It seems a Faustian bargain was made to thoroughly discredit American conservatism and allow liberalism to take over. It was to take only 5 steps: A bank collapse to discredit unregulated markets, the election of the smartest Democrat for president, a stimulus package to show effective government, a universal health care law to cover basic security, and an oil spill to show the need for both regulation and global warming laws.
But it backfired.
America is drifting right, not left. How did that Faustian bargain fail? Do conservatives simply have a bigger megaphone?
Some people will never vote for liberals, no matter what happens, even in Ohio. Many people will punish you for breaking the link between effort and reward. After gorging on debt many people see all debt, including government debt, as their primary threat. The liberal champion of the little guy morphed into the guardian of special interests through the mantra that labor costs too much.
The slim silver lining is that the GOP has its own issues, the biggest being they feel they have a mandate to govern without bothering to actually win an election. And, as others have pointed out, they are doing a good job this year of nominating the crazies.