One of my all-time favorite political texts, as timely now as when it appeared in 1999, is Paul Greenberg's short column, "The Problem With the Right." And likewise, his "The Problem With the Left."
Many of our current problems arise not so much from being too conservative or insufficiently conservative, or too socially versus economically conservative or vice-versa, as from the bad habits that Greenberg identified, and which Obama provides such a glaring contrast to.
I often feel like the Transcendentalist who lamented of the Whigs and the Jacksonian Democrats, “One party has all the good men, the other has all the good principles.” Our party nominates sneering bullies who value their own power over principles; longtime election losers who believe that it’s “their turn”; and easily corruptible guys with no principles whatsoever; and in 2006 we really started getting punished for it. But that's not all the Greenberg has to say. Read it and weep for your country.