“Our offense will be hammering them for wrecking the health-care system, their demonization of the insurance companies, and their push for government control. That is the future fight,” Ryan predicts. “They’ve got a president here until 2013 and the votes in the Senate to support this for a few years, but it’s not over. As we work to repeal, we must recognize that we’re fighting a different and distorted progressivism. They want to hook people up to entitlements and delegate more power to unelected bureaucrats and technocrats to micromanage the economy — a government full of Peter Orzags. Yet their fatal conceit is also a rational gamble to establish a new culture of dependency.”In an Obamacare world, what is the GOP’s message? “We need to become the party of liberty and freedom,” Ryan argues. “We’re not doing enough. We can do better, and we will — because we have no choice. If we’re going to offer the country a completely different vision, we can’t be Democratic-lite or resign ourselves to be slightly more efficient managers and tax-collectors for the welfare state. We have to break with that and give people a clear and distinct difference.”
And as Ryan steps out to a staff meeting, he concludes, “What’s the point of being in Congress if we can’t?”
– Robert Costa is the William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute.