It'sl the result of a quarter-century Republican strategy, beginning with Ronald Reagan. Republicans, who had long since locked up most of the big-money demographic, decided the best way to scuttle Democrats for good would be to also lock up America's average (white) Joe and Joan demographic. But how?
So the plan was to herd the herd-able, snatching them away from the Dems and directing them into a party composed largely of white, middle- to upper-crust Americans. This would be a neat trick since those GOP-ers of old normally avoided direct contact with Americans like these, unless they were in need of the services they provide, like fixing their cars, getting their summer home's septic tank pumped or their kitchens remodeled.
So, attracting such an alien flock of voters would require the GOP cultivate an entirely new kind of candidate, ones who could speak their language ... the language of "family values" and of hating those elitist "blame America firsters."
The hardest of all, this was a socio-economic group that barely scrapes by financially. The GOP needed candidates capable of getting them whipped up about issues that will never affect them, like capital gains taxes, and the inheritance tax -- which they rebranded as the "death tax."
And.by golly, Republicans pulled it off. A new generation of GOP candidates did in fact emerge from the ranks of these oh-so-ordinary Americans. (Wave and smile, Joe the Plumber -- living proof that every dog does in fact have it's day.) This new crop GOP candidates took the grand old party by storm, quickly proving they could, as hoped, whip up their own kind into nonsensical frenzies. (Can you say "Tea Party?)
They even were able to convince them to vote against their own best interests, enthusiastically. Even as their jobs disappeared overseas while the people they put in office handed nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and their retirement funds were looted into insolvency, and their 401Ks bled like stuck pigs thanks to phony baloney "trickle-down" voodoo economics ... this new GOP base remained convinced that those damn Democrats, those "libs," -- out of power for over a decade, were to blame for it all.
That new base is now the GOP's tail, wagging Lincoln's old dog of a party. And leading that herd are the very individuals raised from ranks of the paranoid, the under-educated, the pretty but vacuous, (wave Sarah Palin, wave Michele Bachmann.) And they include the holier-than-thou-ers, the Promise Keepers (wave John Ensign, wave Mark (Sparky) Sanford.) who couldn't keep those promises after all.
And now the GOP is stuck with them.