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On repealing FinReg

John Boehner is calling for a repeal of the FinReg legislation passed by the Senate a few days ago.

Ramesh Ponnuru doesn’t think this is smart politics:

[…]I hope other Republicans don’t join this bandwagon.

While I don’t accept the conventional wisdom that repealing Obamacare is impossible, it is certainly going to be difficult. It is highly, highly unlikely that Republicans will be able to repeal two of the Democrats’ recent major pieces of legislation.

If Republicans promise to repeal several laws, they will reduce the likelihood that they will repeal any of them.

A few other points worth considering.

First, the financial-regulation bill isn’t as bad as the health-care legislation—it even has some good points. Second, the bill wasn’t passed in the manner the health-care bill was. No state re-wrote its laws to enable it to get a 60th vote, and public sentiment wasn’t against it.

For both of these reasons, I think it makes more sense for conservatives to try to modify the legislation in the future—replacing its worst parts, dealing with Fannie and Freddie, etc.—than to try to repeal it.

The merits (or lack thereof) of the FinReg legislation notwithstanding, I agree for the most part with Ponnuru’s assessment.  Having previously called for the reform of Obamacare, doing the same on FinReg makes the minority leader look shrill.  Politically, this will become an albatross for Republicans heading into the midterms and beyond, if they don’t learn to frame the debate as providing alternatives to the creeping statist policies of the left.

Republicans have to learn the fine art of playing politics, something they have failed to do despite gaining significant momentum over the past twenty months.

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