With Hurricane Sandy, the Ronald Reagan-inspired Republican policy of preferring small government, or even better, private industry, to big government took a really hard hit. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said back in May 2011:
The fire at a factory in Bangladesh that was producing clothes for sale by Walmart was another hard blow to the right-wing, Republican project of "getting big government off the backs of the people" of industry. It turns out that corporations will not, after all, effectively regulate themselves and will cut expenditures on safety in the name of making bigger profits.
In late November, there was a toxic train wreck in Paulsboro, NJ, where whole freight cars full of a flammable gas known as vinyl chloride, used to make PVC plastics, were derailed and fell into the Mantua Creek. Of course, the industry that produces vinyl chloride has been tramsporting and handling "massive amounts of toxins with minimal oversight," which works really good until one day it doesn't.
A local blogger found a March 2010 survey that gauged public attitudes toward Republicans:
“The Republicans are not for the average person…”
“The Republicans do not champion the public interest….
“The Republicans put the needs of big corporate interests ahead of the ordinary citizen….”
“Though the Republicans are strong on moral values, only half the voters think Republicans share their values and priorities….”
“Republicans may be going too far in pushing their religious conservative agenda….”
“They are not heralded for their economic policies….”
“They are not heralded on the environment….”
“They are not heralded for how they relate to the world….”
“They are the establishment….”
In other words, the Republican project of shrinking big government down to size has resulted in nothing more than that the American people regard the party as heartless and heedless of the damage they're causing in the name of their small-government ideology.