The Corner

Rubio, Ryan, and the Year of Reformers

Rubio, Ryan, Kasich, Toomey — all are candidates running on bold solutions and, in many ways, against the established GOP order, says Kim Strassel:

Let’s talk Republican “civil war.” Not the one the media is hawking, that pits supposed tea party fanatics like Mr. Rubio against supposed “moderates” like Mr. Crist. The Republican Party is split. But the real divide is between reformers like Mr. Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who are running on principles and tough issues, and a GOP old guard that still finds it politically expedient to duck or demagogue issues. . .  If an angry public has done anything, it’s been to embolden more of these reformers to run. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey was a leader on Social Security reform in Congress. John Kasich, running for Ohio governor, promises to overhaul the state’s decrepit tax and regulatory systems. In House races you see more candidates running on bold solutions. Yet for every budding Rubio there remains an establishment GOP member who fights earmark bans, blanches at Medicare reform, and just wants to get through the next election.

Messrs. Christie, McDonnell, and Brown also deserve some credit for stoking the reformist fire.

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