My headline would've been How Long Can You Pee On Someone Before They Figure Out It's Not Rain, demonstrating why I'm not in the newspaper biz.
The dreaded liberal bias of the Times is on clear display- the "centrist women" of the title are nowhere to be found in an article that quotes only Republicans. A fig leaf is proffered in an editorial mention of hypothetical "independent" women voters, none of which are on offer. I guess believing birth control should be legal makes you a centrist in the eyes of the NYT.
But such reflexive journalistic obsequiousness aside, the article does illuminate the problem with the GOP frontrunners- they speak too plainly. None of them are that different from GWB on social issues, but he (or rather Karl Rove) was savvy enough to gussy up the woman hating pig with a couple tubes of lipstick. Compassionate Conservativism was an obvious Potempkin Village, but as the article demonstrates there are a lot of voters happy to gobble up whatever slop you pour in the bucket, provided you slap an appealing label on the pail.
It's popular in certain circles to wonder "what happened" to the GOP.
Nothing happened from a policy standpoint, they just got some comfortable in their electoral bubble they stopped pretending in front of the guests.