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October 21, 2015

Paul Ryan: I'll Agree To Lead You Idiots But You're Going To Have To Kiss My Ring And Squawk Like A Chicken First

Paul Ryan finally made an announcement on his interest/intentions on being the next Speaker of the House. Basically, he's willing to accept the Freedom Caucuses surrender in exchange for...that's not very clear.

Here's the statement his office released about what he told members and what he wants to take the job.

First the good in Ryan's demands. He wants weekends off. Some people seem to think this is bad. They want the next Speaker out on the hustings fundraising all the time.

I don't.

The people Boehner has been out talking to and grabbing money from generally don't want things I want. And let's not pretend they don't want anything for the money they are coughing up. The less the next Speaker is out yucking it up with the "donor class" the better as far as I'm concerned.

After that things get....dicey.

Ryan says he wants unity in the caucus. Well, good luck with that. "Unity" sounds nice in theory but what would it mean in practice? What policies will Republicans be expected to unify around? Who exactly will be expected to give up the things they care about in order to achieve "unity"?

This is the sort of thing that gets settled in a campaign for a spot. Candidates call in favors or offer inducements for support but you get an idea of where they are going and what they are trading for votes.

Ryan wants to be installed without really going through that process. He hears the pleas for a White Knight to ride to the rescue and is simply telling people what they'll give him and not what he'll do in return. At least not publicly.

Ryan also wants conservatives to unilaterally disarm by getting rid of the chance to remove him through a motion to "Vacate the Chair".

And this is where things go off the rails.

Why do you want this Paul? If you're going to be a unifying figure, why exactly do you think this almost never used procedure that dates back almost to the establishment of the House itself needs to go? What exactly do you think you might be doing that would lead to such discontent that it would be used against you?

Ryan isn't a wild eyed conservative but he's not a RINO squish either. Still, there's nothing conservative about demanding power while getting rid of a centuries old check on power.

I'd be pretty meh on Ryan as Speaker under normal circumstances. Someone has to do the job, he's as good and bad as anyone the GOP can produce. What rankles me is this idea that it's so obvious that he is the Savior the GOP needs that disagreeing with him marks you as a krazy konservative kook.


Yes, his budget plan was a modest step in the right direction but he has plenty of faults too. He's aggressively pro-amnesty, he was underwhelming in the VP debate last time and oh yeah, he cut a terrible, no good, tax and spending hiking deal with the Democrats two years ago.

The biggest problem with this whole mess is the way the fix is in. Boehner called off the elections when Kevin McCarthy pulled out last time. Maybe neither of the other candidates who were running wold have gotten a majority but the vote should have been held.

At the least there should be a date for elections set and if Ryan wants to run fine, let's see if he gets the votes. There are other candidates who will run. Let the caucus vote on them. This clearing the field and special concession for a guy who isn't the Second Coming of Jesus is contemptuous of conservatives. None of these guys are owed deference based on past results.

Fun note, there was a time when the moderates who now insist that what Ryan wants, Ryan must get opposed his budgets because they cut too much and wouldn't vote for appropriation bills because they wanted to spend more than Ryan allowed.

I don't blame Ryan for trying to leverage the best terms he can get. The question is, does he really want the job? Some seem to think not and that's he just laying out unreasonable conditions he know won't be agreed to so he can say, "I'd have done it for the team" but then the "team" can blame those damn conservatives for stopping the last best hope for America from taking the job.

If Ryan doesn't get the job because the Freedom Caucus won't kiss his ass....well. My guess is the GOP moderates will freak out, call the conservatives traitors and cut a deal with the Democrats to install some super squish in the chair. And then the fun really begins.

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posted by DrewM. at 09:53 AM

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