Not only are Republicans wasting time with the Paul Ryan proposal, their cynical gambit on the even more drastic House Republican Study Committee came back to bite them. They may be under pressure to keep campaign promises about balancing the budget—but they're running a huge risk of electoral disaster with their overreach.
While Republicans are chiding President Obama for lacking leadership, they are wasting precious time pushing an agenda to nowhere.
On Friday, we were forced to endure a day of debate on the Paul Ryan budget, which everyone knows is dead on arrival in the Senate. The centerpiece of the congressman's grand plan—turning Medicare into a voucher program—is opposed by the majority of the population. He offers more tax cuts for the wealthy despite the public's overwhelming support for taxing the rich.
According to some Republican strategists and commentators, the GOP is terrified of a backlash from its base if its members don't deliver on their ambitious campaign promises. Former White House press secretary Dana Perino told me: "The message the GOP [voters]—including the Tea Party—sent to the Republicans was that inaction was probably more politically risky than proposing something that might make some people uncomfortable."
Kirsten Powers served in the Clinton administration from 1993-1998 and has worked in New York state and city politics. She is a political analyst on Fox News and a writer for the New York Post. She is also a columnist for The Daily Beast. To continue reading her column in The Daily Beast on Paul Ryan and the GOP, click here.