Rick Perlstein, in a piece about why Romney’s Mormonism won’t matter in the general, makes a great observation:
That’s the way cultural change works in America: the rest of us discard a prejudice that the right still clings to; in the fullness of time, the right comes around too, deploying clever rationalizations to forget they ever bore the prejudice in the first place. (Take their treatment of Martin Luther King – they went from initially blaming him for his own death, to, by the 1990s, lionizing him as a conservative role model – as an example.) Then they move on to some new existential terror, and the cycle repeats itself.
He forgot one part of the process, which is when the right blames the left for their own sins- “DEMOCRATS ARE THE REAL RACISTS,” but overall it is spot on.