A Democratic-led study of the GOP (PDF link) placed evangelical, Tea Party and moderate Republicans in focus groups to share their "passions, nuances and divisions." It's a fascinating, if obviously biased report: according to its conclusions, conservatives believe they have essentially lost a war with Obama and that the Republican party let him walk it.
Republicans shut down the government to defund or delay Obamacare. This goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle. They think they face a victorious Democratic Parry that is intent on expanding government to increase dependency and therefore electoral support. It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits, expands further if you legalize the illegals, but insuring the uninsured dramatically grows those dependent on government. They believe this is an electoral strategy—not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Obamacare happens, the Republican Party may he lost, in their view.
As a foreigner, resident in the U.S. since the turn of the century, it seems to me that a fault line that then divided America between the two parties has drifted rightward into the conservative realm. Whereas Democrats generally agree on the fundamentals and are divided by the extent of their commitment to change, Republicans seem more often split by basic philosophical disagreements, especially over subjects such as climate change and civil liberties.