You've probably already read Greenwald religiously, but if you haven't in the last couple of days, check out these two posts about "grownups" and "aristocracy." Both are important observations about the current state of politics.
I wrote a couple of posts on aristocracy that may inform the discussion, if you are interested in this subject. The thing to remember about such things is that conservatism is designed to protect aristocracy and regardless of party affiliation, the perpetuation of aristocracy is fundamentally conservative. The ruling class may be a tiny bit more open in America than in traditional aristocracies, but a ruling class it still is.