Thursday, October 22, 2015

Speaker Squeaker

Preparation for working with Ted Yoho. From Ryan's Twitter feed via Huffington Post, July 2013.
I've been so consistently wrong in everything I've suggested about the Speakership—in spite of a remarkable, even bewildering range and variety of ideas—that I haven't even been able to catch up with it. Even as the news began to arrive that young Paul Ryan was negotiating his acceptance of a draft, and my wrong began to coalesce with everyone else's, and the word was that the Freedomists had caved to all of his most tyrannical demands ("And you all have to say I took it on so I could spend more time with my family!"), I had an analysis half written in my head explaining how the Freedomists had definitively lost their game and their only interest henceforth was to hold on to a little face.

I still think they accepted Ryan in particular, as opposed to some normal candidate in the form of an older person with a proper patronage network*, strictly because he was the only person in the House that seemed adequately famous in the TV sense, I mean other than Pelosi, who wouldn't have suited. But it is clear that he was the one to concede on the most important issues, the rule change to make firing the Speaker more difficult, and the everlastingly stupid Hastert Rule (the legacy of one of the worst Speakers before Boehner took the title, overfriendly wrestling coach and blackmail victim Dennis Hastert), requiring that no bill be submitted to the House unless a majority of Republicans support it, giving the Freedominators an effective veto over any and all legislation.

In other words, the F-Caucus appears to have engineered the reconstruction of the same system they just destroyed when they drove out Boehner, in which legislation is nearly impossible to pass. The only difference will be, on the plus side, that Ryan will be spending his weekends making pancakes and noodling catfish instead of playing golf and getting soused, and on the minus side, that he will lack Boehner's wiliness. They must have chased out Boehner merely to demonstrate that they were serious. "No more government, and we mean it!"

Although their victory will be hard to ascertain for sure, since they will continue whining and telling everybody they've been stabbed in the back.

Long ago, yesterday or so, I thought Ryan was showing some actual grit in insisting he wouldn't take the job unless he had the means of doing it, but alas, he's given in to the temptation of getting addressed as Mister Speaker, and that extra $50 K, and so that's that. I hope they've given him permission to raise the debt ceiling.

*Ryan has a traditional jumping-off leadership position, as chairman of the Ways and Means committee for the past 10 months, and a serious patronage network though his PAC,  Prosperity Action, distributing just shy of $188,000 to candidates so for in the 2016 election cycle, but of the 35 House candidates he has been feeding, only one, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, is included in Wikipedia's list of 38 members of the Freedom Caucus—no idea what that means, actually, but it seems the Freedomaniacs as a group are not accustomed as of yet to feeling the warmth of Ryan's eager love.
Ted Yoho (R-FL), via Dangduteroke, apparently dodging an angry eagle.
Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.


Never Ben Better said...

My money's on default, followed by furious howls of it's all the Democrats' fault.

max said...

my wrong began to coalesce with everyone else's

The problem is in taking the leaks and the spin and the bullshit seriously. That is, you don't look for what they say, you look for what they DO. And what was going on was that the 'true conservatives', aka the people who want to overthrow the government or otherwise engage in a kamikaze war against all things Washington (because it plays well in their districts and they believe everything they see on TV), were unhappy with business as usual. AKA as constitutional. Essentially all those people have been fed however many years of bullshit, they believe all that bullshit, and they want their elected representatives to do something about that bullshit. Some of those people think the government is so rotten that, like Adolf Hitler when he invaded the Soviet Union, if they just kick the door in, the entire rotten edifice of the Judeo-Marxists will come tumbling down. This is because they are stupid, pig ignorant and crazy - but SINCERE.

So they were sick of Boehner and business as usual, they got tired of him and rebelled (because they are not winning), and Boehner folded. So they went with their maximal ask, and they didn't get it. But they gave up nothing. The DC Republicans settled on Paul Ryan (a fraud and a crook) because he's so darling, and the loons grudgingly accepted it because they don't have the votes to get one of their own elected. The key is the DC Republicans are after more money for rich people and are willing to do whatever it takes to get that, and the True Conservatives want utter and total change, which they don't know how to get. So they'll settle for burning the entire thing to the ground.

Now Paul Ryan is in the position of OWING them and he has to deliver or he will, in turn, be burnt to the ground. So he's going to as destructive as he can be without threatening rich people's interests. He has to - and the establishment is going to be keen to give them what they want.

So they won what you would call a wholesale process victory. Or alternatively, they won the argument over direction.

If things don't proceed the way they want, they will blow up Paul Ryan. They're in as control of the situation as they can be given that they don't have the numbers in the caucus to control the floor. (The establishment crowd needs them - they don't need the establishment crowd.)

I still think they accepted Ryan in particular, as opposed to some normal candidate in the form of an older person with a proper patronage network*, strictly because he was the only person in the House that seemed adequately famous in the TV sense,

That's why he's popular with the Establishment. ('This may can very effectively peddle bullshit to the press - isn't he DARLING?')

['Need to filter out the noise properly.']

Unknown said...

When I see that picture of Ryan I think of the Sex Pistols. The lyric from Submission, "I can't figure out you watery love."

Bigfish said...

Debt ceiling -- not deficit ceiling.

Yastreblyansky said...

Bigfish: Ouch and thanks. Fixed.

Thanks all.