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The Elephant in the Room?

Here is an interesting essay by Walter Russell Mead at Via Meadia on what he sees as a problem in the GOP’s foreign policy. It’s called “America’s “Daddy Party” Needs To Grow Up.

Generally speaking, the Republicans are doing some interesting things on the Mommy side these days. With fewer ties to the vested interests that want to fight change in domestic institutions, the Republicans have led the way on some promising education initiatives and government reforms. There’s something of an intellectual ferment on the GOP side these days as politicians and wonks hunt around for ideas that might reduce the “Mom gap” and make voters trust Republicans more on some domestic governance issues. It’s a start, though much more needs to be done.

But where Republicans are falling down on the job these days seems to be in the realm of foreign policy – a traditional GOP strength. Between the annual CPAC meeting and the intra-party struggle over Senator Rand Paul’s drone filibuster, it’s clear that the GOP has some big unresolved questions to ponder.

Rand Paul’s dramatic 13-hour filibuster of the Brennan nomination, the attacks on his position from established Republican leaders like Senator John McCain, and the conservative applause Sen. Paul received afterward had many talking about a sea change in Republican foreign policy — and that was before he won the CPAC straw poll. Were the isolationists and America-Firsters coming back from the margins, led by the younger and more telegenic Paul? Could Patrick Buchanan style thinking be returning to the mainstream of an anti-engagement, ignore-Israel Republican Party?

Not so fast, said writers like David Weigel, proclaiming that nothing much had in fact changed, and that the GOP establishment’s remained unflinching in its commitment to a strong national defense.

Go read the whole thing.

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