Dr. Krugman ably explains the "what":
...What’s going on here? My best explanation is that we’re witnessing the effects of extreme tribalism. On the modern right, everything is a political litmus test. Anyone who tried to think through the pros and cons of the Iraq war was, by definition, an enemy of President George W. Bush and probably hated America; anyone who questioned whether the Federal Reserve was really debasing the currency was surely an enemy of capitalism and freedom.It doesn’t matter that the skeptics have been proved right. Simply raising questions about the orthodoxies of the moment leads to excommunication, from which there is no coming back. So the only “experts” left standing are those who made all the approved mistakes. It’s kind of a fraternity of failure: men and women united by a shared history of getting everything wrong, and refusing to admit it. Will they get the chance to add more chapters to their reign of error?
Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett explains the "why":
...Recently, Salon saw the onetime aide to GOP Rep. Jack Kemp (the party’s 1996 vice presidential nominee) criticizing a piece about a campaign finance reform-oriented GOP presidential candidate from Harvard Law’s Lawrence Lessig. We decided to reach out, and ended up speaking with Bartlett over the phone for about 30 minutes. Our conversation touched on Lessig’s piece, Bartlett’s contrarian view of campaign finance, and why he thinks lobbying is one of the most insidious threats to American government. A condensed and edited transcript of our conversation can be found below.What element of Professor Lawrence Lessig’s Daily Beast piece on a reform Republican challenging Clinton — which, I should just note, he admitted was fanciful — did you find most unrealistic?Well, the impression I had [was] that he, like many other people, such as David Brooks, seems to be longing for a moderate Republican savior who they believe is out there somewhere and [will] rescue the Republicans from utter insanity and stupidity. Lessig has this belief … that the only reason this white knight savior hasn’t emerged is because of problems in campaign finance. So he has this scheme for mobilizing the millions of small donors that he, for some reason, believes are out there longing for this White Knight moderate, who can channel an adequate amount of funding to this White Knight. I think that’s just ludicrous; it’s just nonsense.The reason there isn’t a moderate Republican is because there’s absolutely no demand for such a person in the Republican Party. There is no such person. Even if I were Sheldon Adelson and was willing to throw a billion dollars at such a person, who the heck would it be? The [GOP] bench has no such person on it that you could make into a contender simply by throwing money at them. And one [reason why] is that Lessig, among others, grossly overestimates or misunderstands the problem of money and politics. I don’t believe, personally, that it’s about campaign spending. My much greater concern about money and politics has to do with lobbying, which I think is a much more insidious problem that nobody is focusing on at all....
But thus far, almost no one outside of the walled Coventry of the Liberal blogosphere has taken a real extended swing at explaining the "how".
Because the only reason this obviously deranged zombie waltz does not collapse from its own absurdity -- the only reason Crazy Uncle Liberty is not laughed off the street every time he opens his tea-hole -- is that our elite media is engaged in a vast and public conspiracy to never, ever permit this matter tp be discussed openly and at the "adult table".
The self-deception machinery that keeps Conservatism running is internally self-sustaining, so there really is no point in engaging them: functionally, they are citizens of another country which has sworn eternal hostility to our own.
No, the only way to alter the tragic trajectory of the status quo is to take down the mainstream media. To make it too personally and professionally painful for them to continue to enable the Conservative hate machine.
Do that and you change the game.
Fail at that and the game is lost.