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Rex Nutting: The hurricanes changed the debate in Washington

Something strange and unexpected is happening in Washington. Suddenly, Republicans — some, anyway — are beginning to care about governing.

Far from “dismantling the administrative state” or “drowning it in a bathtub,” a few Republicans have taken on a new appreciation for the government’s role. It’s still a limited role, to be sure. The party hasn’t take a hard turn to the left, and the tea party faction is as anti-government as ever.

Still, after eight years of listening to Republicans bash Uncle Sam unconditionally, it’s nice to hear some leaders of the party acknowledge the reality that we — all of us — depend at times on an effective government.

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