Conservatives Must Govern with Prudence and Patience

In a recent interview with Philip Klein of the American Spectator, Representative Paul Ryan spoke about the limits of the strategy to defund ObamaCare:

Obviously, I’m in favor of anything we can do to stop it, to halt it, but the problem we have is, he [Obama] has to sign those bills. I get this question every single day, ‘If you take back Congress, you have the power of the purse, just defund the thing.’ Well, yeah, technically speaking, we can put riders in appropriations bills that say, ‘No such funds can go to HHS to do x, y, or z in implementing ObamaCare.’ He’s gotta sign those things. And he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would sign those things. And so that means we go to a continuing resolution or something like that. So I see a lot of stalemate — not over just whether we defund ObamaCare and cap and trade and FinReg or whatever — because he’s not going to agree to our spending levels anyway. We’re going to cut spending way below where he would go. So I don’t see him signing our spending bills, which are the bills you’d have to pass into law to defund ObamaCare.

There is no more committed budget cutter on Capitol Hill than Ryan, which is why his words are worth taking into account for conservatives who, once Republicans retake the House (as I fully expect they will), insist that the GOP repair much of the damage President Obama has done. It won’t be easy — and conservatives should internalize that fact sooner rather than later. There are certain governing and political realities that cannot be wished away. Repealing ObamaCare is impossible so long as Obama sits in the Oval Office — and even defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is going to prove to be exceedingly difficult. Those in the conservative movement who set that up as the standard of success are setting themselves and their closest political allies up for failure.

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Conservatives Must Govern with Prudence and Patience

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