In fact, Republican ideology—such as it can be said to still exist—can be primarily characterized as “Win at all costs”, and the primary means of doing so is by swaying public opinion via the manipulation of language. They’ve learned to redefine things like “values” and “freedom” in very specific, asemantic ways that even shock Eric Blair, and it has been extraordinarily effective in the political arena. This is not to say that other people across the spectrum don’t try to manipulate the language to their own ends—Bill Clinton famously tried to bullshit his way out of impeachment by trying to redefine what “sexual relations” meant—but for Republicans it has been a concerted effort to redefine the words they use to exclude the possibility of opposition in thought or deed.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work so well in the legal context, because the practice of the law has its own vocabulary with very specific interpretations that cannot be readily manipulated to suit whatever conclusions one may presume, and it is very difficult for a judge—even one with very conservative, “originalist” views—to put into record a decision which is contrary to the previously established interpretation of the Constitution. (Not that Clarence Thomas hasn’t tried a few times but he generally ends up all on his own when he does.) Of course, that also ties the hands of ‘liberal’ justices when it comes to a cause they may believe in but for which a legal interpretation does not support a particular challenge, and even the most liberal Supreme Court justice is loathe to directly contradict a prior decision unless there is a clear consensus that the prior decision was flawed or influenced.
As for “originalist” versus “activist”, although the Constitution is often celebrated as being some kind of perfect document, it was written over two hundred and thirty years ago by a bunch of rich white men, many of whom had the temerity to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” while owning and trading human beings as chattel, and they could not envision either the technological or social innovations that the then fledgling upstart colony would experience, nor the changes in views of national sovereignty and relations that the world would not experience for another sixty years. Very little of what the United States is today would be readily comprehensible to the “Founding Fathers” in either manner or extent, and we can scarcely rely on the Constitution has some kind of doctrinal text with hidden revelations to cover every development. It should be viewed, rather, as a set of guiding principles that made sense to the people trying to develop the first modern democracy largely based upon the principles outlined John Locke, but without any notion of how language and society would evolve.
To that end, Supreme Court justices should be evaluated and selected on the basis of both their legal scholarship as well as a solid understanding of the social, economic, and ethical impact that laws, good and bad, may have, and the sensibility to make decisions not based on whether it matches the political winds of the time but how well it enhances the fundamental principles espoused (if often irregularly followed) but the Founders as well as a general tendency toward greater freedom and fewer restrictions. On that basis, I would argue that the premise of the o.p.—that Democrats have been better than Republicans at selecting ideologically-compatible justices—is wrong. Modern (post-Dixiecrat) Democrats have tended to select justices that were good legal scholars with a solid sense of ethics, and modern Republicans have pushed for candidates which they believed to be more ideal logically aligned only to discover that many of their preferred candidates were legal scholars first and Republicans second.