Republicans have a greater tendency to drink their own Kool-Aid than Democrats. For example, if you look at a map of where people who vote Republicans live, you`ll notice that they congregate (if that`s the right word) in the more open parts of the country. The Democrats assiduously try to increase population density via immigration and environmentalist policies, such as declaring large swathes of lands wildernesses. (You might think that immigration promotion and wilderness preservation are contradictory impulses, but in terms of increasing population density and thus Democratic-voting, they`re all good.)
An intelligent GOP would tend to promote policies that benefit its own kind of people and make life better for people who choose less densely populated regions over more densely populated ones. But too often Republicans are ham-strung by libertarian ideology.
For example, consider the pipeline between the Ivy League and Wall Street, which is a major engine in sucking talent out of Red States and bringing it to the northeast. It`s much easier to get a job interview with Goldman Sachs if you are an Ivy League senior than if you are a senior, with the same qualifications, at a State Flagship U., so ambitious Red State high school students better try to scramble their way into the Ivy League.
Wall Street firms interview much less outside of the Northeast. What with the price of airfare and hotel rooms these days, they couldn`t possibly afford to interview at many colleges more than few hundred miles from New York. Think of how Goldman`s thin profit margins would be endangered by the rent-a-car costs alone. The government shouldn`t interfere with the free market!
Yet, if I were a Republican congressman from, say, Indiana and were on the House Financial Services committee, I would let Goldman, Morgan, and the rest know that the great state of Indiana has three major universities — Notre Dame, Purdue, and Indiana — and I expect you to spend a day at each one interviewing, and sometimes hiring. You will notice from my tone of voice when you call up asking me for favors that I am keeping track of your hiring from my state.
Or, what about high-speed Internet for more rural Red Staters? Generations ago, rural Congressmen got the ATT monopoly to subsidize phone service for people in the country. Now, we`re increasingly close to an ATT - Verizon duopoly over telecomm, so why not lean on the big telecomm firms to get more of Red America wired up with fast web access so people don`t move out in frustration over being stuck with 20th Century Internet in the wide open spaces? Sure, that would violate libertarian principle and maybe hurt your chances to become a Verizon lobbyist after you get voted out of office, but maybe you should try policies to keep you from being voted out in the first place?