In 1971, Lewis Powell wrote a memo that urged millionaires and business's to fund media and think tanks to develop institutions to break government and liberal power. It worked. This started the counter-reformation to FDR's and the Democrat's New Deal policies. This counter reformation started bearing fruit in 1975 and has lasted until the present day. For the last thirty years the Republicans have run with one idea, supported by their media and think tanks, government doesn't work. As a result, we get President's like Bush or Governor's like Perry who do not know how to govern except to reward contracts to their business friends.
Based on the Clinton and Obama campaigns and all the polls of what the American people want out of government, that period has ended. There are still very loud-mouthed people out there who don't believe it but looking at the Republican primaries even their base don't believe them. The righty bloggers are the new part of this Republican Noise Machine support system and they are also routinely ignored. I also consider the defection of people like John Dean, John Cole and Charles Aulds another sign of the end.
Jon Taplin has a very good article on this that my brother Jim recommended.