"Conservatives spend money on different things. They like embassies, and they like occupation. They like the empire. They like to be in 135 countries and 700 bases.... Don’t you think it’s rather conservative to say, ‘oh it’s good to follow the Constitution, oh, except for war. Let the President go to war anytime they want,' ... All empires end in financial collapse," - Ron Paul.

The tension between his traditional conservative supporters and the nationalist neo-cons is a fascinating rift. Not that big a deal right now, but no party claiming to defend the constitution and to restore fiscal balance can avoid the question of the cost of defense and the extraordinary leaps in unaccountable presidential war powers in the last decade.

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