As I said in the other thread, I think the party bosses in the GOP want to move to the center, especially on immigration, gay marriage, and the like. But there's this big seething mass of reactionary conservatism that will actually be voting in the GOP primaries, and it looks like they think McCain and Romney's problem was that neither was conservative enough.
The problem in part is that this is the logical end result of the Southern Strategy: the rich low-tax people who run the GOP have completely captured what used to form the base of the Democratic party up until about 1930. The trouble is that in doing so, they've completely purged most of the rest of the party out. In the past, that wouldn't be a problem, because who they have now would have been a huge majority in 1968. But right now, it's only about 45% or so of the electorate, plus a few odds and ends that they'll only sometimes capture, and it's shrinking by a few percentage points a year.
There might be a candidate who can nudge the party back to the center and who can appeal to the base. Jeb is probably the most likely. But he may be unelectable, and he may not even want to try, and if he fails, he gets thrown into the RINO pile with McCain and Romney over his position on immigration. Christie is probably too moderate to survive a primary; he'd probably end up like Giuliani.
The base may need some sort of 1964-1972-1984 type total rejection of their agenda before the GOP can try to sane itself up again. It may be nearing the position the Democrats were in around 1968 (which was closer than this past election). In 1968, the Democrats had dominated electorally, but had also overextended themselves in some ways and rot was setting in.
The Democrats might also be in a better position in 2016, not just because of demographic drift, but because the economy is probably going to be much better in four years, and because racism probably won't be driving the members of the electorate it has this time. Especially if the nominee is someone like Hillary Clinton, who the GOP has spent the last 4 years showering with praise, the Democrats could have a huge year potentially.
2014 may tell us a lot. If the Tea Party loses the GOP any more senate seats (it's cost them at least two an election so far) and the Democrats take back the House, especially if that's combined with a strong economic recovery, it may either prompt some shifts in the GOP that allow moderates to step up their role, or it may lead to a 2016 where none of the GOP's a-list want to run.