Thursday, October 08, 2015

Drafting The Flim-Flam Man To Be Speaker


Boehner has been begging Paul Ryan to run for the Speakership-- and so are Mitt Romney and Kevin McCarthy, as well as almost every conservative even vaguely "mainstream" in the Republican House caucus. Ryan wants it but he's playing coy and making believe he has to confer with his wife. The unreconstructed Confederate nihilists and die-hards, who are dying to capture what was once the Party of Lincoln, are flipping out. By early evening Politico's Anna Palmer was tweeting that Ryan had cancelled all his fundraisers for the next 48 hours. Lynn Westmoreland-- alas Comedy Central has removed all the easy-to-access videos of him on the Colbert show-- is offering his incompetent self up as the South Will Rise Again candidate. (Let's face it, even for some Confederates, "Taliban Dan" Webster is a bridge too far, although not for Louie Gohmert.) Ryan, though, is wondering how detrimental being Speaker would be for his outsized presidential ambitions.

Long time Ryan-watcher Paul Krugman rushed out a succinct Flim-Flap redux for the Republicans to consider before they rushed into another suicide pact.
Apparently desperate Republicans are pleading with Paul Ryan to become Speaker of the House, because he’s “super, super smart.” More than anyone else in his caucus, he has the reputation of being a brilliant policy wonk.

And that tells you even more about the dire state of the GOP. After all, Ryan is to policy wonkery what Carly Fiorina is to corporate management: brilliant at selling himself, hopeless at actually doing the job. Lest we forget, his much-vaunted budget plan proved, on even superficial examination, to be a ludicrous mess of magic asterisks. His big contribution to discussion of economic policy was his stern warning to Ben Bernanke that quantitative easing would “debase the dollar”, that rising commodity prices in early 2011 presaged a surge in inflation. This guy’s delusions of expertise should be considered funny.

Yet he may indeed be the best they have.

Nonetheless, it would be a huge mistake for him personally to take the job. Where he is, he can cultivate his wonk image, with nobody in the press willing to disturb the illusion. In a direct leadership role, he’d have no place to hide.
The only logical alternative to Ryan for Speaker is Pelosi... and that doesn't seem very likely, despite Charlie Dent (R-PA) thing it would be fine if the Democrats played a role in selecting the next Speaker. Many of them, though, would probably prefer going outside the House and getting Ted Cruz to do it, don't you think? He's obviously given up on a Senate career. Does he still expect to win the GOP nomination, even with Trump making noises that he's "in it to win it?" And if know that Trump is getting out eventually and can hand him the nomination, does he think he could actually beat Bernie or even weak establishment candidates Hillary or Biden? He probably does. He gets delusional and, after all, among these crackpot politicians hope always really does spring eternal. Or maybe Boehner could just forget the whole thing, postpone the golf and lobbyist life and stay around for another year and a few months. That would serve those Liberty Caucus imbeciles right! Besides, this trial balloon got punctured pretty fast:

Before bedtime, in DC, rumors started being laughed at that even former car thief and arsonist-for-pay Darrell Issa (R-CA), always looking for another job, might run too. And then there was his colleague, Mark Takano (D-CA), and his brilliant and helpful Craig's List advertisement. It might not help the Republicans though:

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At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the Nazis in the Reichstag: people who are in government to destroy government. Some are saying 'it would be funny if it weren't so serious.' My friends, we passed that place many grid squares ago. It has been clear since the Grand Bargain Summer of 2010 that the best we commoners were going to do was gridlock, and boy howdy, we've got us some of that. So I say go ahead and laugh your asses off.

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Harry Levy said...

Godwin's law is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches ,​that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger John said...

When one speaks of the American GOP, of course, each and every discussion correctly BEGINS with reference to Nazis.

If there were no Godwin, resurgent American fascists would have invented him.
(It would be no surprised to find that they actually did.)

John Puma

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Cugel said...

The Paul Ryan budget is like Monty Python's panel discussion of - How to Rid the World of All Known Diseases. "First become a doctor and then discover a really marvelous cure for something, and when the medical establishment begin to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right, so there will never be any diseases ever again!" "Thanks Jackie!"

And it will work just like magic! The GOP is addicted to magical thinking of this sort at all levels. They hate complexity and dealing with limitations of the real world and making compromises because you can't make government work just with slogans. In short, there's a draw-back to putting really stupid people in charge of things. Things have gotten so horrible in the GOP that the very idea of making government work at even the most basic level is hated by the base.


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