Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paul Ryan Elected Speaker Of The House

by JASmius

Well now....this is anticlimatic:

[House] lawmakers on Thursday elected Paul Ryan, a conservative Republican who helped steer budget and tax policy in Congress, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, seeking to end months of political disarray.

That have doubtless already resumed.

The nine-term congressman from Wisconsin-1 - who had said he would take the most powerful job in Congress only if divided Republican factions would unify behind him -- earned a majority of votes in the 435-member chamber.

Here was the vote tally:

Vote Breakdown for Speaker’s Race Ryan: 236 Pelosi: 184 Webster: 9 Jim Cooper:1 John Lewis: 1 Colin Powell: 1

Colin Powell?  Never mind.....

Color me....well, not astonished, but significantly surprised.  After Ryan jumped the gun on endorsing his predecessor's budget capitulation yesterday, I was sure the House Freedom Caucus would angrily man the barricades, deny Ryan the magic 218 threshold, and escalate the GOP civil war.  This has to leave the Republican majority feeling like it just dodged a cannon shell.  I know that's how I'd feel right now in their shoes.

But it won't last:

[T]he personal jubilance and high expectations felt by Mr. Boehner, who was elected in a sweeping Republican takeover of the House in 2011, have been replaced with a grim recognition that Mr. Ryan’s ascent stems not from electoral victory but rather the chaos in the ranks of his party’s sizable majority. …

The test for Mr. Ryan will be whether he can manage, perhaps even blunt, this wing of the House Republican conference, or if he too will fall to its members’ intransigence. He had warned members that while he would take their concerns about process seriously, he would not brook dissent that would undermine his ability to lead them.

In other words, a leader cannot function when those he leads are holding a gun to his head.  It has to work and flow both ways, not Boehner's heavy-handed autocracy or the HFC's hostage-taking.  Ryan's promised return to "regular order" should, one would think, go a long way toward mollifying House Tea Partiers' "intransigence" (or what my friend Mr. Gibbs whimsically calls the "cavalry," no matter how Little Big Horn-esque it comes across).

Since he is handling the anti-Ryan side of the analysis, I will share with you what another of Ryan's predecessors, Newt Gingrich, foresees under his fledgingly Speakership:

Paul Ryan is the youngest speaker of the House in a hundred years, former Speaker Newt Gingrich noted Thursday, and he believes Ryan's tenure will mark a shift in the House that will be quickly noticed.

"Last night, you had two forty-four-year-old candidates for president, and the other party, in their debate, had five really old people," Gingrich told Fox News' Outnumbered program. "Think about how the shift is occurring, and how different it is."

He told the program that "Ryan is the best policy developer" among House Republicans, and has been working since 2008 to create a pro-growth legislature....

Gingrich said the House is "in transition" and reflects the politics of outsiders like GOP candidates Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz.

"This whole turmoil in the long run will lead to a much more open House with a much younger leadership that is really trying to solve problems," said Gingrich. "The Senate is going to be interesting to watch because the Senate, as it should be under our Constitution, is a much slower institution with many more blocks against change."

In other words, Mitch McConnell will no longer have Boehner as a buffer against the Tea Party's "intransigent" wrath.

But the change won't happen overnight, he emphasized, and Ryan will have to play catch-up to build his team.

"He is so smart and so engaging that I have zero doubt over the next six or eight weeks you will see a totally new tone in the House, a much more open House," said Gingrich.

Which won't be quick enough for the HFC, I'm guessing.

"The Ryan speakership, I think, will be very historic."

It can be - if Tea Partiers allow it and give Speaker Ryan a fair shot.

Exit quote from the new Big Gavel-holder: " “We are all in this together....The people look at Washington, and all they see is chaos; what a relief it would be to see us get our act together!”

Couldn't have put it better myself.

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