The Libertarian Theory of Electoral Politics

Here’s Nick Gillespie’s view of the past few years’ worth of politics:

The GOP got kicked to the curb in 2006 because they were up-to-the-neck-complicit with the profligate and stupid spending (and bellicose) ways of George W. Bush. If after four years in the supposed wilderness you get power and the first thing you do is walk back the suggestion that you’re gonna cut $100 billion out of fiscal year 2011 (still without a budget!), and then your main guy bumbles the query above…well, you’re not winning any fans among the growing ranks of independents (read: crypto-libertarians) who want a smaller government that does less and costs less.

This is a commonly voiced view on the right. But if spending cuts—meaning actual, concrete cutting of specific programs as opposed to vague talk about “spending cuts”—are popular, then what’s the explanation for why they’re so rare?