CI, you and I tend to agree on some stuff, but just like the evil word 'liberals', as used apparently only in the United States, 'conservatives' have long history and are not always muddled profligates, or skinflints, as the case may be.
Conservatives can probably be parsed into thinking (or not) groups, and so can liberals. Meantime a lot of people are growing independent.
There have been flashy conservatives in the news for a while now, but I'm not clear that people like Palin represent the whole, at all.
If McCain is actually dealing with senility issues, I'm sorry.