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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Conservatives Continue To Miss Paul Ryan's Point

by JASmius



It can no longer be mistaken as mere misunderstanding; it is only describable as deliberate, overemotive, fratricidal obtusity:

Conservative activists, angry with several aspects of the spending bill, are already mounting a primary challenge against Ryan, reports the Washington Times....

<eyeroll>

....just months after he was overwhelmingly hailed as the one lawmaker who could unite the House's factions.

Which he has (see below).

Tea party groups and pro-life activists in Ryan's home state feel betrayed by the spending bill, which averted a government shutdown after it neither blocked Barack Obama's plan to allow at least ten thousand Syrian refugees into the country or defunded Planned Parenthood.

Neither of which was going to happen without the leverage that the omnibus fait accompli and the proven impracticability of government shutdowns as a GOP tactic denied them.  The irony of which is that Tea Party groups and pro-life activists damned well know it and refuse to admit it in favor of indulging in what they perceive to be "punching down".

"There is a sympathetic ear to having someone beat him," said James Murphy, founder of the Green Bay Tea Party, one of the groups hunting for a conservative candidate to take on Ryan in the next primary.

A fool's errand and a waste of time (and a....betrayal, perhaps?)  that will accomplish nothing, even if it could succeed - which it will not.  But it's their time and resources to waste, I suppose.

As I reasoned with an "angry" friend on Facebook yesterday and on the air this afternoon...:

There is something to be said for learning not to stick one's hand on a hot oven burner twice. "Once bitten, twice shy" as the saying goes. First, you don't know that the "establishment" didn't try; I think they did, and what they got is what they got. You seem to be falling for the same old Tea Party fallacy that trying "hard enough" equals succeeding. You could also call it the Yoda Fallacy - "Do or do not; there is no try". If only it were that simple. Second, the House Freedom Caucusers aren't griping and complaining; Mark Meadows complimented Paul Ryan for working with them in this process, and Justin Amash outright said he's giving Ryan the benefit of the doubt. So are they all now "complicit" as well? Third, are you not effectively arguing for another government shutdown, even though it has been demonstrably proven that that tactic does not and never does work for the GOP? Is it not better to not waste time on failed tactics and concentrate on fixing the process so that it doesn't wind up in these crisis fiascoes where they're out of time and the Democrats have all the leverage? And does that not shift the onus away from Paul Ryan and onto Mitch McConnell to nuke the filibuster and take away Harry (G)Reid's ability to keep the process subverted?

The reply to the first argument was a conspiracy theory about leftwingnut "infiltrators" into the GOP.  The reply to the second point was to simultaneously duck it and throw the House Freedom Caucus under the bus (despite their unified vote against the omnibus bill), which merits high difficulty points for a man with serious back problems.  The third argument was met with a curious riposte about Republicans needing "better messaging," which is noteworthy only in the sense that that is the excuse the Democrats usually make when they lose national elections to cover up their having fielded an inferior candidate with an unpopular message.  In the case of the omnibus and any shutdown showdown, messaging could have little if any effect, because it would not change the power and propaganda facts "on the ground," as it were: Congress was once again out of time as a result of Senate Democrat obstructionism, the government had to be funded, and Democrats once again had Republicans over a barrel.  Paul Ryan couldn't have changed any of that.  Daniel Webster couldn't have changed any of that that.  Ted Cruz couldn't have changed any of that.  Hell, Ronald Reagan himself couldn't have changed any of that.  Charles Xavier, sure, but telepathy is not among the Speaker's powers.  That's why he grew the beard, I imagine.

What's dismaying about this crazy nonsense apart from its "biting off one's head to spite one's face" self-destructiveness is that it has the same look and feel as the online "debates" I used to have with libs twenty years ago when they started "going 'round the bend" in the early Clinton years.  You could no longer have any give and take on points and substance; it became all sneering and talking past one another.  That's something I long since came to expect from lefties, which is why, after a decade of it, including five years on the staff of RepublicanForum.com, I finally had my fill of the crapola and moved onto the blogosphere.  Now I see the same misguided-morphing-to-arrogant mentality, well, "infiltrating" not just my own party, but from a "conservative" direction to boot, seeking to make enemies of allies and on increasingly spurious grounds that undermine conservative credibility.

Case redundantly in point:

Breitbart.com, for example, proclaimed that "Paul Ryan Betrays America," reports the Hill, while conservative commentator Ann Coulter said he is ready for a challenge in the primaries.

This is the same woman that is all but throwing her panties at unwitting Donk mole Donald Trump's feet, remember.

And even Ryan's new facial hair is under attack from Twitter users, who call it his new "Muslim beard."...

In the slightly modified words of Yoda, "Strong with the Stupid, this one is".  I've never been tempted to punch a fellow conservative in the mouth; that might do it.  Though two extended middle fingers might suffice.

Radio talk show hosts have been pounding Ryan. Laura Ingraham called him a "declared enemy of the base," said the Hill, and Mark Levin called him "already a disaster," complaining about a provision in the package to increase visas for former workers.

Further, Rush Limbaugh said the GOP has sold the country "down the river," through the funding bill and other issues.

Yeah, let's talk about (national) radio talk show hosts for a minute.  What does it say about that heretofore  broadcasting "pantheon" that the best thing that can be said about them is that they're too craven to tell the truth and the facts of political life to their evidently irrational audiences for fear that they'll take a ratings hit?  A conclusion I cannot logically avoid after having had to turn off Rush Limbaugh six months ago after the "King of Conservatism" became a rather shameless shill for a self-proclaimed "Republican" presidential candidate who is a flamboyantly obnoxious synthesis of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin.  The other, less flattering, alternative is that they're all as tetched in the head as (some of?) their listeners appear to be.

Here, by the way, are those facts of life: The last time the conservative grassroots shivved the GOP "establishment" was nine years ago, on very similar (and on a much smaller scale) grounds.  They vowed to "teach the GOP a lesson" by staying home in the 2006 midterm elections.  And so they did.  The result?  Because politics is a zero sum game, Congress passed back into Democrat control.  What lesson did the party learn from the conservative grassroots?  That they couldn't rely on the conservative grassroots and had, therefore, to compete for a more moderate base.  So the party moved left, nominated the archenemy of conservatives, John McCain, for president in 2008, and fumbled the White House into Barack Hussein Obama's waiting, grasping hands.  That disaster brought us the stimulus (the trillion dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, executive-ordered cap & trade and Obamnesty, the Obama Doctrine, a world dissolving into chaos and flames, a culture losing its mind, and so on.  All because conservatives wanted to "teach the GOP a lesson".

I'm reminded of what Agent K said to James Edwards (eventually Agent J) in Men In Black:

Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know....tomorrow.

And Tea Partiers know that if Paul Ryan had just "fought hard enough," or did his Ted Cruz impression, he could have brought home their entire wish list along with the heads of Obama, Pelosi, and (G)Reid on spikes as trophies of war.  Because of his "Muslim beard," of course.  Imagine the "lesson" they'll "teach the GOP" this time, and the even more horrific consequences that will follow.

I'd prefer not to imagine that.  I'd prefer that we learn from recent political history instead of repeating it.  But then I am not willing to give up and capitulate to cynicism and despair (i.e. "throwing up my hands" and quitting) like (some?) TPers who have sadly convinced themselves that folding their proverbial tent like a K-Mart deck chair is a principled act of halo-polishing courage and defiance.

To those conservative brothers and sisters I appeal for reconsideration and the seeing of reason, because I cannot and will not ride shotgun on the doomward path you're taking back to political irrelevancy.  You will walk it without me.

And, it appears, without the House Freedom Caucus as well:

But in the House itself, the feelings are a little more understanding. While hardliners are disgusted by the measure, and all the Freedom Caucus members voted against it, the same conservatives say the top-line funding levels were set by Barack Obama's budget deal with Boehner. [emphasis added]

And McConnell.

"I think most Freedom Caucus members hated the omnibus product but acknowledge that Speaker Ryan could only do so much within the parameters that he had to work with," one caucus leader told the Hill. [emphasis added]

Gee, what do you suppose Tea Partiers "know" that Freedom Caucusers, who were actually part of the omnibus negotiations, do not?

In other words, stop demanding miracle-workers, understand and accept how politics works and what is actually achievable, stop blowing your own feet off, get back to the real world, get to work, and start "Fight!  Fight!  Fighting!" smart as well as hard, my Tea Party friends.  Oh, and get it through your heads that you need the "establishment" if you ever want to advance the conservative cause you claim to believe in.

And besides, if Paul Ryan fails to deliver "regular order" and we get another omnibus train wreck next year, you can always still put his severed head on a spike and "teach the GOP a lesson".  That always works.

1 comment:

Dale Day said...

Lengthy but a very informative post.

As stated, Ryan got the best with what he had to work with. So, lets give him a year to see if he can do what he says he will.