Rally on Capitol Mall

Running Away From the Ryan Budget

What practical impact will the House-passed Ryan Budget have on policy making in an election year?

Unfortunately, since 2010, there has been a notable unwillingness among House Republicans — particularly their leadership — to fight for the policies embodied in Ryan’s budgets

House Republicans and Chairman Ryan deserve credit for passing a budget, but Americans are growing tired of Washington’s budget-this-way, govern-that-way doublespeak. Lawmakers should not make the mistake, as Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) recently did, of suggesting a budget resolution alone is “a strong signal to our base that if we can deliver the election victories that we need, we’re prepared to make some really tough decisions.” 

We will only believe that promise when we see some evidence to support it. 

Read the whole Politico Magazine piece.

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Senate

Fact: Compromise Has Expanded Government

In my Foundry column this week, I argue progressives have seen too many successes over the last century for us to offer a timid response.  Conservatives have to start winning the argument with the American people, and that won’t be accomplished by continually compromising our principles:

“[C]onservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.”

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Mary Ann Sentinels

What Conservatives Want

Over at National Review I argue that while winning elections is critical for conservatives, we also have to be concerned with winning policy victories after election day is over that distinguish us from the other major party and from Republican party strategists in Washington:

[W]inning elections isn’t sufficient. As the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Edwin J. Feulner, explained in a speech shortly after Ronald Reagan won the presidency, conservatives also must win in the realm of policy. Put another way, political power should not be viewed as an end in and of itself, but rather the means to achieve the policy outcomes that will save the country.

Williamson invokes the common refrain that “the differences among us are minor compared with the differences between us and them, which are fundamental.”

Unfortunately, there are some fundamental differences between grassroots conservatives and the party strategists in Washington. Those differences get to the heart of whether conservatives will win in the realm of policy.

Read the whole column here

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Harry Reid 1

How Conservatives Win

This week on the Foundry, I explain how conservatives win key legislative battles:

It should come as no surprise The New York Times would bury news of a conservative victory over President Obama on page eight. The lead paragraph said it all:

Senate Democrats, bowing to united House Republican opposition, dropped reforms of International Monetary Fund governance from a Ukraine aid package on Tuesday.

The real question is whether this was merely a moment in time or a seminal shift in how congressional Republicans will approach future showdowns. And to be clear, future showdowns are inevitable if we are to achieve any conservative policy victories.

Conservatives in the House and Senate recognized that Democrats were the ones responsible for holding up the aid to Ukraine by insisting on the inclusion of the controversial and unrelated IMF provision. As that narrative began to take hold and House conservatives made their opposition known, Reid relented.

Read my whole column here.

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corruption

How to Disrupt Washington’s Corrupt Nexus

Washington’s main priority is protecting and enriching Washington.  In my Foundry column this week, I write that one of the central challenges facing conservatives – and really all Americans – is how to disrupt the corrupt nexus of big government politicians and the special interests that enrich them:

Agree or disagree with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ron Wyden5%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard5% on policy — and let’s be clear, there is a lot to disagree with — the fact that he makes merit-based decisions, often to the frustration of the professional lobbying class in Washington, is a welcome change. 

By contrast, another Capitol Hill publication ran a story profiling which lobbyists and special interest groups would thrive if there was a minor shakeup within House Republican leadership. Phrases such as “number of downtown confidants” and “new significance to a number of players on K Street” punctuate the story. 

Nothing perpetuates the Washington Ruling Class — and America’s dissatisfaction with Washington — more than this corrupt nexus. The collusion between Washington’s power players does not breed contempt formed out of some deep-seated jealousy; rather, it stems from the very real sense that Washington’s priority is Washington.

Read the entire piece here.

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