The media likes to portray the GOP as "country club conservatives". Mr. Romney was easily a poster child for that image.
As I see it, the GOP comprises 4 major factions:
(a) Mug-wumps ... milk toast "conservatives" who sway with the blowing wind,
(b) Social-Conservatives: fixated on using law and the power of the state to mold society to conform to their social beliefs (authoritarians),
(c) Neo-Conservatives: Imperialists seeking to impose our laws and values across the planet (also authoritarians), and
(d) Liberty-Republicans: Libertarians who are trying to help the GOP rediscover the constitution and federalism, civil liberties, fair taxation, and fiscal conservatism.
When groups (b) or (c) dominate the process, trouble ensues.