Monday, December 21, 2015


I spotted this headline at Fox Nation this morning:
Movement To Primary Speaker Paul Ryan Out Of Congress Picks Up Steam
FN is picking up a post from Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
We Were Warned--
Harry Reid threw his support behind Paul Ryan for Speaker back in October.

In July 2013
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke with a Hispanic audience about his intention to push immigration reform in the House of Representatives....

In October 2013 Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wrote a bill that would grant citizenship to at least 11 million illegal immigrants.

Ryan was elected Speaker of the House in October.

On Thursday Speaker Ryan passed a trillion dollar budget deal that was widely praised by Barack Obama and Democratic leaders.

They got everything they wanted....

Now there is a movement under way to primary Paul Ryan out of office.

... A facebook page was set up to primary Paul Ryan from Congress....

There is also a Fire Paul Ryan webpage set up online.

And now this…

On Friday the Wisconsin Tea Party declared war on Ryan.

Is this a huge anti-Ryan movement? No, not yet -- the Facebook page had about 17,000 likes the last time I looked.

But Fox -- supposedly the GOP mainstream -- is promoting it. And that's the thing about Fox: Roger Ailes wants to be the kingmaker who uses the power of his media platform to elect an all-GOP federal government that will enact the complete wish list of conservative muckamucks, but Ailes doesn't want enemies on the right, so he always gives a platform to those who bash the GOP Establishment from the right, and who encourage the notion that the right ought to be able to have its way in Washington without compromise even when Democrats hold some power (the presidency, for instance).

Fox has been doing this for years -- and that's a big reason why John McCain felt compelled to pick a crazy extremist as his running mate and Mitt Romney felt compelled to run an Obamacare-bashing wingnut campaign. It's also a major reason why Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are combining for 71% of the Republican caucus vote in Iowa and 60% of the primary vote in South Carolina, according to the latest CBS poll.

Charlie Pierce thinks Paul Ryan is positioning himself to be the GOP's 2020 presidential candidate, a return-to-sanity choice after a 2016 debacle for the party:
Suppose the party nominates a real nutball this year. Said nutball goes down in flames, taking the Republican Senate majority with him/her. That will mark lousy everyone who took part in this daffy carnival of souls. Who will be the Serious Republican left standing, and the one best positioned to make President Hillary Rodham Clinton's life a living hell? No wonder the flying monkeys largely are giving Ryan a pass on "betraying" them in this budget. (Kansan Tim Huelskamp is the Laurie Anderson of mock outrage.) Paul Ryan is back, baby. If he's not giving a speech in Ottumwa within the month, I will be profoundly disappointed. I do like the beard, though.
But the flying monkeys who are complaining about Ryan are getting a megaphone from Fox -- and that will continue, especially if there's another Democratic presidency and gay marriage and Obamacare aren't made illegal by Groundhog Day 2017, not to mention voting by black people and all immigration by brown people. Maybe Ryan really does have his eye on 2020 and his victory plan is to win plaudits from the usual besotted pundits -- Pierce quotes a couple -- but I don't believe the plan can work as long as angry old white men roam the land and Roger Ailes still has a job making them angrier.


Ryan may not care, if this 2014 National Journal profile of him is accurate:
“I’M NOT GO­ING TO be in Con­gress 10 years from now,” Ry­an tells me one Septem­ber af­ter­noon. “I can be defin­it­ive about that.”

“You won’t be in Con­gress in 10 years?”

“No. God, no. I’ve already been there 16 years. I don’t want to be a ca­reer guy. Even though I’ve been there a long time, where you could already say that ... ” He stops him­self. “It’s just, I don’t want to spend my adult life in Con­gress.”

... This is a per­son who has been in Wash­ing­ton for nearly a quarter-cen­tury and says he doesn’t want to be there much longer; who sees Amer­ica ca­reen­ing to­ward fisc­al col­lapse, and is des­per­ate to re­form the tax code and en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams be­fore it is too late; who found his 55-year-old fath­er dead, and who knows that neither his grand­fath­er nor his great-grand­fath­er lived to see 60.

... “I think mor­tal­ity weighs on him,” says Bill Ben­nett, the former Edu­ca­tion sec­ret­ary and drug czar who has grown in­to something of a polit­ic­al fath­er fig­ure to Ry­an. “That’s the first ques­tion the doc­tor asks: ‘How old was your fath­er when he died? How old was your grand­fath­er?’ "

The two have spent sum­mers hik­ing the Rock­ies, and Ben­nett says Ry­an’s twin com­pul­sions, fit­ness and fisc­al re­straint, are driv­en by his race against the clock.
(I'm ignoring the grim irony of the physically fit Ryan confessing his mortality fears while hiking with William Bennett -- but I'm the son of a skinny father who died too young of a heart attack, so even though I loathe Ryan politically, I can believe this is a real concern for him, and that he knows nature can be a nasty trickster.)

At the time of the National Journal profile, Ryan was planning not to pursue the speakership. He wanted another top position, but only temporarily:
... When pressed to ex­plain where he fits in the party’s fu­ture, Ry­an sounds con­tent to be a sup­port­ing act­or rather than a lead­ing man. He says he wants to be chair­man of the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, a job with jur­is­dic­tion over taxes and en­ti­tle­ments. Chair­ing that pan­el in a Con­gress pur­su­ing tax re­form would hardly be com­pat­ible with a sim­ul­tan­eous bid for the pres­id­ency; in fact, that may be part of the ap­peal. Ry­an knows he can­not do both. He has al­ways de­clared policy work his pas­sion, and people close to him whis­per that Ways and Means would al­low him to achieve the en­dgame he’s hin­ted at since the 2012 de­feat: serve three terms as head of the com­mit­tee, au­thor a sweep­ing over­haul of the Amer­ic­an tax code, then re­tire from Con­gress at age 50, and ride in­to the sun­set.
He's speaker now, but I think he'll be fine if -- when -- the crazies force him out as they forced John Boehner out. He'll become a highly paid lobbyist. He'll fish and do his workouts and see his kids grow up. He's bad enough, but he'll cash in, and his party will just keep getting crazier than he is.


Feud Turgidson said...

"a trillion dollar budget deal that was widely praised by Barack Obama and Democratic leaders"

This is fairly typical example of how bogus are Gateway Putz' arguments. He's part of the extreme right-wing shit disturbers dedicated to screwing up government so bad that the ideal of rich white male power never dies.

G-Putz is perfectly aware such 'praise' was entirely owing to it being barely within the narrow range of what the federal government requires to tread water between now and the budget process which the NEXT administration (HRC) and NEXT Congress.

What will it be like then? Likely Ryan again as Speaker, albeit with a somewhat reduced majority, how much less being a function how the respective parties do with their GOTV programs along with a lot more chance than we ever like to admit); and Chuckles Schumer as Senate Majority Leader, more probably than not, but either way, a Senate so close to a 50-50 split between the parties that the Senate leadership will be basically af function of whatever compromises might be worked out among Schumer, McConnell, Sanders and Angus King.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Imagine a party that thinks Paul Ryan is too far left. You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only out of sight and sound, but out of its mind. Next stop, the GOP!

CWolf said...

Ryan "...found his 55-year-old fath­er dead, and ... knows that neither his grand­fath­er nor his great-grand­fath­er lived to see 60."

No wonder Ryan hates Social Security.... He won't be needing it because no one in his family ever lives long enough to collect any benefits.