For decades the Soviet Union was the glue that held the disparate elements of the movement together. For a brief time, it was believed that the Global War on Terrorism might take its place. That hasn’t happened. And it seems the much-needed soul-searching that occurred after Romney’s loss has resulted in a sort of tacit agreement that an amicable divorce might be preferable to the status quo.

There are too many examples of this re-ordering to include in this modest blog post. Obviously, it’s unclear what the “conservative” position will be on foreign policy. Is it Rand Paul’s more modest approach, or Marco Rubio’s more robust foreign policy?

Social issues are another conundrum. According to the three-legged-stool, social conservatives constitute a third of the conservative coalition. (Indeed, social conservatives were the last group to join the coalition, and proved to be the final ingredient for electoral success.) Yet more and more, their foundational beliefs are seen as an obstacle to the GOP’s survival (the GOProud vs. CPAC skirmish is merely a surrogate battle in a larger argument.)