There are a lot of libertarian-leaning conservatives who think that the Republican Party is the answer to smaller government. They think we just need to elect the right Republicans in the primaries and then win the general elections. They think that if we get enough of them, that they will shrink the size and scope of government. There are even some who just think we need any group of Republicans to win a majority in the House and Senate. There are even some really naive people who think that the government will get smaller if we can just elect Mitt Romney to the presidency.
With the exception of Ron Paul, and maybe a few others to a lesser degree, the Republican politicians in Washington DC are lovers of big government. They are defenders of the state. It isn't that they can't shrink the government because there are too many Democrats blocking them. It isn't that they can't shrink the government because they will lose their next election (although there might be an element of truth to that one). It isn't that they want to shrink the government but just can't quite get the votes to do so. The truth is that the Republican politicians love big government just as much as the Democrats.
The Republican Party has had the majority control of the House of Representatives since January 2011. It has been a year and a half. The only thing good they can legitimately claim is that the government has grown at a slower pace since they took control. Even with that, some things are debatable.
The Republicans could have refused to raise the debt ceiling. If that was too drastic, they could have raised it, let's say, $50 billion per month and refused to raise it any more than that. $50 billion per month is still $600 billion per year. But at least they could have claimed that they cut the annual deficit in half. Instead, they raised it over a trillion dollars and promised "spending cuts" in the future, which are really just cuts in the projected growth.
If the Republicans really wanted to be radical, they could have refused to pass a budget at all. All spending bills are supposed to originate in the House. Anyway, there is no way that a president can sign a budget bill that isn't first approved by the House. Since the Republicans have a majority in the House, they could simply approve a budget of $3 trillion (annual) or less. They could refuse to go higher than that and there is not much anyone could do about it. Obama and the Democrats could kick and scream and tell everyone that Republicans want to kick old people out on the street, but isn't that what they do anyway? Perhaps the electorate would turn on them in the next election, but we will never know because the Republicans will never willingly cut the government.
It isn't that Republicans are spineless and lack the political will to cut government. It is simply that they have little interest in cutting government. Maybe a few of them genuinely did want to do that when they were running for office, but things change when you get a prestigious position and lobbyists start knocking on your door.
There are few Ron Pauls in this world, particularly when you narrow it down to those running for political office. Most politicians run for office because they want power and they want to control other people. We are not going to achieve liberty by infiltrating the Republican Party or by electing the "right" people into office. We are only going to achieve liberty by changing the hearts and minds of the American people.