Coming back to the earlier Ron Paul conversation.
Conventional Republicans often decry libertarians for being politically unrealistic. In other words: "Don't speak about your end goals. Don't ask for too much. Don't mention a sincerely-held belief if it's unpopular--you might lose the election."
This is, of course, unvarnished intellectual cowardice. But beyond that, it's not even practical, in the long run (or even in the short run, as demonstrated by Romney).
What we see, with conventional Republicans, is the obscene spectacle of cringing, bartering, compromising "free market advocates" (ironic quotes) going up against a self-righteous, proud, uncompromising socialist in Obama. People sense instinctively when someone is being phony.