Representative and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan voted in favor of the budget deal; Senator Marco Rubio voted against it. From an article in the National Journal:
After anchoring a losing Republican presidential ticket widely perceived as hostile to middle-class concerns, Ryan heeded polls showing the public ready to blame the GOP if the deal fell through. The powerful budget committee chairman, loyal to House Speaker John Boehner, is mostly playing the inside game.
Rubio, who defeated a sitting governor on the back of the tea party movement, is largely playing the outside game. He rarely bucks the GOP’s conservative base – consider his recent votes against an overstuffed Hurricane Sandy aid bill and a United Nations treaty protecting people with disabilities -- although an opportunity looms in the anticipated debate over immigration reform. Rubio appears more invested more in cultivating his national profile than in courting leadership on Capitol Hill....
“Ryan ultimately is a policy wonk who understood that getting tax cuts for the vast majority of the American people could be a huge victory,” said Republican consultant John Feehery, who has advised top House Republicans. “Rubio seems more politically attuned to the conservative base. I think that’s the divide.”
It’s the same divide that will determine whether Ryan or Rubio is better positioned for a 2016 presidential race....
Leave aside the reporter's obvious bias here--whereas Ryan is engaged in the serious business of governing, the prose heavy-handedly implies, Rubio is merely playing politics--which approach is most useful? Which best places the GOP in a position to do real good over the longer term? Ryan appears intent on achieving, so to speak, the least bad outcome, one vote at a time, at the cost of being drawn into a game of entitlement spending so out of control that deals like the one struck yesterday do essentially nothing to change it. Rubio wishes to protest the whole game, standing athwart it, to paraphrase William F. Buckley, yelling "Stop!" The price Rubio pays is simple. Operationally--that is to say, in the countless day-to-day decisions on Capitol Hill that affect actual legislation--he risks irrelevance.
Both approaches have much to commend them--and much to condemn them. Choosing between them strikes me as very, very difficult.
Ryan versus Rubio. Whose approach should the GOP pursue?