Anne Applebaum tries to insist on some basic honesty on the right:

Parties, of course, can change; politicians can see the light; lessons can be learned; and perhaps some Republicans have learned them. But you cannot start from scratch. You cannot forget history. You cannot pretend that the Republican Party has not supported big and wasteful spending programs -- energy subsidies, farm subsidies, unnecessary homeland security projects, profligate defense contracts, you name it -- for the past decade. Before the GOP can have credibility on any spending issues whatsoever, Republican leaders need to speak frankly about the mistakes of the past.

They also must be extremely specific about which policies and programs they are planning to cut. What will it be? Social Security or the military budget? Medicare or the Transportation Security Administration? Vague "anti-government" rhetoric doesn't cut it anymore: If you want a smaller government, you have to tell us how you will create one.

Good luck with that.

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