Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ryan's New Family

The GOP's circus to come up with a Speaker of the House reveals all we need to know about Paul Ryan- and about the last (nearly) seven years.

"I cannot and will not give up my family time," Paul Ryan claimed, soon before he decided he would lower himself to accept the job of Speaker, a position which would  require him either to give up that precious family time or neglect his responsibility to the Party. As an opponent of family leave, Ryan is, admittedly, a hypocrite, but hypocrisy is common. Instead, as Amanda Marcotte pointed out

this whole incident is a reminder that what is wrong with Ryan’s libertarian-inflected conservatism goes far deeper than mere hypocrisy. In fact, I’d argue that Ryan isn’t really a hypocrite at all, but that this move to preserve his family time is a perfect distillation of the Ayn Rand-constructed worldview he has, where all the goodies are reserved for the elite and the rest of us can go hang. And by “goodies,” I don’t just mean NFL tickets and first class plane tickets every weekend. Increasingly, the Republican worldview is one where even basic things like love, connection, and other basic human needs are being reclassified as privileges that should only be available to the wealthy.

Hypocrite or elitist,or both, the man from Janesville also a crybaby or at least hugely disingenuous (and boldly immodest, as earlier this afternoon, below).   Earlier this week, Speaker John Boehner led congressional leaders in crafting a bipartisan budget deal nearly certain to pass Congress and to be signed by Obama.  "I didn't want him to walk into a dirty barn full of you-know-what," Boehner informed reporters, "so I've done my best to try to clean it up." He cleaned it up for Ryan, a most generous gift,  yet the latter claimed

he hadn't seen the new bipartisan budget deal and that the secretive process used to craft it "stinks," but there's stuff in the bill that should smell good and familiar to him. 

One of its most important provisions makes changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, and some of those changes came from the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Social Security and which Ryan chairs. 

"Paul Ryan's staff was involved in crafting the provision for weeks," a Democratic aide told HuffPost. "His staff signed off on the provision, his staff also signed off on other key provisions" related to tax compliance and Medicare. 

Notwithstanding his dogwhistle to the House members who seem as radical as he himself is, Ryan will vote for the measure because he doesn't need his life to be complicated. But he will complain about it. And if you're looking to market land as "beachfront property in Arizona," give a call to Freedom Caucus member Raul Labrador, who thinks Ryan "shares the frustration that we do and he wants to do better and be different. I think we have to take him at his word and he is being sincere."

Labrador's group also has been unmasked, now that National Review reports that another of its members, Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, has written to Ryan a letter he promised to enter into the congressional record,and which memorializes the concessions made by the presumptive Speaker. National Review reports

I need your assurance that you will not use the Speaker’s position to advance your immigration policies . . . because there is a huge gap between your immigration position and the wishes of the American citizens I represent,” Brooks wrote. “Your words yesterday constitute the needed assurance. “If my portrayal of your words errs in any respect, please deliver to me . . . a written communication correcting my errorrs. 

Brooks delivered it directly to Ryan on the House floor and says Ryan called his office during a staff meeting less than two hours later, confirming the accuracy of his promises as stated in the letter. When reached for comment, Ryan confirms Brooks’ account. “I have long and publicly been opposed to the gang of eight bill, and there will be no comprehensive immigration reform under this president,” he tells National Review. 

"Under this President," the aptly-initialed P.R. (now PDR) maintains. After Barack Obama (A.O.), all bets are off because Obama won't be around  to be given credit. The benefits can go to President Rubio or whomever the Party nominates. Meanwhile, Obama gets no cooperation because it's not about policy, it's about Barack Obama, which is the full story of the last 105 months, full stop.

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