Washington Examiner columnist David Limbaugh had a column Thursday that deserves careful and thoughtful reading, especially by those to whom it is mainly addressed.

What if the GOP wins the White House and Congress in 2016? What then, GOP, Limbaugh asks.

"I would wager that many of my Establishment friends will continue to advise restraint, urging us not to drastically roll back Obama's liberal policies, either because they'll be horrified about the next election or because they have really, in the end, lost their stomach for political battle and their taste for free market principles," Limbaugh writes.

"I suspect that many of them have come to accept a large, 'energetic' federal government and believe that Republicans should just accept it and instead devise original and creative yet 'conservative' policy solutions within the big-government framework," he says.

Does the Right believe it's right?

Limbaugh's column follows an op-ed posted earlier this week on washingtonexaminer.com by Americans for Limited Government Vice President Richard Manning.

Manning tore into former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson for criticizing Tea Party conservatives who, he claims, seek "to break with the past in a very different manner - repudiating 80 years of institutional development and reinventing American as a nation that rejects the substantive role for regulation or a social safety net.”

In other words, Gerson implied that the Right should simply accept the steady centralization of government and erosion of individual liberty caused by the "progressive" policies of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ and Barack Obama.

Outraged, Manning argues that the GOP should utterly reject "the Regulatory State [that] is killing our nation, destroying the very concept of private property and consigning us into a Kafkaesque world ruled by an army of Lois Lerner clones."

Can the GOP survive itself?

The Limbaugh-Gerson-Manning debate points to what is likely to be the defining issue of the post-2014 state of American politics.

By over-reaching across the domestic policy board, Obama has all-but discredited Big Government as a viable governing agenda. The ugly consequences are accelerating as his second term enters its terminal phase.

That reality makes the debate within and without the GOP over repealing or reforming the wreckage of the progressive era the decisive discussion in American politics for years to come. Participants and observers should act accordingly.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Federal courts must help Congress preserve separation of powers.

Columnists/Philip Klein: Another warning that a national debt crisis is looming.

Columnists/Veronique de Rugy: If you've got a small business, odds are Export-Import Bank isn't helping you.

Columnists/Byron York: Why the GOP is stuck on deporting illegal minors.

Columnists/David Limbaught: Has the Right lost the will to fight?

OpEds/Melanie Sturm: Where are America's leaders who will confront real problems?

OpEds/John L. Casey: Both parties fail voters on climate science.

Manhattan Moment/Jared Meyer: Professional licenses, not taxes, are the biggest barrier to small business creation.

Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Wendy Davis staffer convicted in 2006 of stealing Michael Steele's credit report.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: GOP blasts Obama for fundraising after jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

PennAve/Rebecca Berg: Chris Christie testing presidential waters in Iowa.

Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: Apple, AGs propose $400 million eBooks settlement.

Video Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for July 18.

In other news

New York Daily News: Hillary Clinton says should be outrage in European capitals if Russia shot down airliner.

NBC News: Investigators face huge challenges in Ukrainian jetliner shoot-down probe.

The Los Angeles Times: Advanced U.S. spy satellites tracked deadly missile's path to jetliner.

Righty Playbook

National Review Online: The Obama albatross.

American Thinker: The IRS is sharing personal tax information with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Washington Free Beacon: Obama fundraises while Putin runs amok.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Welcome to the Pink Police State of America.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Putin is why Ukraine erupted again.

Salon: How the media blew its Ukraine disaster coverage.

Washington Monthly: Tea Party racks up two more GOP Establishment kills.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: This isn't the first time -- five other commercial jetliners that were shot down.

Blog Right

Wizbang: Paying off Obama's buddies.

Yid With Lid: A prayer for the IDF soldiers.

Hot Air: Smart Power State Department ends day with stirring tweet.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Putin's game-changer.

FDL: They needed killin'.

Crooks and Liars: Fox helps subpoena-happy Issa flog his latest fishing expedition.