- - Friday, October 30, 2015

Paul Ryan had not yet been born when John Lennon sang “Give peace a chance.” The Wisconsin Republican has now been elected the speaker of the House of Representatives and for a moment, his theme song should be “Give Paul Ryan a chance.”

Mr. Ryan takes over at a tough time in politics. After five years of former House Speaker John Boehner surrendering left and right, conservatives are angry. No, conservatives are beyond angry. They are furious.

Conservatives and the GOP rank and file have every reason to be furious. The leadership in Washington lied to them repeatedly. The leadership promised to repeal Obamacare and fight the Obama Regime. But never did.

Under John Boehner, the only time the House fought President Obama is when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz led a fight that resulted in a government shutdown in November 2013. Mr. Boehner surrendered to Mr. Obama as fast as he could.

But now John Boehner is gone and Paul Ryan sits in the Speaker’s chair.

Many conservatives started screaming at Mr. Ryan even before he was nominated by the Republican Caucus and elected by the House. Paul Ryan is not John Boehner. While Mr. Boehner never made an effort to work with Tea Party conservatives, Mr. Ryan has offered an olive branch.

The problem with the Tea Party movement is too many in the movement do not understand a simple concept. That is expressed in an old Southern expression, “You attract more flies with honey than you do vinegar.” Unfortunately, far too often activists want to simply run up to politicians and scream, “You suck!”

While screaming “You suck!” at politicians can have a visceral satisfaction, it accomplishes nothing. If the Tea Party movement is about making change to save the nation, simply screaming is not the answer.

Paul Ryan is on a short leash right now. One of the conditions he had for becoming speaker is to abolition of what is called the “Jefferson Rule.” This rule, technically known as a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair, was not changed. The House Freedom Caucus proved this year that it does have the power to force a speaker out.

Conservatives need to pick some agenda items that can pass both houses of Congress and land on Mr. Obama’s desk. Conservatives need to use some of the establishment’s tricks and put such legislation, including repeal of Obamacare or passage of the Fair Treatment for all Gifts Act, in must-pass legislation.

Other things conservatives need to remember: We aren’t going to win every fight; and compromise is not a bad idea when it advances our agenda. The problem with too many of the Republicans in Washington is they want to be bipartisan and therefore compromise is their goal. When compromise is your goal, surrender is always your first option.

For conservatives and Tea Party activists, there is good news with Paul Ryan’s ascension to the speakership. He has expressed a willingness to work with conservatives and, even more importantly, conservatives do have the power to remove Mr. Ryan if he decides to go full Boehner.

For now, it is time to give Paul Ryan a chance.

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