Monday, October 12, 2015

The Republicans Have Something To Offer Even Worse Than Boehner-Cantor-McCarthy-Ryan


Paul Ryan Dodging the Liberty Caucus Whack-A-Mole Mallet 

I could be wrong but I'm guessing Rachel Maddow never met Kevin McCarthy in person. But it only took her 15 minutes to figure out that he was a dope incapable of even filling John Boehner's tiny slippers let alone shoes of legendary Speakers like Henry Clay, Sam Rayburn, Tip O'Neill, or Nancy Pelosi. Maddow was the first to point out, at least in the national media, what an unaccomplished cloddish doofus McCarthy is. Even before McCarthy's speakership was sabotaged by the extremists in the Liberty Caucus and before one of his colleagues-- probably Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)-- blew the whistle on his affair with Renee Ellmers, and even before McCarthy's accidental revelations that the Benghazi Committee was just a partisan witch hunt to harm Hillary Clinton's chances to win the presidency blew up into an avalanche of national outrage, Maddow had helped make McCarthy into a national laughing stock. She introduced the country to... Hungria.

McCarthy was the personification of the Peter Principle, likely chosen by Boehner as his number two primarily because it was inconceivable he could ever be a threat. Paul Ryan isn't a dummy and he didn't find out that McCarthy is by watching Maddow's show on MSNBC. He knew and he knew the Speakership was his for the taking. That taking looks like its coming faster than he expected or wanted. Even Liberty Caucus chair, Jim Jordan, called off his snarling dogs on Sunday by saying the 40 extremists who forced Boehner's and McCarthy's political deaths would look on Ryan favorably. Maybe:

The demands on Ryan to run are coming from all quarters, most intensely from the top of the congressional wing of the Republican Party. According to sources familiar with the efforts to get Ryan to move from an extremely reluctant “maybe” to a grudging “yes,” he has been in extensive contact with Boehner, McCarthy, and Oregon Congressman Greg Walden.

...Boehner... has been making the case to Ryan that as speaker he could continue to work on the policy issues, such as tax and entitlement reform, that have been his passion on Ways and Means. Boehner and other Ryan proponents eager to get him to "yes" are telling him his role as speaker could be largely confined to crafting a long-term vision for the party, shaping a policy agenda, and delivering a public message through television appearances.‎

Echoing Boehner and McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has reportedly told Ryan that he sees no other alternative for the speaker job, and has painted a somewhat apocalyptic short-term future if Ryan won’t accede. A failure to efficiently deal with the debt ceiling in November, or pass a resolution to fund the government in December could have serious repercussions for the party, McConnell argues, that could imperil the GOP's hold on the Senate. It could also have an adverse impact on the party’s chances to win the White House, according to McConnell and other leading Republicans, who have talked to Ryan.

All the GOP leaders who are pressing Ryan say they see no alternative and worry that a weak or interim speaker would be a disaster, leaving the GOP balkanized with power devolving to committee chairs, whose rise would only highlight the absence of a clear message or strategy to navigate the party’s complexities in a presidential year.

...All of Ryan’s associates agree that he definitively does not want to be speaker, although they are split on what the outcome will be. Some believe the conservatives are not going to unite in joining the draft movement, and that alone will be enough to keep Ryan from taking the job. Others say the absence of any other alternative will prey on Ryan’s sense of obligation to the party, forcing him to accept a job he’s never wanted.
This morning Krugman examined what he termed the chaos of the crazies with an eye towards how the mess they created can get resolved. The answer isn't Paul Ryan, who Krugman recognizes as a con man, even if the Beltway media foolishly still has him on a pedestal. Ryan's "success in hoodwinking the news media and self-proclaimed centrists in general," wrote Krugman, "is the basis of his stature within his party. Unfortunately, at least from his point of view, it would be hard to sustain the con game from the speaker’s chair. To understand Mr. Ryan’s role in our political-media ecosystem, you need to know two things. First, the modern Republican Party is a post-policy enterprise, which doesn’t do real solutions to real problems. Second, pundits and the news media really, really don’t want to face up to that awkward reality... [M]ost of the news media, and most pundits, still worship at the church of 'balance.' They are committed to portraying the two big parties as equally reasonable. This creates a powerful demand for serious, honest Republicans who can be held up as proof that the party does too include reasonable people making useful proposals. As Slate’s William Saletan, who enthusiastically touted Mr. Ryan but eventually became disillusioned, wrote: 'I was looking for Mr. Right-- a fact-based, sensible fiscal conservative.' And Paul Ryan played and in many ways still plays that role, but only on TV, not in real life. The truth is that his budget proposals have always been a ludicrous mess of magic asterisks: assertions that trillions will be saved through spending cuts to be specified later, that trillions more will be raised by closing unnamed tax loopholes. Or as the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center put it, they’re full of 'mystery meat.'"
Which brings us back to the awkward fact that Mr. Ryan isn’t actually a pillar of fiscal rectitude, or anything like the budget expert he pretends to be. And the perception that he is these things is fragile, not likely to survive long if he were to move into the center of political rough and tumble. Indeed, his halo was visibly fraying during the few months of 2012 that he was Mitt Romney’s running mate. A few months as speaker would probably complete the process, and end up being a career-killer.

Predictions aside, however, the Ryan phenomenon tells us a lot about what’s really happening in American politics. In brief, crazies have taken over the Republican Party, but the media don’t want to recognize this reality. The combination of these two facts has created an opportunity, indeed a need, for political con men. And Mr. Ryan has risen to the challenge.
Frank Bruni termed this The Republicans' Ugly Revolt and he seems fascinated that the GOP has something far worse in store for America than Paul Ryan's ascension to the Speakership. He's one of the few political writers who realizes the probably Republican presidential nominee is going to be the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy: Ted Cruz. The party establishment has nothing to say about it anymore and the base will not be denied this time. It's the twilight of the Republican elite. He points to the he ascendance of Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina as proof that the establishment has lost its grip, "a season of rebellion, as the chaos in the House of Representatives vividly illustrates. A consequential share of the Republican majority there have made it clear that they will not bow to precedent, not follow any conventional script, not have anyone foisted on them. No, they’ll do the foisting themselves." But how does this lead to the Texas fascist?
This isn’t a mere replay of four years ago, when Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum had their moments. They were middle fingers raised one at a time, in succession (even if Santorum was really more a pinkie). Trump, Carson and Fiorina are parallel, simultaneous phenomena, constituting a gesture of more profound rebuke.

I still don’t believe that any of them will be the nominee. Each has too many peculiarities and too big a potential to crash and burn. Carson seems to be on the verge of doing that right now.

But then who? If the electorate really is more defiant than ever, Bush is done. Scott Walker and Rick Perry are already gone. Voters, it appears, prefer someone brattier.

Someone like Ted Cruz.

“He’s perfectly positioned himself to own that space when Trump and Carson disappear,” said a Republican operative who is among the smartest analysts I know. “He’ll be a force to be reckoned with. I think that he has a very clear path to the nomination, as much as that horrifies me.”

This is a strange season, in which old rules and truths seem to be going up in flames. It’s a bonfire of the verities.

...Cruz is more like Trump, outrageous and unyielding, than like the governors. And in a radio interview on Thursday, he predicted that he’d inherit Trump’s supporters because he’d “stood up to Washington” and “taken on leaders” of his own party.

A day earlier in National Review, Eliana Johnson called Cruz “the most under-covered serious candidate in the race-- and the most underestimated.” Johnson noted that he’s a good fit for voters in primaries in the South, where he’s been diligently organizing and spending time.

In Politico, the conservative soothsayer Rich Lowry recently observed that Cruz, who is not yet halfway through his first Senate term, just needs “voters to become slightly, and only slightly, more desirous of political experience” and he’s “sitting pretty,” as the headline on Lowry’s column read.

Ted Cruz sitting pretty?

This could get even uglier than I’d feared.
Hard to imagine Tailgunner Ted in the White House? Who's going to stop him, Hillary Clinton? There is only one way: we, the people, a real mass movement.

Meanwhile... OMEN: the next generation of Paul Ryans is being produced right now:

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At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...crazies have taken over the Republican Party, but the media don’t want to recognize this reality."

Someday, people are going to recognize that the media is not about delivering information to the public. It is ONLY about ensuring that the corporatist message reaches the citizenry without any competition. It is, in Orwellian terminology, the Ministry of Corporatist Truth.

Frank Bruni and the twilight of the Republican elite: Not a chance! Corporatism has most of the Monopoly money and almost all of the government. There is no alternative but that they will continue to trot out stooges for We the People to select as our "leaders". Should this not deliver the desired results (as the attempted media blackout -if not overt disparagement- of Bernie Sanders is failing to keep his support from growing demonstrates), they will redouble efforts to suppress the non-GOP vote. I will not rule out efforts to eliminate all but the GOP as legal political parties in the US to prevent the loss of power if they believe they can pull it off.

"Conservative" elements have worked long and hard since they lost control in 1929 to restore their dominance devolved upon them with the end of the Civil War and the convenient death of Lincoln. FDR gave them their opening when he needed their support to get the war machine going in 1940. They hit the ground running, and have never once let up. They will not be denied their dreams of global dominance (see: Kennedys) no matter how many of us die in the process. It IS all about them only.

As for Ted Cruz, let's get real. SNott Walker was supposed to be the guy. Where is he now? Cruz isn't nearly as smart as SNott, and is less able to follow instructions from his Koch high. He will go down, with many "conservative" stilettos in his back.

What is much more likely is the GOP shatters in fragments, each of which attempts to take power. All the Dems have to do then is figure out which combination (including Bernie) has the best chance to have coattails. Considering the track record of the DNC and of Wasserman-Schultz, this won't happen.

The Dems will again snatch defeat from the slavering jaws of victory, and the nation will begin the process of Balkanization into hostile regions.


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