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We shall see: Paul Ryan says House Republicans are going to demand something in exchange for raising the debt ceiling again in February.
Though I’m glad he’s saying this, forgive me if I am skeptical. The Republican leadership in the House has proven itself weak and willing to back down all too often. For example, they have allowed the lie that they alone caused the government shutdown to become accepted as truth, merely by acting as if it were true. The result: they were unwilling to demand any concessions in the just completed budget negotiations, even though they had a strong hand and could have easily obtained concessions, especially on Obamacare.
Then there’s this: Ten quotes that explain why conservatives do not trust the Republican Party.
His conclusion is most pertinent:
Incidentally, the solution to all of this is not to leave the Republican Party. To the contrary, it’s to treat the Republican Party like a puppy that’s having difficulty with house training. When Republicans do the right thing, praise them, support them and do what you can to help them out. When they do the wrong thing, rub their noses in it. Attack Republicans who betray their principles relentlessly, primary them at every opportunity and take over the Republican Party so we can shove the politicians who won’t listen to us to the side. While we will never be able to build an entire party full of men like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, we can make it miserable enough for bad actors that the go-along-to-get-along Republicans will conclude it’s better to work with us than face primaries and incessant attacks from their own side in the new media. Most people don’t realize it, but we have already started moving the Republican Party to the Right and the time will come when Republicans are just as afraid of their base as Democrats are of Planned Parenthood and the unions. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if we keep going after Republicans who sell us out, even the ones that are as hostile as John McCain, Peter King and Lindsey Graham will eventually have to get on board if they want to keep their jobs.