Ryan 2

Well yet again I’m feeling that sense of being abandoned by those whom I thought were on my side and on the side of preserving what’s left of my country.  But apparently I was wrong again.  This so-called “Freedom Caucus” is apparently less interested in freedom that it is in politics as usual.  And even though at the end of a meeting that took place yesterday in the U.S. Capitol Ryan had failed to earn the group’s endorsement, he still walked out having received the group’s support.

And it was after making all manner of promises including promising members a return to regular order, changes to the steering committee that decides committee assignments centralizing power in the Speaker’s office and even promising to give up the Speaker’s five votes on the committee and an end to retaliation against Republican members who vote their conscience that Paul Ryan was able to convince enough of the group’s members into supporting him.

He also reiterated his promise made in the full GOP conference on Tuesday that there would be no amnesty bill under Barry “Almighty”—which most notably did not extend to the next president—and an end to the crisis-to-crisis style of  governance under outgoing Speaker John Boehner. Ryan also promised more “regional representation” rather than representation centralized in the Speaker’s office.  Lots of promises of which very few, I expect, will be kept.

However, the many promises came with two significant strings very firmly attached: first, those present couldn’t tell the public what just happened because, Ryan argued, it would infuriate the other side of the House GOP conference. And Ryan would get what he wanted with significant changes to a House rule that was put in place back in the early 1800s by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president and the author of America’s Declaration of Independence.

That would be the rule which allows any member to offer a “motion to vacate the chair” as a privileged resolution—allowing members to, if a Speaker is out of control, as Boehner has been, remove a Speaker from power. Ryan wants to severely undercut the power of rank-and-file members to hold a Speaker accountable with a motion to vacate the chair. So he wants to keep members from being able to use it whenever necessary, just in case they should come to feel betrayed.

So, heading into the meeting with Ryan, on Wednesday, there was near-unanimous opposition to him in the House Freedom Caucus. And there were many outlets reporting that it was “unlikely” that Ryan would receive the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus.  Every member except two opposed a Ryan Speakership—and they were agreeing to the meeting simply to be fair. But when Ryan made all these promises, it seems that most members chose to believe him at face value.

Ryan made all these nice-sounding promises to the members on the condition, that they surrender the only two ways they have to enforce such promises: going public, or kicking him out of office down the road.  Several of the members worry that Ryan is untrustworthy and dishonest, especially given the misleading nature of the way he has sold Republicans in the past on Obamatrade, “doc fix,” the budget deal he cut with Democrat Patty Murray and immigration to name just a few.

But if they do come to vote for Ryan, and then he chooses not to deliver all those things that were promised, the Freedom Caucus essentially becomes politically irrelevant.  I suppose some would argue, including myself, that by choosing to support him by any measure is nothing short of a capitulation and therefore they have already made themselves irrelevant.  Ryan is not the man for this position that has already been so badly squandered over the last 5 years.  What’s needed is a conservative!


Ryan 1

Now I’ll be right up front here and say that I am not a big supporter of Paul Ryan becoming our new Speaker of the House.  Sorry, but I have a rather difficult time accepting a guy who has been so very enthusiastically endorsed by none other than ‘Dingy Harry’ Reid.  But be that as it may, it would at least appear that the Establishment wing of the Republican Party may now be close to getting its wish.  That being, of course, their wish for another Boehner.  But for conservatives, Ryan is far from being the ideal candidate to fill the role of Speaker.

After meeting with House Republicans, Ryan admitted, during a press conference, that he was willing to run for Speaker of the House, but only if they met the list of demands of what it would take to get him to run.  But is such behavior something we should coming from someone described as being a leader?  And is it something that we would expect to hear from someone who really wanted the job?  I would argue that it’s a no on both counts.  He’ll only take the job if everyone agrees to go along with whatever position he may take on any issue?  Really?

Ryan said, “We as a conference should unify now and not after a divisive Speaker election.”  He called for Republicans to gather as a team and “move from an opposition party to being a proposition party.”  What I want now, and what I think many Americans want, is for the Republican Party to finally start behaving like a true opposition party, instead of caving every time they start feeling a little heat.  Frankly, I’m tired of this bunch if eunuchs.  They have surrendered so many times because, I think, it’s simply easier than putting up a fight.

And the level of arrogance exhibited by Ryan in presenting his list of demands that he says must be met before he’d even be willing to accept the third highest office in our constitutional republic, is not a leadership trait.  These demands appear to highlight not only party unity but also loyalty to Ryan.  He has also criticized the chaos in the Republican caucus that lead to Boehner’s resignation.  Well perhaps the chaos to which Ryan refers might never have occurred had Boehner at least made an attempt to follow through on at least a few of the promises made in 2014.

And according to Ryan’s spokesperson Brendan Buck, before Ryan would become Speaker, one of his demands involves changing the process for a motion to “vacate the chair,” a rule that was put into place by the third President of the United States and Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson.   And it was put into place in order to give members of the House power to remove the sitting Speaker of the House.  Buck told reporters before Ryan’s speech, “No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time.”

So I guess what Ryan is saying here is that every House Republican must simply stand with him regardless of the position he takes, regardless of the issue.  Now I ask you, how stupid would it be to agree to that?  Especially when considering some of the rather questionable positions that Ryan has taken on some pretty important issues such as immigration.  Look, I didn’t send my representative off to Congress so he could simply agree with a RINO like Ryan.  I voted to send him to Washington for him act on my behalf on the truly important issues of the day.

Ryan signaled that the partisan brinkmanship had to come to an end.  Ryan said, “We have become the problem.”  And he then added, “If my colleagues entrust me to be the Speaker I want us to become the solution.”  Ryan also urged his House colleagues to stop blaming the other party, the president, and the media for blocking their agenda.  He said, “People don’t care about blame, people don’t care about effort, people care about results.”  And he called for Republicans to embrace “results-driven, common-sense conservatism.”

Ryan admitted that if the conference couldn’t unite behind him, he would be “happy” to remain as chairman of the Ways and Means committee. He said, “This is not a job I ever wanted and I’ve ever sought,” referring to the situation as a “dire moment” in America.  Ok, so let’s keep him happy and on the Ways and Means committee.  He is not fit to be Speaker.  He’s not a conservative, or at least conservative enough.  He would be no better that Boehner, and maybe even worse!  He’s more interested in getting along than in getting something done that will get this country back on track.

It remains unclear whether or not the House Freedom Caucus will oppose Ryan unanimously or begrudgingly support him.  Ryan’s ultimatum might be enough to divide rebel conservatives who will likely face peer pressure from their colleagues to fall in line.  After Ryan spoke with the conference, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced that he would drop out of the Speaker race in favor of Ryan.  “Right person at the right time,” he wrote briefly on Twitter.  I would choose to respectfully disagree with Mr. Chaffetz, Ryan is NOT the right person at this time.

So I’ll say this one more time and then I’ll let it go.  It is my humble opinion that Paul Ryan is not the right choice for what has become a critically important job in a very critical time for this country.  Frankly I don’t see him as being the leader we need in going up against Barry during this the final hear of his administration. Look, Paul Ryan is Boehner 2.0, except worse.  And if he in fact he is chosen to take over from Boehner then I have a sneaky suspicion that come January 2017 that which had been a historic Republican majority will come to an abrupt end.