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Is conservative nod to Ron Paul an indication that Republicans will divide on The issue?

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Note the Conservative Political Action Conference’s straw poll giving Texas Rep Ron Paul a clear lead for the group’s presidential endorsement over Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

And note Mike Huckabee ripping the straw poll, and the  group for being libertarian.

Huckabee has spent a lot of time in Israel. Ron Paul is one of the most assertive critics in the Congress of US policy in the Middle East, and has an isolationist streak. Is it possible the issue will finally be debated openly, inside the Republican Party, and maybe even tear the party’s presidential primary process apart?

The issue was of course generally suppressed in the ’08 campaign. Bill Kristol and the Republican Jewish Coalition thought Obama vs McCain was about realism versus neoconservatism, and so did I; and we wanted a debate on the subject, and we didn’t get it. As it turned out, Kristol had little to fear from Obama. But it would be nice for once to have an open debate on the subject.

Expect Commentary and David Brooks to start ripping Ron Paul as a dangerous populist.

And bear in mind the Gallup poll the other day saying that 80 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Israel, only 53 percent of Democrats do. Somehow I don’t think the issue is going to come up on the Democratic side…

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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