Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rand Paul Recognizes An Opportunity While Paul Ryan Blows His

by JASmius

Um, well, Paul Ryan WAS sounding like a Tea Partier.  Apparently the man can't read a calendar:

After sharply criticizing how it came together, Wisconsin-1 Representative Paul Ryan announced he would support the budget deal Wednesday.

“What I’ve heard from members over the last two weeks is a desire to wipe the slate clean, put in place a process that builds trust, and start focusing on big ideas,” Ryan said in a statement. “What has been produced will go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us....

Yeah - we gave up without even token resistance.  Again.  At least we're certain of it.

....and that’s why I intend to support it.

It’s time for us to turn the page on the last few years and get to work on a bold agenda that we can take to the American people.”...

One more capitulation for the road?  That's a great way to build confidence in a Ryan Speakership being a dazzling sunrise of openness and conservatism after the purported long, dark night of Boehnerism.  Couldn't he, though, have waited even forty-eight hours before spilling this?  It's not like he doesn't have a raptly attentive audience:

Some conservative Republicans have said they would carefully watch how Ryan votes on this package. North Carolina-11 Representative Mark Meadows, a Freedom Caucus leader, called on all Speaker candidates to oppose the bipartisan deal.

As the HFC has now officially done:

The House Freedom Caucus issued the following statement related to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, H.R. 1314:

“The latest budget deal continues the sad pattern of the past five years: a fiscal monstrosity gets negotiated in secret with Obama, (G)Reid, and Pelosi; the American people and their representatives get shut out of the process; and the bill is rushed through the House on short notice and without proper scrutiny or the ability to offer amendments. This deal is an affront to open, accountable, and limited government. It plunges our nation into debt to the tune of nearly $20 trillion, busts the spending caps enacted by Congress just a few years ago, perpetuates our looming entitlement crisis by pilfering money from Social Security, and contains budget and accounting gimmicks that are manifestly fraudulent. The House Freedom Caucus strongly opposes this deal and will vote against it on the House floor.”

The GOP has a 247-188 majority in the House.  Subtracting the thirty-eight members of the HFC takes that number down to 209, or nine votes short of a minimum majority.  Where, oh where, would John Boehner get those additional nine votes?  Probably from the 188 Democrats who will all line up in favor of HR 1314.  I'm sure that John-boy can scrounge up thirty more from his 209 non-HFC members,

Which is to say, the fix is in and always was.  Which is to say, the House Freedom Caucus is irrelevant.  And which is to say, Paul Ryan doesn't need to be supporting this f'ing bill.  And yet he's doing so before the Speaker election.

Or maybe he really doesn't want to be Speaker.

And yet, and yet, and yet....."

Wisconsin-1 Republican Paul Ryan election as House speaker was all but assured Wednesday as House GOP leaders voted to nominate him as Speaker behind closed doors.

The nine-term congressman faces a full House vote in public on Thursday, but that is a formality. The real hurdle had been the warring 247-member Republican conference which united behind him in the past week. If he is elected, Ryan will be one of the youngest speakers in history.

Will that be a formality now?  I tend to think it will be more like the Mangalores in The Fifth Element:

"If it's war they want, it's war they'll get!"

And then there's lone, little Rand Paul.  If you think the House Freedom Caucus is hopelessly outnumbered on HR 1314, you ain't seen nothin' yet:

“This is exactly the opposite of what every conservative Republican in America wants, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it,” the Republican presidential candidate told the Hill.

“I will filibuster it, I’ll delay it, I’ll shout about it. I’m going to talk about it until I’m tired of talking about it and until people wake up and say this is wrong for the country,” he added. …

Sorry, Rand, you won't live long enough for that, even with repeated rejuvenation treatments.  Not even if you were Lazarus Long.

“I think raising the debt ceiling with no limit is absurd, wrong, a recipe for unlimited spending,” Paul told the Hill following a campaign rally in Denver, a day before the third GOP presidential debate Wednesday night.

“I think busting the budget caps is exactly the wrong thing we should do,” he added. “We should use the leverage of the debt ceiling to try to get spending reform, not give up on spending reform.”

Indeed.  Unfortunately, since Senator Paul is physically incapable of sustaining a traditional filibuster indefinitely, the only other option is a procedural filibuster.  For which he'd need forty more votes.  And right now he  Maybe two, counting Alabama's Jeff Sessions.  And he'll never get to forty-one because there are forty-six Democrats in the Senate, at least forty-one of whom will line up behind HR 1314 just like their House fellow-travelers.

Like I say, the fix is in.

Difference is, Rand Paul will never be president and already has his Senate seat.  Paul Ryan does not yet have the Big Gavel,  And the only way he may get to touch it now is after his caved-in skull is found beneath it with the HFC's fingerprints all over the handle.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

UPDATE: The House Republican Caucus has nominated Paul Ryan for Speaker....202-45.

Prepare for battle, folks.

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