We were promised something different.
When House conservatives forced the resignation of former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), House leadership quickly settled on Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), one of Boehner’s cronies, to fill his old role. Resistance to that notion built, and when McCarthy idiotically labeled the Benghazi Committee an effort to “get” Hillary Clinton, he was done.
Then the establishment brought forth its biggest gun: Paul Ryan.
I worried from the outset that Ryan would simply follow in Boehner’s footsteps: that he would be a nicer face for the same old useless go-along-to-get-along policy. Now that worry has been justified. In the middle of the Republican debate, in what can only be termed a massive news dump, Ryan presented a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill that gives President Obama everything he wants. As Breitbart News reports, Ryan’s bill funds President Obama’s executive amnesty, it funds sanctuary cities, it funds Obama’s refugee resettlement programs; furthermore, it funds Obamacare, it funds Planned Parenthood, it funds Obama’s climate deal in which the United States sends cash to poor countries over fake man-made global warming, and it busts down spending limits. The Obama White House has already announced its support for the deal, with Jennifer Friedman of the Obama team stating, “The president’s team is still reviewing the text of the omnibus, but it appears to meet the priorities the president outlined first at the beginning of this year.”
What were Ryan’s big wins? He delayed the medical device tax and taxes on Cadillac healthcare plans under Obamacare – both of which make it more likely that Obamacare is here to stay, since both unpopular provisions have now been mitigated by a Republican Congress. Ryan also sneaked in a provision lifting a ban on oil exports. Well, yay.
How about Ryan’s supposed pledge to hear his critics and open up the amendment process? Nope. According to The Hill:
The powerful Rules Committee, which decides how exactly a bill will be structured on the floor, rejected a suite of amendments from the House Freedom Caucus that focused on a range of topics, from national security and abortion to environmental regulations. Ryan even refused to take on Democrats over strengthening screening for refugees from Syria and Iraq, since Obama had threatened to veto any bill including such measures.
Republicans won’t vote for this.
So Ryan begins his tenure by ramming through a bill with mostly-Democratic support. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) lectured Republicans for not joining the vote, explaining, “The vote that hurts our Conference is the no vote from a Member who hopes the bill passes, but relies on others to carry that load. That vote isn’t fair to the Members who shoulder the responsibility of voting yes, and it isn’t fair to the Republican Conference as a whole.”
Pathetic and disgusting. Want to know why conservatives reject the Republican establishment? This is why. The pathological insistence by Republican leaders that they know best for the conservative base – their avowal that they knew best when it came to John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, their pronouncement that if conservatives only supported Republicans in 2010 they’d stop Obamacare, their asservation that if conservatives handed Republicans victory in 2014 they’d stop Obama’s executive amnesty – means nobody trusts them anymore.
This has ramifications for the presidential race, of course. The same people who love Paul Ryan now say that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is the only man who can beat Hillary Clinton; they say we should trust Rubio on immigration. The same people who love Ryan despise Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who they say doesn’t work well with others in the Senate.
Well, folks, it turns out that most conservatives don’t want someone who works well with current Congress, because Congress has a nasty habit of caving to the left repeatedly. Unwittingly, Ryan has underscored just why Trump and Cruz voters ought to stay out of the Rubio camp. The Ryan-promoting establishment’s endorsement could be the kiss of death for Rubio’s candidacy.
One thing is certain: those who promoted Ryan as a sea change from John Boehner got it wrong. Ryan’s got the same philosophy Boehner did: until Republicans control all branches of government, they can’t do anything to stop the left’s agenda. Funny, the left never thought that about George W. Bush.