We saw that happen during Ted Cruz’s filibuster, when public approval for Republicans went to all-time lows. Cruz was certainly right about Obamacare, but the voters clearly didn’t care for his approach. Why repeat it, especially when you can get to the same place in other ways? And budget considerations are much more complex. With Obamacare, the bad results were in people’s faces almost immediately. The results of deficits are too far away and too easily obfuscated for most people to feel the pain immediately, even though it may ultimately be even more important.

So this is about strategy and it’s hard to see why Ryan didn’t have the correct one. He moves us closer to the goal, winning those elections and thereby being able to make serious change.

Although this is true, I can sympathize with those who are upset, even if I don’t agree with them. I am angry as well. Things have really gotten out of hand. But now is time for extra patience because the cards are still being dealt and they are coming our way. The wise poker player keeps his cool. Soon he may have four aces — or even draw to a straight flush.

In the meantime, we should be making constructive proposals, such as Rand Paul recently made about bringing “economic freedom zones” to Detroit. It is important to publicize such things widely because they are (relatively) fresh and creative. They expose the other side for what they are — stodgy, old and hypocritical.

Above all, when you are about to win, it is not the time to turn your guns on each other.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com elements, and with apologies to Muhammad Ali and George Lois.)