Appeasement is the wrong word. Bush and company actually love big government. They know perfectly well what they are doing and would be doing even if the Democrats disappeared tomorrow. They love, indeed are, big brother.
The GOP establishment doesn't even pretend to be the party of small gov't anymore. Ever since Reagan left office the party platform has been all about "a kinder, gentler nation" and "compassionate conservatism." Long past time the GOP return to its roots.