Some history as to how the GOP got where it is now. But read the full essay.
"E.J. Dionne knows that Republican intransigence was not born yesterday, and he has the credentials for saying it because this dependably intelligent liberal tells us, in his new book, that he began as a young Goldwaterite—like Hillary Clinton (or like me). He knows that his abandoned faith sounded themes that have perdured right down to our day. In the 1950s there were many outlets for right-wing discontent—including H.L. Hunt’s Lifeline, Human Events, The Dan Smoot Report, the Fulton Lewis radio show, Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby, the Manion Forum. In 1955, William F. Buckley founded National Review to give some order and literary polish to this cacophonous jumble. But his magazine had a small audience at the outset. Its basic message would reach a far wider audience through a widely popular book, The Conscience of a Conservative, ghostwritten for Barry Goldwater by Buckley’s brother-in-law (and his coauthor for McCarthy and His Enemies), L. Brent Bozell.
The idea for the book came from Clarence Manion, the former dean of Notre Dame Law School. He persuaded Goldwater to have Bozell, who had been his speechwriter, put his thoughts together in book form. Then Manion organized his own and other right-wing media to promote and give away thousands of copies of the book. Bozell did his part too—he went to a board meeting of the John Birch Society and persuaded Fred Koch (father of Charles and David Koch) to buy 2,500 copies of Conscience for distribution. The book put Goldwater on the cover of Time three years before he ran for president. A Draft Goldwater Committee was already in existence then (led by William Rusher of National Review, F. Clifton White, and John Ashbrook). Patrick Buchanan spoke for many conservatives when he called The Conscience of a Conservative their “New Testament.” http://bit.ly/1QJDUeO