If you haven’t been watching the GOP debates - and, hey, who can blame you? - this exchange between Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul will bring you up to speed on the state of the Republican Party. Representing the establishment is Rubio, who is a rising contender for the GOP nomination. Representing the small-government wing of the GOP is Paul, whose views are out of favor with the party honchos but traditionally popular with libertatians, independents and some conservative voters.
Paul questioned how conservative it is to grow the government.
Paul: “How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting new programs that you can’t pay for.”
Rubio responded by saying “terrorists.”
Rubio: “We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadists in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon. The Chinese taking over the South China Sea.”
So much of the focus this election has been on "outsiders” Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, but when it comes to policy, Paul is the outsider. A Republican who’s not in favor of growing the size of the military is like a Democrat who thinks we should abolish teachers unions. It’s just not done.
It’s too early to tell how the GOP field will shake out, but it would be fun to watch Paul and Rubio in a one-on-one debate. If you consider debating the merits of reacting militarily to China’s ambitions in the South China Sea fun.
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