One of the difficulties conservatives will have in assessing where they have gone wrong is the sometimes bizarre ideas they have of what conservatism means. For example, here is Rick Moran in an otherwise spmewhat sensible post decrying ideology and calling for self-criticism:Larison is of course withering in the rest of his post; in fact, he's been on a roll with this whole CPAC (Conservative PAC?) meeting. See him on Limbaugh and Coulter, for ex (presumably she got her Greats confused, Peter for Alexander?).
Classic conservative principles are timeless; immutable tenets that have inspired great changes in government over the last 400 years and spoken passionately and plainly to the needs and hopes of ordinary people. Since the end of World War II, those classical principles have informed a devastating critique of the welfare state, presenting a reasoned and logical alternative to statism and dependency. Conservatism has stood for human liberty based on the fundamental idea of natural law; that from his first breath, man is born free.
While in Sarasota, I picked up Russell Kirk's Portable Conservative Reader, on which I plan to report ... it's interesting to see whether conservatives have any ideas to get back to, or whether the whole project is fundamentally reactionary and incoherent. As opposed to liberalism, which is progressive and incoherent.