Paul Ryan would have to be nuts to take speaker’s gavel

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Paul Ryan would have to be nuts to accept the job of speaker.

Already, even as he denies any interest in the job, the one-time conservative wunderkind is being attacked by those who condemn him as insufficiently conservative, insufficiently pure to serve as speaker. While he sits at home in Janesville, Wisc., pondering calls to be the savior of his party, those whom he is supposed to lead are preparing a big, bright “RINO” sign to drape around his neck when he returns.

And take a look at this lead from a Politico story:

“As the right continues to beat up Paul Ryan, hoping to preempt a bid for speaker, much of the GOP establishment is letting him twist in the wind.

Their thinking: Any public display of affection for Ryan from D.C. players would be his kiss of death — handing ammunition to activists to use against the Ways and Means chairman.

But the groups’ approach means that there’s no organized response to a chorus of figures and groups on the activist right — from Phyllis Schlafly and Sean Hannity to the Tea Party Patriots — imploring House Republicans to oppose Ryan.”

That tells you a lot about the power dynamics. The Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups are so intimidated that they don’t dare to speak up in defense of the man whom most of them believe represents the GOP’s only shot at something less than chaos in the House. Even as they quietly beg and pray that Ryan can be convinced to take the job, they themselves won’t risk fighting for him publicly.

And if they can’t defend him now, Ryan should realize, they surely won’t be there to defend him in the coming intra-party fights over the debt-limit ceiling, immigration and the 2016 budget.

It’s also important to note where this opposition to Ryan is really coming from. Ostensibly, it is originating in the so-called Freedom Caucus, an ultra-conservative group that comprises just 15 percent of the overall GOP caucus. It has two members from Georgia, Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk, which ought to tell you all you need to know about its intellectual heft and grasp on reality.

So how is it that such a small group of untethered, extremist malcontents is able to wield such veto power over the Grand Old Party? Ah, that’s the big question, now isn’t it. As the Politico piece points out, the real power behind the throne, the opposition that truly matters, are right-wing media, websites and interest groups. And to hear them tell it, Ryan’s ascension to the speaker’s podium would be yet another betrayal of the conservative cause.

Why do they say that? Because that’s what they do for a living. Betrayal, outrage and fear are how they justify their email fund-raising, it is how they draw ratings points and Internet clicks, it is how they get themselves on Fox News. It is the meat upon which they feed, and they feed very well these days.

Thus, Rush Limbaugh confides to his listeners that “a lot of people think Paul Ryan has sold out.” At RedState, Erick Erickson derides Ryan as “John Boehner’s weaker sister” “poor little Paulie,” and  “poor little Eddie Munster Rep. Paul Ryan.”  Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots condemns Ryan as “anything but conservative” and completely unacceptable to the party’s base.

“There is a reason why Donald Trump and [Ben] Carson and Carly Fiorina are doing so well in the polls right now,” Martin says. “People are very dissatisfied with what’s happening in Washington.” And with her $450,000 income, Martin would have it no other way.

What’s really telling about all this is that just three years ago, these very same people were gleeful that Mitt Romney had selected a conservative of Ryan’s stature to be his vice presidential nominee. As Erickson put it at the time “Finally, the Romney campaign has a spokesman who can do what Mitt Romney has never been capable of doing — defend success and articulate a message of why we must reform our nation’s budget and support free markets.” (“The left will demonize and demagogue Paul Ryan,” Erickson also predicted back then. “They’d do that to anyone.”)

Conservatives like to talk about “revolution” and “the Washington establishment.” It’s time to face up to the fact that once the “revolution” has been professionalized and institutionalized, it is no longer the revolution. It becomes the new establishment, and that is the state of affairs today within the GOP. Reince Priebus may have the fancy title of chair of the Republican National Committee, but he has less influence over the party’s direction today than does some local talk radio host in Dallas or St. Louis or Atlanta. Priebus and his pals can also produce all the white papers they want, explaining in logical, rational terms why the party’s future depends on a resolution of the immigration issue, but they are spitting into a gale by doing so.

It is the new GOP establishment that decides who in the party is a “true conservative,” and who is not, and that awesome power means everything. In this case, it has ordained the Freedom Caucus, the ultra-conservative fringe of a deeply conservative House, as the true keepers of the conservative flame, and by doing so it gives that caucus a power that it could never otherwise enjoy. It is also the new establishment that demands the election of a mythical “true conservative” as speaker, even though it knows or ought to know that goal to be unattainable.

Because after all, what’s the use of setting an attainable goal? A goal attained produces satisfaction, an outcome completely at odds with their business model. Unattainable goals guarantee frustration, anger, resentment and feelings of persecution, all of which are so much more useful in peddling gold, guns, God and blood-pressure medicine.

 

 

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444 comments
JoelEdge
JoelEdge

If you worried more about your own party, it might not have a wife and a old socialist as presidential frontrunners.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@JoelEdge Why are you denigrating the word "wife"? It says a lot about your pitiful fear of women. Sad little Joel.

Buttercup23
Buttercup23

Well I'll be darned, the Republicans, after all this time, finally create a job and not one Republican wants it..  Imagine that!

straker
straker

Down - "the auditor in me says so"


Well, in that case, you just get on the phone to the IRS right now and tell them you KNOW that foundation is guilty because of the auditor in you says so.


Lest us know what they say.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany 

We 'water carriers' have better sense than to waste time reading any manufactured nonsense from 'national review'.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Yes, the auditor in me says so."


@DownInAlbany 


You need to call Ben Carson maybe he can perform surgery on auditor in YOU.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Fair and Balanced?

Ruh Roh....

BUSTED: Feds arrest Fox News ‘terrorism expert’ for pretending to be a former CIA agent

A recurring Fox News guest who claimed to be a long-time CIA agent was indicted and arrested Thursday for not, in fact, being a CIA agent.

Wayne Simmons claimed to have 23 years experience with the secretive federal agency as an “outside paramilitary special operations officer,” CNN reports. He was indicted for using that claim to gain security clearances and a post as a defense contractor advising military personnel overseas.

[...]

 If convicted, Simmons could face decades in prison for all counts, including 20 years for wire fraud, 10 years for major fraud against the U.S, and 5 years for false statements.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Kind of hard to promote "accountability and civic trust" when you aren't transparent about your donors."


@Kamchak 


There are two types of TRANSPARENCY: 


#1.......The kind you WANTto reveaL


#2.......The kind you DON'T dare reveal

elgrunir
elgrunir

Off to work...


Have fun, y'all, with Ted Cruz...

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Huck-a-billy does not have a snowball's chance in haities to get nominated dog-catcher.  His effort at relevancy is pathetic "


@BabyCakesATL 


Huckabuck knows that; however, he ain't "in it to win it"...........


he's in it to "profit from it".............
 

Kamchak
Kamchak

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/02/20/conservative-watchdog-group-accuses-democrats-of-illegally-coordinating-through-voter-data-firm/

FACT was organized over the last several months as a response to watchdogs groups on the left such as American Democracy Legal Fund and Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington. The group is backed by $1 million in seed money from donors who support conservative legal causes, according to people familiar with its origins. Whitaker declined to identify the organization’s contributors, calling them “some freedom-loving Americans” who live outside of Washington.

Kind of hard to promote "accountability and civic trust" when you aren't transparent about your donors.

Just sayin'.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Kamchak $1 million in seed money.

Chumpchange compared to the Clinton Foundation.

The Clintons wouldn't get dressed up for an event that's only going to net them a mere million!

Lucifer12345
Lucifer12345

You know when I watched the Democratic debate the other night I compared it to the Republican debates and came to one stark conclusion: the Democratic debate contained sane people. I easily understood their planks, policy plans and their individual personalities. They made sense. Conversely, the GOP presidential race is indeed a Clown Car, full of bat crap crazy people like Trump and Carson and the Huckster. As far as Paul Ryan goes, this guy follows the whacky beliefs of the lunatic Ayn Rand. Enuff said.

straker
straker

Baby - "and actually voted"


We can only dream.

straker
straker

Down - "whether the Clinton Foundation broke federal law"


But, you just KNOW already that they did, right Sparky?

elgrunir
elgrunir

I'm feeling a limerick for Baby Cakes comin' up...

elgrunir
elgrunir

@BabyCakesATL 


Here ya' go!



Baby Cakes, she of Atlanta

Made a fortune from selling Mylanta

When greed is so shocking

It’s coal for the stocking

When she goes out to play Santa


straker
straker

Big Money has a virtually unshakable hold on our Politicians, especially the Republicans.


The only ways to break this are a much shorter election process and term limits.


The odds of this happening anytime soon are about zero.


Only in America.

td1234
td1234

@straker So is that why the 2 riches men in America back Democrats? 

BabyCakesATL
BabyCakesATL

@straker Or we could clean house if at least 70%  got up off the couch and actually voted.  Can you imagine!!??

elgrunir
elgrunir

I WONDER...


I wonder if I looked in the eye

of Eye Wonder, what would I spy?

It wouldn’t be long

‘fore we’d hit the bong

Whatever I’d find; it’d be “fly”

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

A watchdog group is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Clinton Foundation broke federal law by making payments to Hillary Clinton's failed 2008 presidential campaign.

Matthew Whitaker, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, pressed the IRS on whether the nearly $350,000 the Clinton Foundation paid to rent Clinton's email list after she failed to secure the Democratic nomination was above "fair market value," which is the benchmark used to determine whether such payments constitute veiled donations rather than typical transactions.

The Clinton Foundation made a payment of $274,297 to the campaign in Feb. 2009 and another payment of $75,000 in March of that year, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Those payments came as Clinton's allies were reportedly struggling to pay off her crippling campaign debts while her own fundraising ability was limited by ethical restrictions given her position as secretary of state.

Damn sweet deal, if you can get it, huh?

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany

A watchdog group?

That darn Benghazi Committee isn't doing its job.  For $5 million I expect more from them!

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DownInAlbany 

Some Republican-backed political group doesn't like Mrs. Clinton?

I'm shocked, I tells ya!  Shocked!

Paul42
Paul42

@GaBlue

That's one of those 'LOL/Ewwww" comments all rolled into one.

Normd
Normd

@DownInAlbany 

Just another conservative group out to "Get Hillary".  Wish they'd spend just half the energy tryting to "get Hillary", doing some government work...

GaBlue
GaBlue

@Paul42

He can't stalk her 24/7/365! He needs help stalking her and bringing down her campaign so he can have her all to himself.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

Yo yo @elgrunir 

You're one of my favorite people here

Not too serious

And definitely not nefarious

A bong hit with you

I'd like to do.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Chicago Workers Thrive Three Years After Taking Over a Window Factory

Things are very different today. Employees of what is now called New Era Windows and Doors are also the owners. And their ideas matter. Any of them can propose improvements, and if they can convince a majority of their co-workers, things can change quickly.

"If we make a mistake, we talk to each other and we find a solution," Robles told me when I visited the factory in late September. "We try to do the best for everyone. We work harder because we're working for ourselves. But it's more enjoyable. We work with passion."

[...]

 "The good thing is we don't have the CEO making millions of dollars," Robles said, "so we have the ability to compete with the industry." Also, they don't have to generate big profits to keep investors happy; they just have to make enough to pay expenses and pay back their debt.

This business model is based on "enough." Enough pay and benefits to live with dignity. Enough of the machinery that is necessary, but not the sort that is too expensive. Opportunities for employee-owners to draw on their full capacities, not to be relegated to repetitive work while a few make all the decisions and much of the money. Their more equitable pay structure creates opportunities for more people to have enough to live and thrive; instead of keeping some at the edge of poverty while others prosper.

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak If that is a business model that works for that particular industry and is the way the owners what to run their business then by all means, go for it. 

BabyCakesATL
BabyCakesATL

@Kamchak I remember this story - so good to see sustsined success prevail without all that pesky greed. 

foo2u
foo2u

It's an outrage!!!!

No CEO to suck millions out of that business...

td1234
td1234

@PaulinNH Unions should never have a seat on the board.. That is a conflict of interest. 

td1234
td1234

@elgrunir Now I actually agree that small stock holders should have some seats on the board in publicly traded corporations and if those are also employees then that would be even better. 

elgrunir
elgrunir

@Kamchak 


Kammie,


Dude, you're on a roll!


Ya know... this business model seems like that one in... the one with the really bangin' economy... where people are pretty happy these days... oh, yeah... Germany.


But according to some people, no good ideas come from outside the U.S.  Bummer...

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@elgrunir @td1234 @Kamchak 

Yep for large companies - even private ones - by law 1/2 of the board members are employees. Heck - they even have union members on the board.