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1. Gay marriage
This one is kind of a no-brainer, and some Republicans (not to mention plenty of previously anti-gay marriage Democrats, like Hillary Clinton) are wising up. Far be it from me to question the sincerity of any of the politicians who “evolved” on gay marriage in the last year, but there were an awful lot of them in a short period of time. The president’s own evolution came in 2012, just months before the presidential election. Not only did Obama adopt a stance on gay marriage (states’ rights) that would be considered a Republican one applied to many other issues, but he adopted the same one the sitting Republican Vice President, Dick Cheney, did nearly a decade earlier, when gay marriage was much less popular with the electorate than it is today. The Republican Party establishment’s desire to appeal to authoritarian-minded social conservatives (as if they would vote for Democrats otherwise?) instead of maintaining consistency on states’ rights and federalism represents a lost opportunity for the party to have appeared forward-thinking and principled. Nevertheless, potential 2016 candidates like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have both articulated this kind of federalism-oriented approach to the issue of gay marriage.
Next: Republicans might open the doors