Sunday, March 26, 2017
When your career is all self-proclaimed
You really have to be careful about avoiding mistakes. Lyin' Paul Ryan Speaker of the House self proclaimed policy and budget wonk, has proved once again that Paul Krugman's assessment of Ryan as "a man whose fraudulence, lack of concern for those he claims to care about and lack of policy coherence should have been obvious to everyone" is spot on. This time his failure is great enough to actually damage the balloon man.
Less than 18 months after being elected speaker, Mr. Ryan has emerged from the defeat of the health care bill badly damaged, retaining a grip on the job but left to confront the realities of his failure — imperiling the odd-couple partnership that was supposed to sustain a new era of conservative government under unified Republican rule.No, they weren't there and probably never will be without a major replacement of the membership. Before that happens, Lyin' Paul Ryan may be the one tossed out as Fux Nooz's Jeanine Pirro has begun the calls for his head. Is this the beginning of his end?
So far, to the surprise of some close to Mr. Trump, the president has remained upbeat on Mr. Ryan, a frequent punching bag during the 2016 campaign and an ideological mismatch whose instincts informed the molding and selling of the health bill far more than the president’s own.
But after a humiliating defeat, which many Trump advisers are eager to pin on the speaker, Mr. Ryan is now tasked with defending not just his leadership abilities but his very brand of conservatism in a party fitfully searching for a coherent policy identity that can deliver tangible victories.
In this first fight, Mr. Ryan’s more orthodox right-leaning vision was co-opted only halfheartedly by Mr. Trump, who has few fixed political beliefs, in service of a bill the president never well understood, even as he laid on the superlatives in praising it. Now, Mr. Ryan must tug a ruptured conference toward future agenda items, like overhauling the tax code, made all the more difficult by this initial failure.
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll get blamed,” Representative Billy Long, Republican of Missouri and a vocal Trump supporter, said of the speaker as he left the Capitol on Friday, making clear he did not believe this would be fair. “He’ll get blamed for everything.”
The episode not only demonstrated an inability to honor a longstanding pledge that powered Republicans through a string of election cycles. It was also a remarkable setback for Mr. Ryan as the body’s principal arm-twister, in his first major test as the speaker under a Republican president.
In January, he coasted to re-election with almost unanimous party support, prompting allies to gloat that he had tamed the hard-line House Freedom Caucus far more deftly than his predecessor, John A. Boehner.
By Friday, his bill had at once alienated those archconservatives and more moderate members who abandoned the legislation as Mr. Ryan and Mr. Trump began caving to demands of the far right, to little effect.
“We were a 10-year opposition party, where being against things was easy to do,” Mr. Ryan said at a sheepish news conference shortly after the bill was pulled, adding with uncharacteristic candor that Republicans were not yet prepared to be a “governing party.”
“We will get there,” Mr. Ryan said, “but we weren’t there today.”
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