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Paul_Ryan_by_Gage_Skidmore_3Is Rep. Paul Ryan now an Establishment RINO squish? This piece in National Review explains that Ryan is now deemed unacceptable to lead House Republicans because of his past immigration stances. Yes, border security is paramount. Yes, this means that we should apply additional pressure on the Republican leadership to make sure they don’t try the “comprehensive” approach with President Obama.

But let’s be realistic. Obama has just over a year, and that isn’t going to happen. So the goal should be to find someone who can unify Republicans on a strategy that will force Obama to accept popular conservative positions (okay, not likely), as well as force Obama to defend unpopular leftist positions, thwart Obama’s executive ambitions, and create popular support for conservative policies. Ryan is uniquely qualified to do this.

If there are some conservatives who wince at this option, then they should offer a name of someone qualified to lead and not simply throw out past apostasies.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy our Georgetown cocktail parties!

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  1. livingthehighlife Inactive
    livingthehighlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Egg Man: So, the goal should be to find someone who can unify Republicans on a strategy that will:

    I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to unify the Republicans.  The purity uber alles faction has become too loud and boisterous.

    • #1
  2. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Paul Ryan has been a moderate his entire career. His positions on immigration and growing government aren’t new. He somehow got a reputation as a limited government conservative, but because of his telegenic demeanor and youth was never subjected to much scrutiny. A similar process is beginning with Marco Rubio.

    Ryan’s moderate positions do not necessarily diqualify him for the speakership, but I think under close scrutiny it will be apparent that Ryan is to the left of Boehner. If Boehner was the problem I fail to see how Ryan is the solution.

    • #2
  3. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I agree with your calling out the far right to put their ideal candidate forward.

    • #3
  4. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    livingthehighlife:

    Egg Man: So, the goal should be to find someone who can unify Republicans on a strategy that will:

    I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to unify the Republicans. The purity uber alles faction has become too loud and boisterous.

    I would have said that the ignored faction has become tired of being ignored but livingthehighlife did just fine.

    • #4
  5. Egg Man Inactive
    Egg Man
    @EggMan

    BrentB67: I agree with your calling out the far right to put their ideal candidate forward.

    I may even like a candidate that the Freedom Caucus promotes — as long as I had confidence that the person is dedicated to making political life miserable for progressives and has a winnable approach for doing so.

    Sadly, I think that “the far right” (a term that I should normally be using to describe myself) is simply not interested in political strategizing. I understand the aversion to political gamesmanship, but it is kind of a big part of the job requirements when you’re in Congress.

    Ryan, having passed his budget through a unified Republican caucus and making Obama squirm on health care, has shown he is capable more than the alternatives.

    • #5
  6. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    BrentB67:Ryan’s moderate positions do not necessarily diqualify him for the speakership, but I think under close scrutiny it will be apparent that Ryan is to the left of Boehner. If Boehner was the problem I fail to see how Ryan is the solution.

    Speaking for only myself of course, but Ryan being a moderate is old news.  However, I could support him for speaker if I felt he would work WITH the conservatives in the House rather than against them, and would display a willingness and ability to resist Obama in deeds, not only in campaign rhetoric.

    • #6
  7. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    The one thing, arguably only thing, that makes progressives miserable is withholding funds to further their agenda and one reason the DOJ is still mining the mortgage settlement vein.

    The House can do better than Paul Ryan and I think his diva approach to wanting to be courted for speaker is shameful.

    • #7
  8. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Egg Man: Yes, this means that additional pressure should be applied on the Republican leadership to make sure they don’t try the “comprehensive” approach with Obama.

    That is just the problem though. A big conservative issue for this cycle is immigration. Rubio was in the Senate gang and went around trying to sell the comprehensive approach with Obama. Ryan was doing the same thing in the House.

    So yeah, if you strongly advocated for a policy that conservatives do not want, they won’t support you. Similarly, suggesting an across the board 25% tax increase or 50% reduction in the military would cause conservatives to not support a Congressman.

    What would be unusual would be to have conservatives say he is the complete opposite of me on a hot button issue so I should support him.

    • #8
  9. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Describing Ryan as a RINO, or moderate or a real conservative is meaningless, as those terms themselves have become stretched out to the point of uselessness. Ryan is quite to the right of the most centrist bloc in the House and nowhere near as strident as the Freedom Caucus. Whether one describes that position as moderate or conservative says more about the writer than about Ryan.

    And either way, his actual policy positions matter less than how flexible he would be in letting individual members bring up legislation. And on that front, he seems to be quite inflexible.

    BrentB67:The House can do better than Paul Ryan and I think his diva approach to wanting to be courted for speaker is shameful.

    I don’t think it’s shameful at all. Ryan currently holds his dream position (and the one he is best suited for) and now his colleagues are asking him to take over the worst job in DC, and one which is guaranteed to hurt his career (and one which he could turn down with no adverse consequences). Were I in his shoes, I would also be saying “my way or no dice”.

    • #9
  10. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    My general sentiment is that the Freedom Caucus should dig in.

    Not because one of their members could actually be an effective leader, but because the furthest-right Representatives have been clamoring for attention for so long that this is as good a time as any to see what happens when the dog catches the bus.

    After all, no serious legislation will be signed by Obama, and the period running up to a major election would be a good showcase for conservatives to finally have an audition with the general public.

    My prediction is that Freedom Caucus leadership would soon fall flat on its face and expose the actual electoral weakness of their bloc. But like federalism, sometimes it’s good to let the experiment play out and learn from the experience.

    • #10
  11. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Mendel, what evidence do you Ryan is to the right of center of the House republican caucus? If we look at the various scorecards for this kind of thing he is not well regarded and I read one the other day that gave him an F.

    If Ryan is in his dream job and and I agree that appears to be the case then why doesn’t he just say it rather than dragging this out.

    • #11
  12. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    BrentB67:Mendel, what evidence do you Ryan is to the right of center of the House republican caucus? If we look at the various scorecards for this kind of thing he is not well regarded and I read one the other day that gave him an F.

    If Ryan is in his dream job and and I agree that appears to be the case then why doesn’t he just say it rather than dragging this out.

    I didn’t mean he was right of center among the entire Republican caucus, rather that he is to the right of the most centrist (meaning moderate) block of Republicans in the House – the Tuesday Morning Massage Group or whatever they call themselves.

    Second, Ryan said numerous times that he didn’t want the job, including right after McCarthy pulled out. He only changed it to a “maybe” after getting bombarded with requests by colleagues (at least according to all media reports). While I’m sure he’s not immune to having his ego stroked just like any of us, it sounds like he’s taking the most admirable approach imaginable in his situation.

    • #12
  13. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I am not aware of anyone or how many in the house thinking Obama is going to sign any legislation or repeal any initiatives he previously signed, though I don’t speak for the entire caucus by any means. My understanding is that the issue is primarily about funding the Obama progressive regime and not raising the debt ceiling.

    If someone has evidence otherwise I am open to learning more about the issues and/or their expectations.

    • #13
  14. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    If Ryan is to the right of any group of republicans that is news to me.

    • #14
  15. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    BrentB67:I am not aware of anyone or how many in the house thinking Obama is going to sign any legislation or repeal any initiatives he previously signed, though I don’t speak for the entire caucus by any means. My understanding is that the issue is primarily about funding the Obama progressive regime and not raising the debt ceiling.

    My (poorly-made) point is that no major legislative changes will be taking place over the next 15 months in any situation, so why not give the Freedom Caucus a chance to audition?

    True, we could have another budget showdown with subsequent shutdown, but I also think that would be revealing. From prior experience, the public pressure during shutdowns seems to do a good job revealing which side really has a majority of the public going with it.

    • #15
  16. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Egg Man:I may even like a candidate that the Freedom Caucus promotes — as long as I had confidence that the person is dedicated to making political life miserable for progressives and has a winnable approach for doing so.

    Sadly, I think that “the far right” (a term that I should normally be using to describe myself) is simply not interested in political strategizing. I understand the aversion to political gamesmanship, but it is kind of a big part of the job requirements when you’re in Congress.

    Ryan, having passed his budget through a unified Republican caucus and making Obama squirm on health care, has shown he is capable more than the alternatives.

    I agree the “far right” isn’t interested in political strategizing.  There’s nothing new about that.  But their discontent could be reduced to their normal grumbling if they felt they were actually getting a fair hearing, and felt like said strategizing would not only be effective but was actually focused on fighting against the progressives more than fighting against the “far right” in favor of the status quo.

    • #16
  17. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    When the national Republicans call (infrequently, yes!) for donations, I say the following three words: Reagan, Reagan, Reagan.  Although every Republican can’t be exactly like Reagan, they can espouse his basic approach for government.

    In addition to being similar to Reagan, the Speaker should model themselves after Newt Gingrich.  Yes, I know he wasn’t a perfect person, but he was a good foil against a Democrat President, and was effective in his Contract for America.

    I’m not saying that Newt should be chosen for Speaker, just that we need someone with a similar drive.

    • #17
  18. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    I think we ought to look further than the next 15 months on this question. Let’s say that Rubio gets elected. If we’ve got a President with some heterodoxy on immigration, and a speaker with some heterodoxy on immigration that leads to bad outcomes for the rest of us.

    On the other side, if Trump were elected, and if (I don’t follow the house all that closely, no name, sorry) a rock-ribbed anti-illegal republican takes the speakership, I guess we do get that wall built.

    Irrespective of Obama’s last 15 months, I’d prefer the latter option.

    • #18
  19. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    BrentB67:If Ryan is to the right of any group of republicans that is news to me.

    As of 2014, his lifetime ACU rating is 90. That puts him about 80th-85th.

    Top possible score is 100.There are roughly 65 members who all score between 87 and 93.

    There is a group of about 30 with lifetime ratings of 70 and below. I think “moderate” is a fair enough description but there are plenty of members to his left.

    • #19
  20. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    I only have one criteria- Does the candidate for speaker believe that Government is there to solve problems or do they believe the private sector should solve problems and the government should get out of the way.

    Paul Ryan seems to be in the former camp, but I could be convinced.

    • #20
  21. Salvatore Padula Inactive
    Salvatore Padula
    @SalvatorePadula

    BrentB67: Mendel, what evidence do you Ryan is to the right of center of the House republican caucus?

    Well, Ryan does have a lifetime ACU rating of 90, which puts him to the right of about 60% of congressional Republicans. It’s worth noting that Freedom Caucus candidate Daniel Webster has an ACU rating of 78.

    • #21
  22. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Conservative Review is the site I was looking at these scores.

    Paul Ryan: F, 58% puts him in the left half of the republican caucus.

    I have no idea if Conservative Review is any more varied valid than ACU or the others.

    • #22
  23. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    BrentB67: Conservative Review is the site I was looking at these scores.

    Is that a good site, Brent? I see that it’s a pay-to-play deal, which is okay if it’s quality.

    I dunno if ACU’s metrics are better. They have been doing it for a long time. That isn’t always a positive (obviously) but I know it isn’t a flavor-of-the-week deal, either.

    I’ll note that quite a few of the highly rated members (according to CR) have spent zero years in Congress. Quite a few more have only one cycle under their belts.

    It’s awfully easy to be Captain Fi-con, So-con, Libertarian, Paleo-con, Neo-con, Moderate, etc. if you are mostly being judged by your campaign rhetoric and hail from a safe district.

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

    Egg Man: Force Obama to accept popular conservative positions (okay, not likely) Defend unpopular leftist positions Thwart his executive ambitions Create popular support for conservative policies.

    Might have better luck forcing Obama to accept popular liberal positions.  Or maybe not.

    • #24
  25. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    BrentB67:I agree with your calling out the far right to put their ideal candidate forward.

    I wouldn’t call them the “far right,” and I’ve given up believing that they have an ideal candidate.  Or even an acceptable candidate.  Or any realistic goals, except to smash everything in the room and then hold their breath until they turn blue.

    Because, you know, the grown ups haven’t been paying enough attention to them.

    And, by the way, I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys cocktail parties.

    • #25
  26. iDad Inactive
    iDad
    @iDad

    [removed by me]

    • #26
  27. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Palaeologus:

    BrentB67: Conservative Review is the site I was looking at these scores.

    Is that a good site, Brent? I see that it’s a pay-to-play deal, which is okay if it’s quality.

    I dunno if ACU’s metrics are better. They have been doing it for a long time. That isn’t always a positive (obviously) but I know it isn’t a flavor-of-the-week deal, either.

    I’ll note that quite a few of the highly rated members (according to CR) have spent zero years in Congress. Quite a few more have only one cycle under their belts.

    It’s awfully easy to be Captain Fi-con, So-con, Libertarian, Paleo-con, Neo-con, Moderate, etc. if you are mostly being judged by your campaign rhetoric and hail from a safe district.

    I am generally suspicious of all of these ratings programs. CR gets a lot of airtime on Breitbart. Not sure if that adds or subtracts from its credibility.

    • #27
  28. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Larry3435: I wouldn’t call them the “far right,” and I’ve given up believing that they have an ideal candidate.  Or even an acceptable candidate.  Or any realistic goals, except to smash everything in the room and then hold their breath until they turn blue. Because, you know, the grown ups haven’t been paying enough attention to them.

    Well, there are more and more people noticing that Trump the presumptive nominee this morning – including National Review and the Washington Examiner so maybe it’s time for the grown ups to pay more attention to the “far right” given that Trump’s constituency seems to consist of those who don’t take as an article of faith that free trade and open borders are unalloyed goods – which isn’t exactly the radical libertarian/constitutionalist wing of the party.

    To me the call for Paul Ryan’s coronation is a desperate grasping move by the more moderate wing of the party after McCarthy’s spectacular own-goal on the Benghazi committee and Boehner’s repeated failures as Speaker to move legislation to the President’s desk.

    This isn’t entirely Boehner’s fault – he’s had to deal with two obstructionist Senate Majority Leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, who have largely stalled anything worthwhile for the same reason: preventing their members from having to defend hard votes come election time.

    But Ryan’s bonafides come down to one thing: he ran for Vice President so he has “national recognition.” This is like arguing John McCain should have been elected House Minority Leader in 2008 because he ran for President so it doesn’t pass muster to me.

    Better to leave Ryan where he is and find someone else. And frankly if none of the other 244 representatives are acceptable at all then maybe the GOP shouldn’t be the majority party in Congress.

    • #28
  29. Roadrunner Inactive
    Roadrunner
    @Roadrunner

    Egg Man: Is Rep. Paul Ryan now an Establishment™ RINO squish?

    Ryan wants total allegiance and is a comprehensive immigration reform advocate.  There is a lot of money backing this position and I would prefer not to give him such a temptation.  Boehner quit by the way because it is difficult to live in his phony world.  The people that lay lots of money on the Republican Party want something for their money and those pesky congressmen that actually represent their districts are a true annoyance.  Asking the minority for a candidate is rather silly and should be greeted with silence.  The majority in the Republican Congress can’t do what they want because citizen votes and business money are diametrically opposed.  The chamber of commerce and  rank and file Republican Americans are at odds.  Constantly ignoring that is very amusing.  I am confident that the majority of Republican Congressmen will find their way through.  Maybe they will manage to keep from destroying the Republican Party in the process.

    • #29
  30. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    I’ve said once before that I think outside of entitlement reform, Paul Ryan is a so-so conservative.  I still like him, because I think entitlement reform is very important.

    I think I previously endorsed him for Speaker through the end of the term while people get their ducks in a row.  But I wonder increasingly if the attacks on him and the hit he would take as Speaker would carry back over to entitlement reform.

    Personally, everyone should just fight it out until they come to terms with each other.  If things should turn sour in the meantime, all the more incentive to come to terms.  This is how real adults solve problems, doing the best they can in difficult situations with uncertain consequences.

    • #30

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