while he was part of the leadership team that negotiated the mostly successful sequester in 2011 (really the only instance of a successful negotiation with President Obama), he disdained fights on smaller spending priorities.
.. Ryan never had the party’s broader support for tackling entitlements. Not only was he saddled with a president, in Donald Trump, who had campaigned against entitlement reform, but — forgotten now — his 2012 running mate, Mitt Romney, had savaged Rick Perry in 2012 for having written favorably about such reforms. Ryan himself had also voted for Medicare Part D back in 2003.
.. So, while Ryan was right on the merits about the biggest fiscal problem, he was never able to mount an effective campaign either legislatively or in the public arena to solve the problem.
.. As a more junior congressman he went along with a lot of bad spending ideas during the Bush years, and as a leader he never picked fights that could be translated into a tangible result to report home .. as opposed to more nebulous arguments about bending the overall rate of spending
.. The failure to zero out federal support for Planned Parenthood when the GOP controlled the House, then the House and Senate, and then even the House, Senate, and White House, was the most indefensible example of this.