But the problem actually goes back even further than 20 years.
If the Republican Party actually believed in the principles in which they claim to support, Reagan WOULD NEVER have signed the Omnibus Health Care Act of 1986 into law giving us EMTALA, and ultimately the main argument behind the passage of not only RomneyCare, but eventually Obamacare as well.
If the Republican Party had adhered to its own principles, not only would they have been quashed the EPA either in the 80's or the early 2000's, but it should NEVER have been created in the first place by a "Republican President".
Ironically, the Department of Education itself gives us the best argument against its own creation:
"Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States."
I challenge ANY Republican to cite for me anything in the US Constitution that specifically relates to Congress and education.
It should make for an interesting read to hear their response.
Extra-Constitutional actions by Republicans over the past century helped to actually create the Department of Energy, so why the surprise about the feet dragging over its elimination?
The Normal Thomas quote in the article that CS posted epitomizes how we got here today very clearly.
Deep down, I honestly want someone to show some leadership and take us back to our Constitutional foundation. We'll never see it from someone who calls themselves a democrat. Sadly, I don't see it coming from republicans either.