Ross Douthat, making sense:

Rand Paul is more in touch with the public mood on national security issues than a lot of G.O.P. foreign policy hands, Mike Lee has a better tax plan than any of his fellow Republican senators, Heritage Action is absolutely right about farm subsidies and the House G.O.P. leadership is wrong … I’ve been over this before, but it bears repeating: If you’re looking for policy innovation on the right, the populist wing is mostly where the action is.

And yet none of this matters right now, because the current populist strategy isn’t going to work, isn’t going to make the populist’s ideas or the Republican Party more popular, and has marched the entire party into a cul-de-sac from which, it seems, only the uncourageous dealmaking K Street-friendly leadership types can rescue it.

Ross calls this:

A case study, for the right’s populists, in how all the good ideas and sound impulses in the world don’t matter if you decide to fight on ground where you simply cannot win.

The whole post is worth a look.

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