The GOP came into the majority largely in response to Democrat excesses in 1994. They did it under the leadership of Gingrich, as you may recall, by means of a message of rolling back the size and scope of gov't. Recall the media frenzy over the Contract With America, a mostly pretty good start. Gingrich pressured a vote on his several points in the forst 100 days of that Congress.
One of the best points of this push was to require the feds to fund federal mandates, which I thought would be an excellent beginning. Alas, that one was voted on but didn't pass.
The Dems answer to this arrogance on the part of the upstart GOP majority was to start destroying the reputations of as many prominent Repubs as they could. Unfortunately, Newt has a somewhat checkered past regarding his personal life. As this was exposed by the ever moral Dems, Newt showed his true Repub characteristic: his lack of a spine, and resigned.
The extortion treatment has been tried a few more times against uppity Repubs, with the usual success when attempted against craven cowards.
The same tactic was tried a couple of times by the GOP against Dems, but the Dems are more brazen, plus they have the News Media on their side.
Subsequently, in the wake of this constant threat by the Dems, the GOP, after narrowly getting GW Bush elected, tacked. Now, they're attempting to out Dem the Dems: Take all the traditional Dem positions and get them through with the slim majority they now enjoy in both Houses.
The result so far: we have virtually all of the programs Bill Kkklinton wanted to create, now created passed and signed by the Repubs. Add to that the many restrictions on freedom of movement and deed enacted in the wake of the Islamic attacks, and Voila! we have the beginnings of the USSA (Union of the Soviet States of America).
Most of the very few Repubs who might stand against this usurpation, being the spineless politicians they are, succumbed to the democrat-inspired extortion tactics used by GOP party leaders and opted for socialism to keep their cushy jobs.
Alas! All this just to keep a majority! I'd be willing to bet that had they stayed with the message that brought the GOP into the majority in the first place, both the GOP and all Americans would be better off and more free right now.