Did Paul Ryan say a shutdown is on the table?

Reportedly, Ryan drops Boehner's pledge not to shut down the government.  Flexing his legislative muscle:

"This is the legislative branch, and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch. And we fully expect that we are going to exercise that power," Ryan said when pressed over whether he planned to attach so-called "policy riders" to a must-pass spending bill that Congress needs to approve before December 11.


If those words can rightly be interpreted as a shutdown, then it's a bad strategy. 

I wish conservatives could understand these things about the American electorate today:

1. The government has grown since FDR, expanded by LBJ, liberal Nixon, barely checked by Reagan, grown under Bush, and now increased under Obama.  This has been going on for eighty years, almost nonstop.

2. The public likes big government.  People get a lot of benefit from it.

3. Seventy-two or eighty percent of the public blame the GOP for any shutdown.

4. Therefore, it's a political loser for the GOP. 

5. We can't hold the government hostage, after eighty years of its being in the fabric of America.

6. Americans don't like sudden moves, and neither should conservatives.  If we criticize Obama for trying to "fundamentally transform" America in seven years, why should we transform her by circumventing the vote overnight?

7. During the shutdown, the elderly think they won't get their Social Security checks, no matter how many times the GOP leadership reassures them it isn't so.

8. Obama won't budge because he knows he won't get blamed.  All he'll do is put his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office and laugh up his sleeve and watch the GOP back down.

That last reason is key, so let me repeat it.  Obama won't back down, and why should he? 

For all these reasons, the shutdown strategy should be avoided.  Instead, let's win the White House, once we nominate the right candidate, which for me is looking more and more like Rubio.

Cheer up, conservatives.  After election chaos, I'm convinced that the nominee will win the White House in Nov. 2016.  Let's be patient until then.

James Arlandson, Ph.D. (1994), has been teaching college and university for years.  His website is Live as Free People, which is updated almost daily.

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