Let's add one more piece to this puzzle. Expressing what must be the angst felt by a great many people who once proudly called themselves "conservative," if not "Republican," once-proud conservative Andrew Sullivan wrote this week, "Conservatism cannot be defined as whatever is the most extreme right-wing narrative of the moment. Time matters. Conservatism needs to be flexible enough a governing philosophy to be able to correct for conservative ideology itself. When such an ideology threatens fiscal balance, a prudent foreign policy, and a thriving middle class, it has become the enemy of real conservatism, not its friend."
He's right. However, the exigencies of time and the actions of fools change things. 19th-century liberalism is nearly the mirror opposite of today's liberalism. Eisenhower Republicans would think that today's GOP is filled with barking mad idiots and then wonder why in the fuck would leaders pay attention in any way, shape, or form to the maddest of them all. Sorry, dear, once-loyal opposition, but "conservative" has been co-opted and remade in the image of the extremists, much in the way that "Christian" now generally means "fundamentalist" in the United States. Whatever Buckley-esque resonances of decades past you may want it to have, "conservative" now means a devotion to untenable financial policies, obeisance to the needs of corporations and the very wealthy, regressive social policies, and, indeed, belief in things that are demonstrably false. The word belongs to the nuts and to the imbeciles and to those who profit off their devolved sense of the nation and the world.
What do you do, in such a relationship, where you have been abandoned by the progress of the world beyond your reach? If you have any sense, you break up. It's that simple. And you try to figure out how to make your life have meaning again.
(Note: unless it becomes absolutely necessary because of some event or other, this is the last time the Rude Pundit will talk about the godforsaken fucktardery of birtherism.)
You'll be back, Rude-Man. Those fuckers won't quit even when they're full of embalming fluid.