At this moment in history conservatism should be riding high.
They have one of their most elegant, articulate, and inspirational proponents sitting in the White House advancing their agenda--yet the conservative movement appears to be imploding. Part of this is merely appearance as I think that the Democratic Party, politically, holds larger fractures in its coalition than the conservative movement (an intellectual movement which the GOP is only a part of) does. Yet never the less on the intellectual front the conservative movement is in crisis.
The problem appears to be that the Republican Party is more concerned about scoring political points than adhering to policy ideas and agendas that work. They feed their base bullet points one week and then feed them intellectually opposite arguments a few weeks later--the base just spit out the latest bullet points and forget whatever it was they claimed they believed a few weeks earlier (that's not to say the base of Democrats don't do the same damn thing... its just their elites are more consistent at the moment).
This leaves the conservative movement without a political party to build support from. This has left the neoliberal technocrats within the Democratic Party without a "coalition of the willing" able to scrap together enough votes from moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to effectively pass legislation and keep the Governing process... governing. A failure of governance is likely to be a major topic of discussion for historians who look back on the late 90's to late 2020's of American decline (yes I'm predicting further declines and erosion).
Here are a few examples I've caught over the past few days of the train wreck brought about by wing nut Rightwingers dominance of the GOP. It really has more to do with the fact the right-wingers are willing to be intellectually dishonest, that and moderate Republicans have no intellectual backbone and fear publicly standing up to the flat-earth society faction within the GOP.
Bob Dole Scolds GOP: Reagan Wouldn't Make It In Today's Republican Party
Josh Barro, the Loneliest Republican - Jonathan Chait - The Atlantic
Josh Barro didn’t leave conservatism. Conservatism left Josh Barro.
Is There Really a "Conservative Reform" Movement in Policy? | Next New Deal
The Closing of the Conservative Mind - NYTimes.com
If you've seen other examples please leave links in the comments or tweet them at me (@jimnichols).