Throughout the Obama administration, the G.O.P. has had the mind-set of an opposition party, condemning policies without thinking deeply about how to reform them. When Republicans have total control of the government, they will bear the responsibility for its failures. Perhaps this will encourage a new Republican seriousness about policy and an honest attempt to educate their base about the trade-offs inherent in governing.
Over the past several decades, the Republican Party has become a coalition of conservative ideologies rather than a coalition of interests. A shared opposition to Democrats has helped paper over the contradictions between libertarians, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and neoconservatives. Now that the common enemy has been vanquished (at least temporarily), the rival conservatives will be tempted to go to war with one another. Rogue Republican factions in Congress like the House Freedom Caucus could even use the threat of a government shutdown or debt default against their own administration. The need to keep order in his ranks may encourage Mr. Trump to become a Richard Nixon-style leader, pursuing an agenda that gives enough to each faction that it remains sullen but not mutinous.
Geoffrey Kabaservice, “When Republicans Take Power”, The New York Times (13 November 2016), SR5.