One major principle of Barack Obama's presidency is that government, when it works right, can be best-equipped to aid and protect Americans.

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Although his foes love to hate that principle, it's finding fresh currency among some Republicans.

Their small-government ideology is being tested by pressing needs and offers for federal funds that are tough to turn down, plus security threats that emphasize the need for a robust defense.

Conservatives still broadly feel Obama has let government grow out of control. They've been concerned recently about the IRS targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department snooping on reporters.

But on other policy fronts, like the Medicaid expansion under Obama's health care law and federal aid to storm-battered states, some Republicans are conceding that minimalist government isn't always the answer.


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