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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Essays for the Presidency

Getting the GOP's Groove Back

How to Bridge the Republican Foreign Policy Divide

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney walks across the tarmac at the airport in Des Moines, Iowa October 26, 2012. Brian Snyder / Reuters

It is the healthy habit of partisans on the losing side of a U.S. presidential election to spend some time reflecting on the reasons for their defeat. And it is the grating habit of partisans on the winning side to tell the losers how they might have done better. Most of their advice is self-serving, none of it is solicited, and little of it is ever heeded. Yet still people pile on.

So it has been following Mitt Romney's defeat by President Barack Obama in last November's election. On domestic policy, pundits have instructed Republicans to moderate their positions on social issues and overcome their traditional opposition to higher taxes. On foreign policy, they are telling them to abandon their alleged preference for military solutions over diplomatic ones, as well as their reflexive hostility to multilateral institutions, their Cold War mentality toward Russia, their "denialism" on climate change, their

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