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Mr. Ryan's Dilemma


Excuse me, but I'm a little confused. Just why are "movement" conservatives and libertarians so angry with Paul Ryan about the budget deal he made with Patty Murray?

Now, of course, I understand why some politicians are angry, or pretending to be. They're Ryan's competition for POTUS in 2016, assuming the Wisconsin congressman wants to run. They're positioning themselves for a campaign. But the rest of us?

Let's stipulate this: No conservative or libertarian is going to get what he or she wants on government spending -- or even anything remotely close to it -- without winning the Senate in 2014 and the presidency two years later. Barring mass lobotomies, it ain't gonna happen -- not with Barack Obama and Harry Reid standing in the way. You have to get rid of these people first.

The good news is, as of this moment -- thanks to the Obamacare fiasco that will likely continue for some time, even get worse, and, to a lesser extent, the Iran deal that, in all probability, is headed for disaster -- things are running in the right's direction. What Ryan quite obviously was trying to do is keep it that way -- tread some water until we have at least the first of those elections (2014). He was following Hippocrates' prescription to do no harm.

The harm would be shutting down the Congress, because the public seriously dislikes that. They turn against you -- and for good reason. They understand you don't have the votes to accomplish what you say you want and are posturing for the most part. Even some low-information voters get that. It's pretty obvious.