Paul Ryan’s Detractors Have Zero Leverage

 

Paul RyanYears ago, I was offered a lousy middle-management job at a horrible company. I repeatedly told the recruiter that I wasn’t interested, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“I can increase the salary!” No, not interested.

“What if you can set your own hours?” No thanks.

“Look, I’ll start you off with a month’s vacation and…” NO.

After several annoying calls over a couple of days, I finally said, “Look, I’ll take the job on one condition: Starting salary of a million dollars.”

Several seconds of silence followed before the recruiter said, “um … but, really, what salary are you thinking of?” I repeated my demand, trying to suppress a Dr. Evil voice. That recruiter never called me again, having finally understood my real demand: I don’t want the job.

Rep. Paul Ryan has been repeatedly asked, encouraged, cajoled, and begged to take over the Speaker’s gavel when Boehner drops it. Ryan’s answers have been no, no, no, and hell no. But after another week of Republicans insisting that Ryan is the only human being in existence who can unite conservatives and RINOs, Tea Partiers and country clubbers, young reformers and Hill lifers, Ryan had enough.

He finally relented and said, sure, I’ll take the job … on three conditions:

  • The House Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, and the moderate Tuesday Group all need to support me.
  • Change the House rules so disgruntled congressmen can’t toss me out so easily.
  • This better not cut into my family time.

Some members were outraged, as were many on talk radio, and (natch) the Internet. How dare he make demands on the people’s representatives! Never before has a Speaker ordered he not be ousted! He wants time with his family … he should be working 24/7!

How many times does Ryan have to tell you that he doesn’t want the damn job? His detractors should be thankful he didn’t demand a million dollars like one smart aleck I know.

Since modern politics runs on outrage, the fact that Ryan doesn’t want to be Speaker has made the anti-Ryan caucus even angrier. Apparently it hasn’t yet dawned on them that they have zero leverage over the Wisconsin representative. If the grumblers lose, it’s Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; if they win, it’s a much happier Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan.

So, in their impotence, talk radio complains that Ryan loves his family more than he loves government, and websites scream that Ryan has insufficient interest in amassing political power. Both of those complaints only highlight his conservativism.

Here’s the deal, haters: You don’t want Paul Ryan to be Speaker. Paul Ryan doesn’t want to be Speaker. Since you both agree, why are you yelling at him?

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  1. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    This is absurdly childish Jon.

    Do better.

    • #1
  2. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Guruforhire:This is absurdly childish Jon.

    Do better.

    The opposite of this.

    • #2
  3. Commodore BTC Inactive
    Commodore BTC
    @CommodoreBTC

    Ryan is just Boehner with better communication skills and a better nose for policy.

    Nothing about the process will change. Power will still be centralized in leadership. Members will be expected to be loyal to leadership, rather than their consciences or their constituents.

    Those that kiss the ring will be given committee chairmanships and have their bills voted on. Those that don’t will lose committee assignments and campaign funding, and their legislation will never see the light of day.

    Read Mike Lee’s ideas for how to change the House. Ryan will be the polar opposite.

    A Caesarian Reformicon.

    • #3
  4. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Guruforhire:This is absurdly childish Jon.

    Do better.

    This post was fantastic, Jon.

    Keep up the good work.

    • #4
  5. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Once congress was stripped of its ability to offer earmarks as incentives this kind of fracturing was inevitable. The massive centralization of power into the speaker was the response.

    • #5
  6. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    On the other hand, had you taken the job, you might never have had to be EIC of Ricochet.

    • #6
  7. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    Drudge is announcing Ryan is the new speaker. RIP conservatives, freedom, USA.

    • #7
  8. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Bigfoot: Drudge is announcing Ryan is the new speaker. RIP conservatives, freedom, USA.

    But the age of hyperbolic reactions is just beginning.

    • #8
  9. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    The COC prevents me from responding appropriately. We are in trouble and this is no help at all.

    • #9
  10. nom de plume Inactive
    nom de plume
    @nomdeplume

    Funny.  Looks like Ryan wanted it after all.

    • #10
  11. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Guruforhire,

    Rather than engaging in ad hominem why don’t you explain how you disagree with Jon’s opinion and/or tone? Otherwise, you add nothing to the conversation other than, “I don’t like what you said.”

    In other words, Guru, Do better.

    • #11
  12. Kermit Hoffpauir Inactive
    Kermit Hoffpauir
    @KermitHoffpauir

    The naysayers are devotees of Levin et al, so I will go ahead and say that they are all very shallow and have not clue about the position.

    • #12
  13. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Bigfoot: The COC prevents me from responding appropriately.

    LOL, ok.

    • #13
  14. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    According to the NYT a majority of the Freedom Caucus agreed to back Ryan, but it fell short of the 4/5 required to call it the official position of the Caucus. WaPo calls it a “Supermajority,” which I guess means more than 3/5. Neither source has an actual vote count.

    • #14
  15. Commodore BTC Inactive
    Commodore BTC
    @CommodoreBTC

    Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    • #15
  16. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    If he wants time with his family, isn’t he too normal to be in Washington?   Paul Ryan thinks about the big picture, sometimes comes up with the wrong answer.  At least he thinks.

    • #16
  17. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Commodore BTC: Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

    • #17
  18. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Commodore BTC:Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    Entitlement reform becomes a priority?

    • #18
  19. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    Commodore BTC: Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    Based on past record, very little change. Perhaps make nice with the current administration while offering a sham ‘alternative.’

    Rank and file appear quite upset with the Washington elites and this could be a very big factor in the 2016 election.

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Ryan as Speaker is bad, how exactly? If it dooms the Republic, at least spell it out beyond “Establishment!”

    • #20
  21. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    nom de plume:Funny. Looks like Ryan wanted it after all.

    If I remember correctly, he wasn’t all that enthusiastic about being Vice President either. I suspect he has an overdeveloped sense of duty.

    • #21
  22. Herbert Inactive
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Umbra Fractus: According to the NYT a majority of the Freedom Caucus agreed to back Ryan, but it fell short of the 4/5 required to call it the official position of the Caucus. WaPo calls it a “Supermajority,” which I guess means more than 3/5. Neither source has an actual vote count.

    yeah and biden was jumping in the race yesterday…. don’t dismiss the GOP’s ability to shoot itself in the foot again…

    • #22
  23. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Bigfoot:

    Commodore BTC: Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    Based on past record, very little change. Perhaps make nice with the current administration while offering a sham ‘alternative.’

    Rank and file appear quite upset with the Washington elites and this could be a very big factor in the 2016 election.

    Let the healing begin!

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Heh. Meanwhile on the left they’re screaming “Paul Ryan wants to spend time with his family, but doesn’t want to help other parents do the same!”

    • #24
  25. Benjamin Glaser Inactive
    Benjamin Glaser
    @BenjaminGlaser

    I’m bored to tears with these games in Washington and the tribal nonsense the pundits on TV, radio, and print play.

    People in real life are hurting. The culture is 180 degrees backwards.

    But go on pundits and analysts. Keep on being worried about point scoring and playing [CoC violation] on Twitter with people with 4 followers so you can appear smarter and wiser than the yokels.

    • #25
  26. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Ryan is an intelligent, sober, decent and honorable man whose economic reforms when enacted will bring the federal budget back in balance and eventually lead to a surplus. He has the graciousness not to belittle or to mock those in his own party unlike Mr. Boehner. The recent demonization of Ryan by some of the more extreme voices in the party is unfounded and tiresome and are from some of the same personalities who would advocate burning the party to the ground without any credible plan on how to rebuild it again or replace it with something workable or reasonable – while Democrats would be free to push more stridently toward a failed socialist state. Many of them, even some who were more previously reasonable Tea Party leaders (like Jenny Beth Martin), are content to throw support to a RINO candidate who has openly and proudly supported Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and other Dems, embraced socialized single-payer healthcare, advocated increased taxation, and supported Planned Parenthood.

    It’s one thing to be angry about the lack of resolve in combatting the Obama administration; it’s another to let one’s anger cloud one’s reason and lead to a situation that will likely assure Democrat victories in November.

    I don’t know how long Ryan will last as Speaker if elected. At this moment in time it appears to be an impossible role to assume and achieve anything resembling success that would satisfy all the factions of the party.

    If Trump is elected, I don’t see how the situation improves, since The Donald’s own proclivities lean far more left than Mr. Ryan’s.

    • #26
  27. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Jamie Lockett:

    Commodore BTC: Anyone want to attempt to argue what policy/political outcomes will be different with Ryan as Speaker?

    Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

    That might even be an improvement over P90X Boehner.

    One of the nice things about not being a Republican anymore is that you don’t have to be disappointed by the inevitable.

    • #27
  28. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    Bryan G. Stephens: Ryan as Speaker is bad, how exactly? If it dooms the Republic, at least spell it out beyond “Establishment!”

    Ryan is a nice guy and a decent moral fellow, by everything we can see. His faults are: strident supporter of amnesty, failure to vote in any manner resembling a conservative, and perceived spineless demeanor (personally, I view this as pejorative but often perception is reality). The first two are huge hot buttons among the persons I know.

    The perception again is that he will dismiss, as did his predecessor, any move towards forcing Democrats to vote on ‘conservative’ agenda items and thereby cause Obama to veto same.

    Even a failure to get votes to bring an issue to the floor is a win, since it puts Democrats on record as either for or against.

    • #28
  29. BD Member
    BD
    @

    Wow, the ability of those who don’t want the immigration laws enforced to portray themselves as a heroic, embattled minority who never get their way is amazing, considering that those laws have not been effectively enforced in DECADES.

    • #29
  30. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    I figure a reasonable stance is to support Ryan as if here were not an amnesty shill, and oppose amnesty as if there there were no Paul Ryan.

    Put him on notice with a counter-condition: touch amnesty and die.  If he can’t accept that, then he has no business asking for upfront support.  What does he expect, fealty?

    His budgets, while never balancing even ten years out, are still better than anything else.  If he’s the Speaker, then his budget is likely to survive the process, and he can ensure it doesn’t get ruined in reconciliation.  That’s worth a lot — even if it gets vetoed, then he should be invested in standing up for his budget despite shutdown threats.  He knows how to talk and can take a case to the public about a shutdown.  I suspect that some of his opinions might improve with Boehner no longer riding herd.  Call that what you want, but it can kind of only go up.  I suspect that the Young Guns axis of weasels is dead, and Paul Ryan intends to outlive it.

    I don’t like Ryan much for a couple of reasons, but I don’t have to.  I just have to find him acceptable in some minimum way.  Make it clear that we will NEV-ER support amnesty or “it’s not amnesty” measures which still amount to amnesty, and the rest should be okay.

    Like Giuliani with guns.

    • #30

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