W. James Antle has a must-read piece at the American Spectator on weaknesses to the big government model. A few highlights:
... One of the biggest reasons the state tends to grow no matter who is in power is that the country has two big-government parties. Some Republicans are starting to change that, however.
Serious fiscal conservatives now have large enough numbers in the House that they, not the Republican leadership, often drive the legislative agenda. Yes, John Boehner was re-elected speaker while Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp, and Walter Jones were kicked off their preferred committees for being too conservative. But Boehner often has to turn to either his right flank or the Democrats to get anything done.
In the Senate, committed fiscal conservatives haven’t just reached critical mass. Senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee have repeatedly shown a willingness to rock the boat and confront the leadership of both parties when necessary. Such go-it-alone conservatives have existed in the Senate before—think Jesse Helms—but seldom has there been a group of them working in tandem.
Republicans in Washington face enormous outside pressure—and for the first time ever, much of the pressure is coming from their right. Organizations like the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Young Americans for Liberty, and countless Tea Party groups all over the country are making it very difficult to be a big-government Republican. They are not just measuring how often legislators voted against bad bills or supported good ones. They are evaluating how members behaved in key moments in the growth of government.