Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wasn’t the first to say it but since he did two weeks ago, its a notion that’s become okay for conservatives to say aloud in public: The GOP can’t and shouldn’t try to govern the country when it only controls the House.

Ramesh Ponnuru of the conservative National Review reiterates the point in Bloomberg View today:

They spent four years trying to discredit him with the public. They need to accept that they failed.

It’s still in Republicans’ interest for the public to turn on Obama, as it was in Democrats’ interest for the public to turn on President George W. Bush the way it did in his second term. But if that happens, it will be because Obama’s health- care plan becomes an undeniable failure, or the economy gets worse, or events overseas make his foreign policy look naive. It won’t be because Republicans keep denouncing him. …

What they shouldn’t do is conceive of their near-term political task as winning a series of confrontations with the president. Because they’re unlikely to win very often. Obama has inherent advantages in political debates with more than 200 House Republicans, and his re-election will only strengthen his hand, at least for now.

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