Monday, October 12, 2015


It's Monday morning and nearly everyone in politics is still praying that Paul Ryan will agree to run for Speaker of the House:
The demands on Ryan to run are coming from all quarters, most intensely from the top of the congressional wing of the Republican Party. According to sources familiar with the efforts to get Ryan to move from an extremely reluctant “maybe” to a grudging “yes,” he has been in extensive contact with [John] Boehner, [Kevin] McCarthy, and Oregon Congressman Greg Walden.
National Review wants him to run. Mitt Romney wants him to run. Joe Scarborough says he literally has to run. Even the chairman of the conservative-purist House Freedom Caucus now says the caucus "would look favorably" on Ryan.

Politico says Republicans are "pleading" with Ryan. The New York Times says the party is "desperate" for him.

Um, whatever happened to the GOP's "deep bench"?

I know we used to talk about the "deep bench" in reference to Republicans' presidential prospects. They had a huge field that included many well-known figures, some of them in their forties and fifties; Democrats had, well, Hillary Clinton. Now, however, it's obvious that the Republicans have an incredibly weak field -- it just happens to be a large incredibly weak field. The leading presidential candidates are two non-politicians in their sixties; there are young, fresh officeholders -- Paul, Cruz, Jindal, Christie -- but they're embarrassments.

The same thing is happening in the House, right? Republicans have a House majority larger than any they've had in our lifetimes, a mix of fresh faces and veterans -- but nearly all of these folks came up in a succession of angry eras -- the eras of Gingrich, Bush/Cheney, and the Tea Party. None of them, it seems, can function as adults while still working in concert with the party's overgrown children.

Whether you're a Republican presidential candidate or a Republican Speaker candidate, you need to be presentable to the larger public, but that's next to impossible because you also have to appeal to infantile anarchists. In the presidential field, maybe Marco Rubio can thread that needle -- maybe. In the House, apparently if Ryan continues to say no, there's no one else who can handle the job.

So no one is actually capable of suiting up and running onto the field to play either of these positions -- but if you want a lot of people who can't do it, then, yes, the GOP has a deep bench.


Never Ben Better said...

They're still searching for their Fuhrer.* Trump comes closest but I suspect he doesn't have the staying power.

* Screw Godwin. The GOP is flailing about, desperate for a leader who not only embodies all of their fiercest, darkest passions but has the charisma to sell their hell-vision to the country at large. St. Ronnie could do it in his era with a sunny smile, but this is an angrier time, far more radicalized, and Weimar America needs redder meat.

Ten Bears said...

You expressed doubt several years ago in my observation we are witnessing in painful slow motion the demise of the Retard Party. What do you think today?

Yes, yes, retard. Look it up.

Steve M. said...

I still think the GOP will not only endure but thrive, even as Republicans get crazier and crazier. Billionaire donors and the MSM will continue to prop the party up indefinitely, and most of the public still isn't alarmed in the least.

Never Ben Better said...

By the time the public at large is alarmed it will be too late.

theHatist said...

Curious to see what's happening with Ryan- this insistence he run could be the end of his career. If he's nominated, I'd look for a primary challenge from a Tea Partier. Wisconsin seems to not be as vulnerable as the Bible Belt, but still, if Ryan is promoted, it WILL ruffle feathers. The base hates him, just like they hate every other Establishment figure.

Kind of hard not seeing this as the end of Ryan's career. Any credible economist knows he's entirely full of shit; the base hates him. The only thing he's got for him is the Supply Siders crowd. Having tons and tons of money doesn;t get you votes these days- look at how Cantor got crushed.

petrilli said...

Ryan would have the best chance of any Wisconsin Republican to unseat Tammy Baldwin in 2018 as things stand now. On that basis I hope he takes the Speaker job. Being speaker will end his career IMO.