You would think that at some point someone would notice that the liberals are guilty of excess and the conservative are guilty of abject failure. There is a difference. One needs moderation, the other needs elimination.
I'm sympathetic to that point of view. With regard to the Republican party in its current incarnation, and to Conservatism as a brand, there is a lot of truth to it.
I would caution that there is a real reason that conservatism (as opposed, for the purposes of this comment, to Conservatism) exists. When solutions are implemented, those solutions invariably have flaws. Those flaws alienate people.
Chuck Klosterman wrote a brilliant article about his quixotic opposition to instant replay review in sports where he says: "And the reason I am willing to overlook what's obvious is because I would rather understand an old problem than feel alienated by a flawed solution. Which, I suppose, is precisely what conservatism is."
That's exactly right, in my view. And there's nothing invalid about the basic sentiment "I realize the old way sucked, but I liked it better." I feel that way about the BCS, for example.
The problem, electorally speaking, for modern Republicans is that at this point there's very little for them to push back against other than extremely ephemeral cultural factors that are only loosely connected to public policy. The main liberal development of the last 30 years is incremental cultural acceptance of same-sex romantic entanglements. Other than that, liberals haven't really accomplished anything significant since the 1960's.
So what Conservatism is left with is a pastiche of unconnected resentments - armchair Cold Warriors still seething over the raw deal Nixon got, aging Wall Street wannabes still bent out of shape over imaginary welfare queens, repressed sex fiends pissed off that Clinton banged a bunch of chicks, etc. There's just no significant constituency anymore for rolling back Great Society programs or busting up the excesses of the New Deal.
I guess what I'm driving at is, we're on the precipice, barring an almost unthinkable catastrophe, of the next great series of liberal policy developments in American society. From those developments will likely spring a new generation of conservatives who didn't much like the way things turned out. That's inevitable, and it's the way things are supposed to work. It's just been so long that what was once honest conservatism has morphed into this ridiculous Conservative homunculus that has no real purpose other than keeping toads like Jim Gilmore in cheap suits.