Milton Friedman, whose writings Republicans once read as gospel, said we should throw America's markets open to the world, no matter the protectionist policies of others, because cheaper imports benefit all of America's consumers.
No Republican talks like that anymore. Yet none seems to have a solution to these endless trade deficits debilitating our economy other than to ignore them or accuse the Chinese of "currency manipulation."
With homosexual marriage gaining converts among the young, the party of the Moral Majority declines to stand with Chick-fil-A.
On right-to-life, see the Republicans flee from Todd Akin, who committed a gaffe while restating his support for what has been a plank of the Republican platform since 1980.
Bewailing deficits, Republicans demand a balanced budget. And the Ryan budget does that -- in 28 years.
Why so long? Because real budget cuts entail real pain.
Where is Mitt Romney going to slash a budget that consumes a fourth of the U.S. economy?
Not defense. Mitt promises to increase that. He cannot cut interest on the debt, which must rise as interest rates climb from today's near-zero levels. He says he will not cut Medicare.
Is he going to cut Social Security? How about taking an ax to Medicaid, food stamps, student loans, school lunches, Head Start, aid to education, Pell Grants, EPA, the FBI and the earned income tax credit?
What the reactions to Akin's gaffe and the congressional skinny-dipper in the Sea of Galilee expose is a fear in the soul of the GOP that history is passing it by and the end may be near.
For decades, the GOP has been the party that cuts marginal tax rates, opposes abortion, defends traditional marriage, sends troops to fight for our values abroad and slashes government spending.
Today's GOP establishment is queasy even talking about social issues and recognizes that the new America has had it with the Afghanistans and Iraqs, wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent and contains scores of millions who will punish any politician who threatens their benefits.
The GOP's insoluble problem is that the multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country they created with their open borders appears not to like the brand of dog food the party sells.
Beating up on Todd Akin is not going to change that.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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