Andrew Sullivan, an avowed conservative, is convinced that the rise of Sarah Palin is the lynchpin in the Christian take over of the GOP. In making his case he called attention to the Weekly Standard's Chris Caldwell who wrote an exhaustive, and excellent analysis of the current status of the GOP in 1998:
The Southern Captivity of the GOP
This is real political junkie stuff so if that's you, you need to read the article. It' s part obit for Newt Gingrich (which reminds us how much we miss him now) but it mostly explains the post cold war GOP and the path they are presently on.