It’s instructive to look at how the political parties handled their respective mandates in 2008 and 2010.
In 2008, the Democratic party won a mandate from the people—the Presidency and majorities in the House and Senate—yet they never gelled into an solid group that drove all decisions. The Democrats made concessions to all opposing ideas, until what they passed got so watered down that no one was happy with it.
In 2010, the Tea Party faction of the Republicans won a mandate to be fiscally conservative. They have acted in concert to make their minority position the key element in House decisions.
The Republicans use their mandate as a trump card. The Democrats threw theirs into the discard pile.
Paul Ryan Rhetorical Skill leading rather than Following
Iowa Playing Card image by DonkeyHotey / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)