The Republican Primaries may be giving the country a vivid demonstration of the inflexible and dogmatic nature of the extreme right wing, and its iron-fisted control over the Republican party, as all the candidates have tried their best to cater to the primary voters by toeing the hard core right wing line, even Romney, whom nobody really believes when he professes his dedication to the acceptable positions.
By the time all of this comes mercifully to an end, I suspect that the country will turn away from the last candidate left standing who will be anointed as the Republican presidential candidate. The Republican brand may well be branded for quite some time to come as the party of inflexible, uncompromising, and dogmatic extremists.
After all, a few decades back, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan came to power as their electorates turned against what was then perceived to be the "Loony Left" - a left wing that was so dedicated to its own ideological vision that it had blinders on and unable to see how it was perceived by the rest of society.
I think the "Rigid Right" is in the same situation now, and they are only doubling down on their passions rather than looking up and seeing that they are headed for the cliff.
I can't see Santorum as anything other than a Social Conservative candidate, and I don't think more than about a quarter or a third of the country will ever vote for him or any other candidate whose main passions are social conservatism. And by the time they are through with Romney, he may be too damaged to have any real chance in the general election.
The question might end up being "will the Republican Party survive the election of 2012?" rather than "will be Republican Party win the White House?".