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But does co-opting a message, and then not living up to that message, really constitute effectiveness? Sure, they're effective at staying in office. But what should one make of a party that keeps promising smaller government, and then making it bigger?

There's a profound difference between "effective" and "honest".

The Republican Party leadership is, in my opinion, just as much in favor of massive and massively-intrusive government as the Democrat or Communist Party leadership.

But by falsely portraying themselves as advocates of small government, they simultaneously pre-empt and discredit any actual advocates of small government.

Which is why Boehner was steadfast in his determination to oppose major Democrat initiatives as long as Republicans were the minority party in the House of Representatives - but as soon as the election results were in and it was seen that the Republicans would soon be the majority party, he caved at light speed. Followed by a mock election for Speaker of the House.
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