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Why are Republicans already choosing sides for 2016?

Updated
Like it or not, the 2016 Republican primary infighting has already begun to heat up. You’ve got Govs. Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Mike Pence and Scott Walker working the crowd at the Aspen Institute. You have Sen. Tedd Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and yes, the always predictable Donald Trump testing out the fried butter in Iowa. And most interestingly as of late, the growing clamor of support for none other than Rand Paul.

In case you missed it, Sarah Palin appeared on another cable network this week to espouse her support for “Team Rand.” “I’m on Team Rand,” the Tea Party pundit said on Fox News. “Rand Paul understands. He gets the whole notion of don’t tred on me government. Where as Chris Christie’s for big government and trying to go along to get along, in so many respects.”
And msnbc’s own Chris Matthews made this pretty bold prediction:

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My big question for Republicans more broadly is: Why are we already identifying teams and choosing sides?
For whatever reason, it seems like we are prematurely retreating to various sides of the political playground instead of taking ideas from all corners of the sandbox.  Winning elections is about creating the broadest, most inclusive message possible, not singling out various cohorts within the party and calling them names. Calling Chris Christie the “king of bacon” certainly doesn’t get us anywhere.
I know many critics will say - “Well, we can’t be all things to all people. We need to stick to our principles and not conform to the beliefs of the rest of the country.”
Sticking to our beliefs is important, I totally agree - but where is the sweet spot in all of this?  Isn’t there a way to bring our ideas together in a way that actually helps us win elections?
For instance, while parts of Rand Paul’s platform are frightening, and I don’t think he will win the GOP nomination – Sorry, Chris Matthews - We can’t ignore some of his Libertarian ideas that do resonate with a significant portion of voters, including myself. Things like a smaller federal government, less intrusion into our bedrooms, and a more measured approach to foreign policy.
We should consider embracing some of these alternative ideas, not reject them outright because of who they come from. As Ronald Reagan put it, “The person who agrees with you 80%of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20% traitor.”
Our goal as a party leading into the midterms, and over the next 24 or so months prior to the 2016 contests, should be to figure out how to take the best ideas from across the party to develop a cohesive narrative that resonates with voters.  We need to get to a point where, when asked what it means to be a Republican, voters don’t respond with 20 different answers.
And let’s be honest, Democrats love the spectacle. They love watching us fight with each other. And frankly, it feeds directly into their narrative that we only care about politics and not about getting the work of the people done.

So, fellow Republicans, let’s all stop pointing our weapons at each other, and focus more on what we actually agree on. Because in the end, that’s just good gun safety. And more importantly, it’s our path back to being the majority party again.
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Why are Republicans already choosing sides for 2016?

Updated