This isn't a new story any more, but it's still worth noting. Longtime GOP operative and writer -- he's really quite funny quite often -- Vic Gold is one of the more recent conservative stalwarts to lament the sad state of the GOP under Bush and Cheney. Vic is hardly a Johnny-come-lately -- he was a press assistant to Barry Goldwater and wrote the official bios of Bush and Cheney for the 2001 inaugural program and co-wrote a satirical novel with Lynne Cheney beack in the '80s -- so his conservative credentials are hardly suspect.
He has written a new book, "Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP." In it he reportedly laments that "Under Bush and Cheney ... the GOP has moved away from the principles of small government, prudent foreign policy and leaving people alone to live their private lives -- all views Gold associates with his hero, Goldwater."
Example: "For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times. Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots." On Cheney he is even harder: "A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control." Gold thinks Cheney concealed his streak of paranoia and megalomania even from friends like him, but it came out when he attained high office and felt no need to conceal it any more.