It was always lip service
How many people do you know who lean right or center but vote Dem solely because they love abortion?
How many do you know who are center or even slightly left on most things but vote single issue on abortion?
The RNC knows this and that touching Roe creates an emboldened Dem base and loses some of those single issue abortion voters
Of course with people like Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton rising and considered (frighteningly) considered 2024 candidates and SCOTUS justices the inmates seem to think they run the asylum
A Nikki Haley/Tim Scott/Ben Sasse/etc nomination can still preserve the party in a short run and--assuming the market crashes in the next year or two like I expect--even win the Presidency if someone as unlikeable (by the center, center-right, far left and more) as Kamala Harris is the Dem nominee (as the incumbent "vice" **wink wink** President she would probably start off as a favorite)--especially Haley or Scott imo would be very tough candidates for Democrats to beat:
Most voters dgaf that they tepidly backed Trump--they can look at policies/rhetoric/and the obvious: race/background and see the farthest thing from Trump possible
But long term the GOPs problem is that they have no establishment that the voters respect:
Dubya gave up on small government, started wars, ballooned the deficit, enacted the Patriots Act and left us 8 years of Obama and 2 of Dem undivided govt and a Senate supermajority
Bush Sr (he alone sums up my problem with the Republican base--our last truly intellectual President and his own party hated him for not being a stubborn ideologue) appointed a leftie to the SCOTUS and raised taxes
Romney/McCain/Dole lost and Paul Ryan tried to pass immigration reform
The reason Bernie couldn't beat the DNC establishment is because the Dem establishment has actually done stuff to satisfy the base (for now--as the base moves farther and father left they will have a similar problem) and thus had the credibility to warn against Bernie. They had a voice in Obama who could resonate across the base and get Klobuchar/Pete to drop out and Warren to stay in before Super Tuesday--knowing it would split the far left and coalesce the others around Biden
Maybe if Reagan were alive, his criticism could have derailed Trump (if he wasn't himself derailed from dementia) or he could have gotten Cruz/Kasich to drop out and coalesce around compromise Rubio vs Trump with his plurality not majority base (in which case I imagine the virus would have taken less of a toll and President Rubio would be cruising to re election)
But as it stands there's no one whose voice resonates because no one has delivered
I would hope that the establishment has learned enough from 2016 to be much more decisive in the 2024 primaries but who knows
And really just the Republican voters need to turn out in the primaries. Can't complain about crazy candidates if only the crazies show up to vote in the primaries.
I refuse to believe (polls or not) that most (>50%) Republican voters wouldn't prefer Trump's policies in a different package to this