The GOP is not even interested in debate. Power and Pork Rule.
You're right -- but I think that's a symptom rather than an explanation.
Today's GOP is pretty much rudderless -- they've been mooching for the past 20+ years off the intellectual foundations laid in the '60s and '70s by the likes of Mr. Buckley and Mr. Reagan. Reagan's political successes gave them a chance at power, and today's GOP politicians got a taste for it.
The question became, "how do we keep it?" Here is where "mooching" comes into the picture.
Reagan's biggest challenge -- one that he was unable to surmount -- was to deal with the Democrats' highly effective use of "pork populism." They used Alinsky's tactics of patient infiltration, incremental gains, and cynical exploitation of real injustices, to prevent change and to reverse Republican victories.
Reagan most likely understood the nature of his difficulties, even if he couldn't solve them -- and that, at least, allowed him to express his position as well as he did. Reagan's GOP successors, however, appear never to have understood the Democrat tactics at all; nor is there any reason to believe that they have a good grasp of the intellectual foundations of conservatism as Reagan, Buckley, et al. understood them.
The modern GOP seems only to have noticed that the Democrats have made great gains by offering pork and wild talk, and they're trying to make their own gains by offering the same. The Democrats, however, have a method to their madness -- not to mention a machine built over decades with which to push through their agenda. The GOP has no such method, nor have they built a machine to carry their agenda; they only want the power. With neither method nor machine, they're left to try to use the Democrats' machine for their own ends, to achieve goals which are more properly those of the Democrats.
The unpleasant truth is that it will probably take 20 years of patience and focus for conservatives to rebuild our foundations to the point where we're again an effective political force. Unfortunately, conservatives as a whole have never really shown a knack for either patience or focus -- we're too busy doing other things.
Conservative talk radio is unable to address those foundational issues. Its format (not to mention its audience) are completely unsuited for the task: it feeds our native impatience. Moreover, it tends to make politics a form of entertainment -- a spectator sport that conservatives can enjoy on the couch with a bag of chips. Meanwhile, the political left is out there training and scrimmaging, and when they get out on the field they end up scoring all the touchdowns.