Reagan had to do the same thing in 82 as Clinton in 94 and Obama today, move to the center after the voters handed his party major setbacks in the midterm elections. Reagan's greatest strength was enunciating the classical liberal values our nation was founded upon and bringing the tenets of classical liberalism back into the political debate.
The fact is Americans want their entitlements and low taxes both; something is going to have to give.
Yes, the tea partiers will run into the same problems Reagan did when the spending cuts gets specific.
But reality must one day be seen, unfortunately we cannot keep printing money off into infinity. The Government is causing our dollar to lose value on a incredible rate. As we earn it, it has less value then when we earned it, small steps definately but still true.
Nobody wants to be the guy who tells people we have reached the end of the free ride, so year after year the powers that be pass the buck and decide someone else will have to deal with the mess.....not them.
They say people never change until you force them to chage, so the only question seems to be what form that force will take.