Of course they're fooling themselves.
The republicans are the people who looked out of their windows and saw the patriots formed up at the Concord Bridge, and put on their team jerseys. After the shooting ceased, they patted themselves on the back and talked about how hard the fight was.
Later they went in front of the reporters (after dabbing some blood on their face), pretended to be out of wind, and told everyone who would listen how they defended freedom.
After the press left, they went down to the village pub and had a few pints with their "colleagues" from across the village square.