Can that be due to its relative meaninglessness since Reagan left office?
I use that as a proximate benchmark, because it was around then that the remaining conservatives in Washington pretty much threw in the towel. They had lost any sense of power with passage of the 1986 tax bill.
Gary Bauer is a good example. He is to the left of Bill Clinton economically, but a devout moralist christian, so he is called a conservative. Is he?
I think the words get confused. Conservatism means just as it says, to conserve, to preserve the moral order. But in a time when the order is chaos, the meaning of conservative is thrown into the abyss as well.
I would argue that Gingrich is more of a reactionary than a conservative. Reagan was trying to reinstill old values, so he was conservative, Gingrich was interested in new ideas, etc...
Is Free trade or protectionism conservative? Are the steel tarriff's Bush adopted conservative? Is the federal war on drugs conservative? It all depends on your definition.