Opinions here. Republicans are not ready to govern because conservatives send mixed messages on big government. Elected officials work with their base voters then branch out to capture some in the middle or those that are persuadable. And conservatives like big government for war, nanny-state restrictions, tax credits for “the children”, subsidies for business, trade protection, imposing Christian values, bans on Internet activity, etc.
Their message is too complicated; lots of government for some things, less for other things.
Pork and earmarks are not the problem; they are a distraction. Conservatives do not understand that every aspect of government evolves into a tool for politicians to use for their own benefit, the tax code being a fine example.
Conservatives want to build a wall to seal off illegal immigration, but that misses the point. A wall does not address the issues that cause people to want to cross the border in the first place. Legal immigration needs to be made easier, the war on drugs must be stopped, and trade restrictions must be lifted. All this will reduce the need to immigrate illegally. A wall will evolve into keeping people in and out. Speaking of which, what of the drug war?
What about Iraq and Afghanistan? Many conservatives wanted war. Well, they got it. Conservatives’ embrace of the authoritarian elements of government — the military and police — says they are uncomfortable with freedom.
Conservatives talk about energy independence. This is backwards economics. Nobody creates the products and services they consume, why is gasoline and electricity any different? We trade for the things we want. It does not matter where the stuff comes from. We exchange money for a product or service. “Energy independence” is a top-down government-control perspective.
Conservatives want to ban abortion and same-sex marriage. Yet more government.