Can these conservatives ever compromise?

It may be that Republicans, following the principle of enlightened self-interest, have recognized that no one has all the answers and that compromise for the good of the country — doing one’s sworn duty — is what they were elected to Congress to do.

But I’m skeptical. Ryan, along with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, voted against the bill that ended the shutdown and both “ultra-conservatives” are members of the conference committee, the committee that’s supposed to restore Congress to “regular order.”

Ryan “in effect sided with the people who are using (brinkmanship) as a strategy to get their ends. I think that’s not a good sign,” said Maryland Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer, House Democratic whip.

The committee has a deadline: The bill to fund the government expires on January 15 and the debt ceiling — and another looming default — comes hard on its heels on February 17. “Regular order” must be restored, a compromise found, by the end of December.