More broadly, why isn’t the GOP trying to draw a more stark contrast with President Barack Obama? Republicans, the red-meat legislators believe, should be forcing more votes on the massive overhauls of government they promised.

Passing the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is a start, but hardly enough, they say. Republicans should be touting their proposed overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid and passing more bills to show that their plan to deal with the nation’s crumbling entitlement system is more responsible than Obama’s, the lawmakers argue.

In short, these conservatives want more from Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

“There’s no use to having the majority if you are going to be hamstrung by your perception of political vicissitudes,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina , who was at the dinner…

“What I’m saying is, where there is no vision, the people perish,” Southerland said. “That’s biblical. So what I’m saying is we need to cast our vision. I think our vision, when compared to the president’s vision, is a stark contrast.”