came to power in the late 1990s as a reaction against a sort of overweening small government fervor on the right." 
He is among the members of the American Right that believe the Republican Party became overly focused on elections and stopped governing, and suggests that defeating political opposition became more important than goals: "Clinton, and, I mean, Clinton was, in a sense, just as Nixon was, in theory, a conservative who often governed like a liberal. Clinton was a liberal who often governed like a conservative. He was the guy who signed welfare reform. He was the guy who said the era of big government is over.
"And I think conservatives really didn't often recognize it at the time. And, you know, they decided it was more important to destroy him politically than to cooperate with him. And that ended up being a huge lost opportunity for the right."
- Bill Moyers' Journal, National Public Radio, 11 July 2008