but Republicans have been compromising all along and he's claimed to be a somewhat small government guy all along. There's nothing special about today compared to when he started.
I remember way back in the day him talking about how Conshyurvateevs have to play the politics game or lose altogether and that was his excuse when they'd behaved badly. Sometimes, he'd criticize a Republican - I heard him a long time ago criticizing McCain for compromising too much, but he was all on board by the time the election rolled around because ERMERGERD! we can't let those other guys win!
Another thing they do is talk a lo-ot about how bad the other guys are, how dangerous this or that is. They'll take something some liberal said and go on and on about how flabbergasted they are about it, then go on and on about how unfair it is that a conshyurvateev gets criticized in light of that. As if it's some great revelation of a conspiratory double standard that both sides spend so much time criticizing each others' wording.
The main diversion from how bad the right is is going on about how bad the left is. That and saber rattling, talking about how dangerous whoever we're poised for war with is. That's my experience from when I listened in 2007 and I guarantee it's exactly what's going on today. I'd been listening since 1993 and only in retrospect did I realize that he'd been saying the same stuff all that time.
Once you don't care about the score anymore, listening to him is like watching a soccer game where his side has the ball for three hours.