It's hard to believe that Republicans decided to follow up the Constitution-violating, bomb-dropping, torturing, wire-tapping, ruthless, efficient, election-stealing madness of the past eight years with a guy whose opinion changes by the minute and a lobotomized soccer mom. It's like you're facing down Darth Vader and you suddenly realize he's a retarded jackrabbit. It's the original Star Wars meets The Wizard Of Oz.
There's a lot to say about that, but the only really interesting thing to say about it, as far as I can tell, is that Thomas Frank not only explained it in detail in his 2004 book What's The Matter With Kansas?, but also offhandedly predicted it with a few comments to the effect that he was going to find it mildly amusing when the Republican party suddenly self-destructed in public.
Moral of the story: read Thomas Frank.