Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Are Congressional Republican Extremists Getting Ready To Fuckitol Up?


I wonder if Ryan wishes he hadn't screwed Hueslkamp over and caused him to lose his reelection bid by reneging on his promise to reappoint him to the House Agriculture Committee. Now the House Freedom Caucus is ready for war against Ryan. Next year there's a good chance poor Paul Ryan-- who just wants to be left alone so he can try to pass his silly BetterWay think tanks gibberish off as a 2020 or 2024 presidential platform for himself-- will have to deal with two years of a Democratic Senate plus a Hillary presidency and a Trumpanzee Media Empire, likely to be pushing a breakup of the GOP. And on top of that the Freedom Caucus wants his head hanging on their club house wall in the basement of Tortilla Coast.

This morning, Matt Fuller, writing for HuffPo, reported on the looming showdown between Ryan's Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party and the extremists who forced out Boehner and Cantor. He asserts they probably can't oust him but they could deny him a first ballot win that "would undermine his political future and cast him as a conservative pariah... and may give conservatives leverage to enact rules changes that would help them push their agenda for years... That there is coup chatter at all, however, suggests Ryan’s relationship with conservatives is already fraying, less than a year into his speakership."

Fuller interviewed 8 rebel congresscritters, all too frightened to go on the record. This one sounds like it could be Justin Amash or Mick Mulvaney: "The only leverage any Republican member of the House has for getting rule changes is the speaker vote."

House Freedom Caucus members are discussing four major proposals, though the talks are in early stages and haven’t gained formal backing. Their ideas include increasing caucus representation on committees, bulking up subcommittee staff with hard-liners who could be groomed for election, allowing the GOP House campaign arm to collect contributions for the Freedom Caucus that could be directed to conservative candidates, and clarifying rules-suspension votes.

Ryan’s re-election as speaker could be greatly complicated if Republicans lose more than a dozen seats on Nov. 8. Republicans currently hold 247 seats in the House, with 218 votes needed to win the speakership (if every member votes).

One conservative noted that nine Republicans opposed Ryan’s election to speaker in October-- technically 10, if you count Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) abstaining-- and at least that many would be against him in January. Another conservative predicted more than 20 Republicans would disapprove of Ryan.

...[I]f there were 40 Freedom Caucus members in a 240-Republican majority, caucus members would get one-sixth of the GOP seats on committees.

Another Freedom Caucus idea is to allow subcommittee chairs to pick the staff for their panels. The conservative goal is for subcommittee chairs to select hard-line Republican staff members who would create a bench of potential candidates for the future, in addition to giving the subcommittees more independence and power.

The House Freedom Caucus also wants the National Republican Campaign Committee to set up a separate account to accept Freedom Caucus donations. The caucus could direct those donations to candidates of its choosing. The Freedom Caucus also wants to end an informal requirement that GOP committee and subcommittee leaders contribute to the NRCC.

Finally, Freedom Caucus members want more transparency on bills brought to a vote under rules that are suspended. They want to know what rules are suspended, and who voted to suspend them.

These rules changes, on their face, all are long shots, according to a GOP leadership aide. But one conservative said his allies hope to be able to extract concessions by opposing Ryan.

“But they better get a better promise than Huelskamp got on committee assignments,” the member said, referring to conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who just lost his primary, in part, because of uncertainty over whether he would return to the Agriculture Committee.

Huelskamp’s primary loss in early August seems a major part of Ryan’s worsening relationship with conservatives. Freedom Caucus members said Ryan could have done more to prevent outside groups from spending millions to defeat one of their own.

One HFC member said Ryan came into the speakership promising to try to stop establishment GOP groups from going after conservatives.

“In a way, it’s only accelerated under Ryan,” the member said... Conservatives, nevertheless, are looking for payback.

“How can you have a gang, and have one in your gang get stabbed, and do nothing?” another member asked. “You got to stab somebody, or else what’s the point of having a gang?”

As Congress works through spending decisions this fall, and an election that may be disastrous for Republicans, conservatives said other members may be more willing to go after Ryan in January.

One member suggested researching Robin Williams’ joke on a fictitious prescription drug the late comedian called “Fukitol.”

“After this Nov. 8, I think there’s a lot of members who will be taking Fukitol,” the member said.

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