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Will Rand and Ron Paul transform the GOP?

Republicans face two likely paths for their party’s future: Ron Paul’s libertarianism or a more moderate base

Ron Paul doesn’t like to go to New York. No surprise, really. The city of Mayor Bloomberg, with its limitations on how much carbonated sugar citizens are allowed to pour down their own throats is bad enough. That a drone was reportedly spotted by Italian airline pilots this past week, hovering over the city, probably doesn’t add to its charm for a guy like Paul. But he seemed to like Ottawa.

Only 48 hours after his son, Senator Rand Paul, wrapped up his 13-hour filibuster on the potential threat to civil liberties by way of aerial drone assassination, his father Ron was in the capital city to the north, telling Canadian conservatives that a transformative time is upon us. We are moving away from “interventionism”, he said, and toward a new kind of societal dismantling, thanks to rampant debt and government overspending.

It was a familiar message for anyone who watched the Republican primary debates in the run-up to last year’s election. It’s happens to be a message with a particularly contrarian tone in a place like this, what with Canada’s reputation for social programs and safety nets. The speech also exposed the fraying, existential nerve of the Republican party that Rand Paul danced on for most of Wednesday: is the party in need of a transformation?

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First, script it

Then, send out the actors.