PAUL RYAN: SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FOR NOW.
Friday Apr 15, 2016
Today is the deadline established by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 for Congress to have passed a budget resolution. That Congress hasn't passed one is by no means a precedent. It's a difficult process for a non-binding result. But it's big symbolic deal, one that both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would be their highest priority. But the difference this time around, with this round of failure, is how we got here.
Let's start with the president's budget, and the Republicans' unprecedented refusal to hold a hearing on it. No matter how ugly things ever got between President George W. Bush and Nancy Pelosi's House or Harry Reid's Senate, they respected the office of the president, the process, and the fact that it was their damned job to do it.
Then there's the utter chaos that has descended in the House, leading to stories like this:
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are about to blow through a statutory deadline to pass an annual budget, a major embarrassment for Speaker Paul Ryan that raises questions about his stewardship of the House despite his high profile on the national stage. […]
"You know me, I want to pass a budget," said the Wisconsin Republican, his party's 2012 vice presidential nominee. "I think we should pass a budget and we're still talking with our members on how we can get that done."
Yet success looks unlikely as the same tea party lawmakers who ousted Ryan's predecessor, John Boehner, rebel against a bipartisan spending deal Boehner cut with President Barack Obama last fall before leaving office. "It's better to do no budget this year than a bad budget," Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said in an interview, echoing the sentiments of many conservatives in the House. Boehner himself, despite his troubles with the hard-liners in his caucus, met the budget deadline each of the five years of his speakership.
The Heritage Foundation is going to have more sway with Ryan than any old Congressional Budget Act, because Ryan—like McConnell—is more beholden to the extremists than to the Constitution. His continued coddling of the maniacs in his conference is all the proof you need: "'The general feeling of the Freedom Caucus members is not only that Speaker Ryan has given them an honest hearing, but that he's done the same for the Tuesday group and everyone in between, and that's all you can ask for,' said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)."
He's making the Freedom Caucus happy at the expense of actually governing, and people are starting to notice. Ryan has been able to skate along so far on his unearned reputation as a policy wunderkind. Now he's in a position of actually having to lead, and he is setting himself up for a spectacular fail, which spells the end of the honeymoon.
NOTE: From the gitgo – i.e. when the Freedom Caucus ousted John Boehner (R-OH) – I could never figure out why it was that Paul Ryan (R-WI) figured he could somehow navigate the swamp doodle cesspool that is the Tea Bagger wing of the House of Representatives. Did he think that because he was younger, better looking and didn’t use bronze tan products that he would be more acceptable to the Freedom Caucus? How silly! No, Paul, you aren’t going to get any slack from the Freedom Caucus. After all, they were elected to make sure that the government would not function (they’ve been exquisitely successful) even with a Republican majority because they simply do not believe in government even though it's gubment that’s paying their salaries, providing their health care, giving them less than 100 work days each year and generally providing what could be described as a socialist existence. But, Congressmen Ryan, you won’t ever hear these fools say anything remotely like this truth. No. You see, they are still pissed that John Boehner (R-OH) was unable to make sure that Barack Obama wasn’t a one term president.
So as far as reality goes, you are really just chopped liver!