At the Christian Science Monitor, Heather Cox Richardson (one of my favorite historians) offers some historical perspective on Republican party cycles:
The Republicans have an ideology that makes them swing from supporting the idea of equality of opportunity to protecting the wealthy.
When they’re in the beginning of the cycle, they use the federal government to promote equality of opportunity. Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower each worked to make it possible for every man to have an opportunity to rise.
This means that the federal government does not favor any class: It does not favor the people at the bottom or those at the top. It’s supposed to be moving the ball forward to create equal opportunity for everyone. If you pass legislation that helps wealthy people or poor people, you’ll have thrown a wrench into the spokes of this perfectly oiled machine, and you’ll destroy it.
At the end of the cycle, the party begins to tie itself to big business and becomes a pro-business party.
For the entire post, see here: What’s happening to the GOP? Nothing that hasn’t happened before. – CSMonitor.com