Will Paul Ryan Leave The GOP To Twist In The Wind?

Will Paul Ryan Leave The GOP To Twist In The Wind?

Now that the GOP’s Congressional leadership has been thrown into absolute chaos — first by Speaker John Boehner’s resignation, then by Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from the race to replace him — new scrutiny has turned to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Paul ryan may be the only guy who can muster enough votes

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., stated on Thursday that Ryan is probably the only member of the House who could pull together the 218 votes necessary to win the Speakership. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., expressed a rather wistful opinion when he said:

“To me, just speaking as one member, the smartest kid in the class is Paul Ryan. If I had one draft choice and I was starting a new country, I would draft Paul to run it. Not because I agree with him on everything, but because he’s super, super smart. And when someone is super, super smart and is not interested, that tells you something. It tells me a lot.”

And therein lies the rub — Ryan has made it abundantly clear that he’s not interested in becoming the Speaker of the House. To emphasize the point, he was scheduled to nominate McCarthy at the beginning of Thursday’s meeting to elect a new Speaker. But then Majority Leader McCarthy dropped the bomb that he wasn’t running.

As shocked Representatives emerged from the hastily dismissed meeting, Ryan lost no time in reiterating his disinterest:

“Kevin McCarthy is best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision. Now it is important that we, as a Conference, take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership. While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate. I continue to believe I can best serve the country and this conference as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

Why wouldn’t someone be interested in the top leadership position in the House? As Gowdy’s statement indicated, the job is increasingly not worth having. The Republican Party is fractured by infighting between insurgent conservatives and more ‘old-school’ politicians who have some inkling that compromise is the art behind successful governing.

ryan wants a bigger playing field for his devastating changes

Beyond that, however, are the higher ambitions that Ryan holds. First of all, as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, he has huge programs under his jurisdiction like Medicare, Social Security, and the tax code. Ryan has one eye on the sweepingly destructive changes he could make should a Republican somehow — against mounting odds — win the White House in 2016.

The day before the current drama unfolded, Ryan explained:

“I’m a policy guy, so I think I can do the most good for the country at Ways and Means. It’s the job I always wanted, and it allows me to focus on the issues that are really important for our future.”

His other eye is no doubt on the White House itself, where he could do even greater damage to the country. Having already run for Vice President in 2012, Ryan obviously would accept the challenge of higher office, and eagerly. Where better to act on his dearly-held, fiscally conservative policies?

The Speakership, at least at this point, is a dead-end for someone with further aspirations. Whoever holds the job next will experience what Boehner suffered — the frustration of gridlock and a diminishing reputation. In spite of how much some of us would love to see Ryan self-destruct, he’s smart enough to see the danger that lies along that path.

So will Ryan ‘rescue’ the GOP from the absolute mess they’ve created? Fat chance. Current speaker John Boehner also issued an announcement after McCarthy’s withdrawal — an announcement that relieves the pressure. He said:

“[I] will serve as Speaker until the House votes to elect a new Speaker.”

Who knows when that will be? Boehner could continue as ringmaster of the three-ring circus for a very long time — or at least until the election of 2016 relieves the GOP of any further leadership role.

Feature photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

Deborah Montesano is a writer and political activist, who has just been freed from decades of wandering in the Arizona desert. She is now stunned to find herself actually living in progressive heaven — Portland, Oregon. READ MORE BY DEBORAH.

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Deborah Montesano is a writer and political activist, who has just been freed from decades of wandering in the Arizona desert. She is now stunned to find herself actually living in progressive heaven — Portland, Oregon. READ MORE BY DEBORAH.

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App