The plans presently under discussion include defunding some parts of the new health care law and delaying implementation of others, withholding some of the unspent stimulus funds, and using the oversight power of Republican-led committees to investigate the Obama administration…

Even assuming Republicans win, the plans they are sketching out now won’t fully satisfy many conservative activists. Republican leaders are talking privately of avoiding a full-throated assault on Obama and making their mark on spending (cut it) and taxes (cut them, too) to set the stage for 2012.

The truth is, when you strip away the unrealistic (repealing any significant parts of health care) and the recycled (extend the Bush tax cuts), there are few authentically original or viable ideas getting knocked around, even in private chats. This is the impression would-be Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has left in public, too, by promising new policy prescriptions twice, only to unveil familiar plans. This is unlikely to change until Republicans reconcile the worldview of members like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — make sweeping changes, even if they are unpopular — with the play-it-safe attitude of many others.