OK, this is bare-bones stuff, but today's as good a time as any to plant the flag and then flesh it out over the next several months....
I have a theory about politics.
The Republican party runs about thirty years behind the Democrats in terms of development. Where we had the 70s for turmoil and unrest and splintering into factions, the Republicans are only just now coming into their own in this regard.
Think about how they are forcing people into Atwater's "big tent". You have former marxist neo-cons who applaud big government squaring off against smaller government paleo-cons. You have social conservatives with liberal fiscal policies (damn evangelical Christians!) against fiscal conservatives with liberal social policies (damn heathens!).
I think the only thing holding this coalition together is their deep fear that the Democrats have been right all along (as evidenced by the unparalleled peace and prosperity of the Clinton administrations), that and fixing elections to maintain a cling on power.