Maybe he's mistaking a zombie for "not dead"

Charlie Sykes has a piece up over at the Wisconsin Public Research Institute regarding the future of conservatism. All I can say is, if this is his vision, conservatism sounds pretty dead to me:
Modern conservatism is at its best when it is Reformist and Reactionary—when it reacts against the initiatives and depredations of the Left.

But this requires the left to actually have initiatives, or be in a position to enact programs or policies that require intellectual and political opposition. During the last eight years, the left has taken a vacation from responsibility, leaving conservatives to play against themselves.

Ah, where to begin with how wrong this is? In order for a party to survive, it must have a positive vision of where the country is going - reactionary politics are necessarily short-term, and usually short-sighted as well. That's why today's Republican politics are so misguided - they've been guided by Sykes's reactionary principle for too long. Any team that relies on the other team making mistakes is bound to lose.

Sykes is right to differentiate between the GOP and conservatism, but this is largely beside the point at the moment - certainly the GOP isn't making a play for centrists. To run the country, a party must have a positive plan for the future. Any party that does not can function as a vocal minority - as a reactionary minority party - but can never properly run a country. Nor does it deserve to.