Paul Ryan for Speaker?

 

593px-Paul_Ryan_at_Utah_fundraiser_2012With Kevin McCarthy out, Rep. Paul Ryan is — inevitably — under immense pressure to run for speaker of the house and to give Boehner a way out of it. Ryan, however, has made it abundantly clear for years that he does not want the job.

Every politician under the sun talks about their family when choosing not to run for some higher office, so it’s no surprise that Ryan says he wants to be based in Janesville, Wisconsin and see his three kids as much as possible. But every remotely fair-minded reporter I’ve read ends up convinced that Paul Ryan actually means it and isn’t merely being coy.

He also means it when he says — as he has for years — that he’s a policy guy, not a political guy. He doesn’t want to round up votes; he wants to focus on ideas. He’s in his niche right now, and not easily replaced. Forcing him into a job outside his natural talent could destroy his ability to be the party’s de facto policy leader, and he knows it. And yet, if he were persuaded it were his duty for the good of the country, I think he would do it.

Ryan holds the respect of much of the caucus in a way neither Boehner nor McCarthy could. Even as some conservatives urge Rep. Trey Gowdy to run, Gowdy took himself out — and essentially endorsed a theoretical Ryan bid.

Does Ryan, after all, have the talent to do the job Boehner and McCarthy can’t? Or would it simply be a cruel waste of policy talent and an honorable reputation to put him in an impossible job he does not want?

It is beyond my judgment, and most of ours. God give the man wisdom.

Image Credit: By love4utah [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    I’m a huge fan of Ryan and like many around here wanted him to run for President in 2012. Now I think he might have ended up like Walker. So maybe he knew best then. And I trust him to know best now-either way

    • #1
  2. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    They’d have to vote for him against his will and even then it’s a big question mark about what he’d do. It would probably end up eventually being the end of his career if he was pressured into it.

    I still respect him greatly. I’ve respected him since like 2005 when I first learned about him and I was still liberal. It bothers me when people on Ricochet say he’s not Conservative enough when what I see is someone who’s choosing the most Conservative theoretically possible policy changes.

    Believe it or not, slower growth in spending will work to keep government as small as possible in the one way it really matters (with respect to GDP). It will satisfy the supermajority of people who want to keep the entitlement programs, and no amount of emoting for some conservative nirvana will make anything better possible.

    • #2
  3. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    No, thank you.

    • #3
  4. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    BrentB67:No, thank you.

    I know what you think about Ryan…

    Boehner says he may stay if Ryan won’t run. The simple fact is, the anti-Boehner movement had no alternative. Nothing. You can’t beat something with nothing, even if that something is literally willing to get out of the way. (And if they’ve got no candidate… are we so sure they have a better fighting strategy? This showing’s not very impressive.)

    It could be a choice between Paul Ryan, or John Boehner as the lamest of all lame ducks. That would be perhaps the worst plausible outcome.

    Ryan’s in a brutal dilemma. He does not want the job. Personally or politically, for well-considered reasons. He does not think he is best qualified. He doesn’t want the strain on his family. He doesn’t want to abandon his current post. But tonight he’s in effect being told by evidently everyone he most respects that it’s his duty for the good of the country to step up and do it. That has to be intense. May he see clearly in the coming hours, and God guide them all…

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    It is time to mitigate the damage from the latest House debacle. I would suggest Ryan to take away the big gift that House conservatives have just handed Hillary and Bernie. Make the promise to Ryan that if Republicans retain the House that another attempt to elect a new Speaker will be made to relieve Mr. Ryan of the Speakership.

    This was not the time for a minority of conservative House members to mutiny especially when they did not have the votes necessary to elect their own candidate to Speaker.

    I’m reminded of the old joke about the man who comes home and finds his wife in bed with someone else. He pulls a gun from the dresser drawer and puts it up to his head. His wife and lover start to laugh. He says: What are you laughing for, you’re next.

    • #5
  6. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Leigh:

    BrentB67:No, thank you.

    I know what you think about Ryan…

    Boehner says he may stay if Ryan won’t run. The simple fact is, the anti-Boehner movement had no alternative. Nothing. You can’t beat something with nothing, even if that something is literally willing to get out of the way. (And if they’ve got no candidate… are we so sure they have a better fighting strategy? This showing’s not very impressive.)

    It could be a choice between Paul Ryan, or John Boehner as the lamest of all lame ducks. That would be perhaps the worst plausible outcome.

    Ryan’s in a brutal dilemma. He does not want the job. Personally or politically, for well-considered reasons. He does not think he is best qualified. He doesn’t want the strain on his family. He doesn’t want to abandon his current post. But tonight he’s in effect being told by evidently everyone he most respects that it’s his duty for the good of the country to step up and do it. That has to be an intense. May he see clearly in the coming hours, and God guide them all…

    I don’t think Ryan is in a dilemma. I do not support him, but respect him because he mostly acknowledges his strengths and weakness. He is under no obligation to run for Speaker of this mess.

    Boehner is more conservative than Ryan, but doesn’t lead that way.

    • #6
  7. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Leigh, I think you are correct about the conduct of the House conservative caucus in this matter. This is not their finest moment.

    I understand they dislike Boehner’s leadership and his condescending, opportunistic  treatment of them, but there comes a time when carping from the back bench doesn’t cut it.

    I think they either need to nominate their guy, whoever that is, maybe Jim Jordan, for Speaker or pipe down.

    This line of “we don’t like your guy, but don’t have one of our own” is growing tiresome.

    • #7
  8. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    As far as any potential damage being done to Republicans I think it will be short lived. If we are going to have a civil war in the House, let’s have it and get it over with. It is 13 months from election day. That is 13 years to the rest of us.

    Will Hillary or Bernie bring this up, sure. They are going to bring up anything and everything. The only ones that will care were going to vote for her anyway. It isn’t going to change conservative minds and the mushy middle doesn’t remember Benghazi, will not remember server gate, and darn sure aren’t going to remember some republican infighting over who ultimately became Speaker.

    • #8
  9. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Doug Watt: This was not the time for a minority of conservative House members to mutiny especially when they did not have the votes necessary to elect their own candidate to Speaker.

    It’s not just that they didn’t have the votes to elect their candidate. It’s that they didn’t even have a candidate to find votes for! It is surreal. We’ve got Webster (who?) and Chaffetz, who said he only decided to run because nobody else was running.

    How do we get a ridiculous number of presidents and no one for the next important job?

    This is our leadership, “conservative” movement. Everybody and his brother wants to run for president. Everybody wants the debate podium and the ability to say whatever they want for the cheering crowds. Everybody wants to be #1.

    But nobody, it seems, wants the tough but important job, where you have to deal with harsh reality and stand between Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and count to 218. Nobody does.

    So you’ll get the guy who already has the job — the one you’ve attacked as the ultimate coward, the one who was willing to get out of the way but will keep it if you can’t come up with anything else. Or else you’ll get the reluctant leader who really had another actual job to do.

    • #9
  10. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    BrentB67: As far as any potential damage being done to Republicans I think it will be short lived. If we are going to have a civil war in the House, let’s have it and get it over with. It is 13 months from election day.

    Oh, I agree, so long as we get it over with. But stalemate isn’t a resolution.

    BrentB67: I don’t think Ryan is in a dilemma. I do not support him, but respect him because he mostly acknowledges his strengths and weakness. He is under no obligation to run for Speaker of this mess.

    If Ryan were still absolutely clear in his own mind he would have made his statement tonight absolutely clear. He did not.

    It’s obvious to anyone who’s followed Ryan closely that, against his will, he’s reconsidering basic assumptions tonight. It’s one thing to resist buzz when there are other qualified candidates, and I’ve admired Ryan’s ability to do that — I respect him more for not running for President. But now he is up against everyone from Boehner and McCarthy to Romney to Gowdy and Mulvaney.  Can he or should he stand against that call for leadership and say “no, not me” when the House is equally clear that there is no one else?

    I don’t know where he will come down. But I at least half expected a decisive restated “no” tonight, and it didn’t come.

    • #10
  11. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I don’t know if he’s got the talent, but he’s the logical choice to pull all sides of the party together.  Otherwise if the Dems get their act together, we ain’t winning the presidency.

    • #11
  12. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Manny:I don’t know if he’s got the talent, but he’s the logical choice to pull all sides of the party together. Otherwise if the Dems get their act together, we ain’t winning the presidency.

    I think you will find he is less popular on the right than Boehner.

    • #12
  13. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Ryan should probably accept, but only until the end of this Session.  This gives some time for people to work out what they want in their future leadership without completely disrupting the present.  Ryan is probably right that the Speakership is not the best use of his talents and whoever inherits the leadership right now has a mess on his plate and will shortly be overshadowed by the Republican presidential nominees.  I doubt there is enough time left in the session to salvage things enough to satisfy conservatives and I’m sure by the end of 2016, people will be enthusiastic about whoever replaces Ryan.  But Boehner lingering is its own problem and the sense that he is hated and staying beyond his expiration date is a bad combination.

    • #13
  14. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Quinn the Eskimo: Ryan should probably accept, but only until the end of this Session.  This gives some time for people to work out what they want in their future leadership without completely disrupting the present.  Ryan is probably right that the Speakership is not the best use of his talents and whoever inherits the leadership right now has a mess on his plate and will shortly be overshadowed by the Republican presidential nominees.

    I don’t know. Can he accept that job and then step down in favor of… someone yet to be named at some point in the future and bounce back to his current job, still effective? I don’t know if that works. I suspect if he’s in he’s all in, for better or for worse.

    The fact is, the people who know most about what the job of Speaker requires are also among the people pushing most heavily for Ryan right now. Hard to argue that your talents don’t fit the office when the guy in the job says you’re the most qualified candidate.

    • #14
  15. Al Kennedy Inactive
    Al Kennedy
    @AlKennedy

    BrentB67:As far as any potential damage being done to Republicans I think it will be short lived. If we are going to have a civil war in the House, let’s have it and get it over with. It is 13 months from election day. That is 13 years to the rest of us.

    Will Hillary or Bernie bring this up, sure. They are going to bring up anything and everything. The only ones that will care were going to vote for her anyway. It isn’t going to change conservative minds and the mushy middle doesn’t remember Benghazi, will not remember server gate, and darn sure aren’t going to remember some republican infighting over who ultimately became Speaker.

    I think the damage could get worse.  We still have the 2016 budget and raising of the debt ceiling to navigate.  Republicans in the House have to figure out how to come together before the end of the year.

    • #15
  16. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    The House conservatives are making a point: Their concerns, which echo the concerns of their constituents, are being ignored.  So who do the House conservatives owe?

    The leadership which ignores them?

    Their constituents who vote them into office with an agenda?

    If I were a betting man, and I am, I would bet that the House conservatives believe that they owe their constituents.  And I would believe that they are right.

    Since a lot of the Republican voters are unhappy with the Republicans politicians in general, the idea that the House conservatives are throwing a snit doesn’t go very far.  If the Party at large is throwing a snit, holding the House conservatives up for scorn hardly cuts it.  At least the House conservatives are getting the idea.  What idea?  That ignoring the people who vote them in is a bad idea.

    I don’t know who will win the speakership.  I have a suspicion that whoever it is will be ensuring that conservative ideas are permitted in committee and if found acceptable, are moved to the floor of the House for the vote.  No excuses.  Damn the vetoes, full speed ahead.

    In a war of ideas, the party with none loses.  Best to put those ideas out in public to sink or swim.  Best to contrast what we believe with what RINOs and progressives believe.

    • #16
  17. Al Kennedy Inactive
    Al Kennedy
    @AlKennedy

    donald todd:So who do the House conservatives owe?

    If the Party at large is throwing a snit, holding the House conservatives up for scorn hardly cuts it.

    Conservative ideas are permitted in committee and if found acceptable, are moved to the floor of the House for the vote.

    In a war of ideas, the party with none loses.

    The Freedom Caucus should reflect the views of those who voted for them.  They also need to remember that is true of every member elected.  Some of whom disagree with them.  Their job is to work our the differences between those views.

    Nobody is holding them up to scorn.  Politics is not bean bag.

    Conservative ideas are supported today in committee.  The Freedom Caucus is not winning the argument in committee, and rather than coming up with better arguments, They are preventing any legislation on policy.

    What is the “idea” the Freedom Caucus supports?  Their reticence on any policy position or any agenda makes it very difficult for me to understand what they are for.

    The Freedom Caucus does not speak for all conservatives.

    • #17
  18. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Al Kennedy: #17 “The Freedom Caucus should reflect the views of those who voted for them.  They also need to remember that is true of every member elected.  Some of whom disagree with them.  Their job is to work our the differences between those views.

    Nobody is holding them up to scorn.  Politics is not bean bag.”

    Doug Watt: #5 “This was not the time for a minority of conservative House members to mutiny especially when they did not have the votes necessary to elect their own candidate to Speaker.”

    I generally enjoy reading Doug but when I reached the word mutiny it struck me as the wrong word.  If the Republicans in Congress are unwilling to respond to the people who elected them, then the mutiny is in the Republican Congress, not with those who actually want to honor their commitment to their districts or states.

    By pressing the case for someone who would let conservative legislation get to the president’s desk for whatever fate awaited it, and then deciding what the appropriate response is by not have unilaterally disarmed the Congress with a rash promise, would be much better than what we have now.

    Because politics is a blood sport, no bean bags allowed.

    • #18
  19. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Leigh: I don’t know. Can he accept that job and then step down in favor of… someone yet to be named at some point in the future and bounce back to his current job, still effective? I don’t know if that works. I suspect if he’s in he’s all in, for better or for worse. The fact is, the people who know most about what the job of Speaker requires are also among the people pushing most heavily for Ryan right now. Hard to argue that your talents don’t fit the office when the guy in the job says you’re the most qualified candidate.

    I think of it like a baseball team that fires the manager late in the season and brings in an interim manager.  There may be a limit to what he can do, but it gives people the sense that there is a fresh start coming and it might boost morale.

    I think it would speak volumes if he stepped up and took a job for 14 months that no one else could get elected to and that he didn’t covet just to give the team an opportunity to get re-organized.

    If Paul Ryan turns out to be good at the job, they can re-elect him.

    • #19
  20. Al Kennedy Inactive
    Al Kennedy
    @AlKennedy

    donald todd:If the Republicans in Congress are unwilling to respond to the people who elected them, then the mutiny is in the Republican Congress, not with those who actually want to honor their commitment to their districts or states.

    By pressing the case for someone who would let conservative legislation get to the president’s desk for whatever fate awaited it

    There is no data that Republicans in Congress are unwilling to respond to the people who elected them.  The data says they are not happy with the results that Congress is achieving.  The Liberty Caucus is causing those numbers to be more negative than they should be by their unchanging opposition to any legislation.

    The House has passed much conservative legislation.  It goes to the Senate to due because of the cloture rule in the Senate.  So what does the Liberty Caucus propose to overcome this roadblock?  How does their opposition to John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy effectively deal with the filibuster rule in the Senate?

    • #20
  21. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    BrentB67:This line of “we don’t like your guy, but don’t have one of our own” is growing tiresome.

    The Freedom From Testosterone Caucus.

    • #21
  22. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The house needs a war time general.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Leigh: Does Ryan, after all, have the talent to do the job Boehner and McCarthy can’t? Or would it simply be a cruel waste of policy talent and honor an honorable reputation to put him in an impossible job he does not want? It is beyond my judgment, and most of ours. God give the man wisdom.

    I agree with this, especially the last two sentences.

    Anyone who has the talents of a Boehner is also going to have the politics of a Boehner.  So with Ryan it would be a different kind of leadership.  I hope it would work out well, but I don’t know how it would work out.

    • #23
  24. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Another argument against:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/09/paul-ryan-is-the-absolute-worst-choice-for-speaker/

    • #24
  25. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    Leigh:

    Doug Watt: This was not the time for a minority of conservative House members to mutiny especially when they did not have the votes necessary to elect their own candidate to Speaker.

    It’s not just that they didn’t have the votes to elect their candidate. It’s that they didn’t even have a candidate to find votes for! It is surreal. We’ve got Webster (who?) and Chaffetz, who said he only decided to run because nobody else was running.

    It will not be Webster but Webster would be great. I am not in his district but right next to it. He had 28 years in the Florida legislator including stints as the Speaker of the House(before Rubio) and Senate Majority leader. By all accounts he was good in these leadership roles. A lady who was in my home group used to work for him. She said his biggest complaint about Washington compared to Tallahassee was you could not get anything done in D.C. The last speaker election, him and I think 25 other rebelled and did not vote for Boehner . By all indication because he was the ring leader or one of the ring leaders he was punished and his existing committee seat was taken away. By his voting record Webster is technically average by most marks for the Republican Caucuses.

    He basically is promising as speaker instead of doling out favors, rank and file will have more control over the agenda and committee appointments. I really think this needs to be done. The Speaker of the House has way to much power. I don’t think Webster is proposing this but members of the house from both parties should vote and determine who gets on what committee not party leadership.

    Let me put it this way, the only reason I have not given up on Republicans is there are still a few politicians that have integrity and are actually are willing to sacrifice to bring about change. With one or two exception they pretty much are in the Freedom causes, so when most of the National politician I know that have integrity are revolting I actually have hope for the nation. Because if things don’t change there will be lot of dead American from civil unrest 10 or 15 year from now.  The stakes are way to high and we are getting to close to the wire, to do nothing and play the waiting game anymore.

    The time for safe gradual change was completely blown by G.W. because he was distracted by the lesser of two evils. Terrorism has always been a lot smaller threat to our pocket book, life, Laws and Freedom than Liberals. Terrorist can only dream about killing as many Americans as Progressive Democrats have.

    • #25
  26. Al Kennedy Inactive
    Al Kennedy
    @AlKennedy

    If Paul Ryan turns out to be good at the job, they can re-elect him.

    If you want to understand Paul Ryan, you need to understand Jack Kemp.  Paul worked for Jack, and was strongly influenced by him  Personally, I think Kemp was the most influential Republican in the 20th century who wasn’t elected president.  I wanted Reagan to select him as vice president in 1980, but he went with Bush to unify the party.  Like Kemp, you can disagree with Paul, but it is based on ideas, not on personalities.  I like that.

    • #26
  27. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Oh, man.  Ryan as speaker would be great, especially if you want an auto bailout.

    • #27
  28. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Louie Gohmert had it right yesterday. By postponing the vote after the McCarthy collapse, Boehner did what all dictators do when they can’t name their successor. Instead he should have called a meeting of the caucus, closed the doors and let them have it out. You know, like a democracy. The caucus needs to find its own compromise without the heavy hand of the Speaker.

    • #28
  29. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Two words: hell no.

    • #29
  30. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Fred Cole:Oh, man. Ryan as speaker would be great, especially if you want an auto bailout.

    Or more TARP, or endless illegal immigration, etc.

    If Boehner is the problem, Ryan isn’t the solution.

    • #30

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