The politicians really aren't the root cause, it's the bureaucracy.
I can't remember the exact number, but the quantity of elected, appointed or otherwise "serve at the leisure of" federal government employees is in the hundreds, maybe the thousands. Who knows how many people work for the feds, 2,000,000,000 or 3,000,000,000 maybe more. They know that who ever is elected, "this too will pass"
They also know that between the civil service protections, union rules, or laws there's no way they'll be fired.
The lady at the IRS giving out confidential information and using her authority for political purposes, plead the fifth, administrative leave with pay, retire with pension, on to K street. And yeah, Bush probably did it too!
At one time the involuntary turnover % for federal employees was < 1%. A federal HR person was asked why the ratio was so low compared to private sector companies.
His reply was the federal hiring practices were so robust that they always had high performance people in government jobs.
Sure, that's why so many private sector companies are lined up around the corner to benchmark their hiring practices.
BTW, limited, small government doesn't mean none. There are certain thing that the feds need to accomplish including providing a safety net for people. Government that is closer to the people is more effective and efficient. Once inside the Beltway, you've enter a new dimension in space and time.