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Monday, April 04, 2016

GOP "Establishment": "Paul Ryan For President!"; Paul Ryan: "Piss Off!"

by JASmius

First, Karl Rove, now this guy.  Are they trying to stir the bleep, as it were, or actively lobbying for the GOP "establishment's" fingerprints to be affixed to the party's corpse after Trumpmania murders it, or - and this is the worst option of all - do they know something the rest of us don't?:

One of the nation’s best-wired Republicans, with an enviable prediction record for this cycle, sees a 60% chance of a convention deadlock and a 90% chance that delegates turn to Ryan — ergo, a 54% chance that Ryan, who’ll start the third week of July as chairman of the Republican National Convention, will end it as the nominee.

“He’s the most conservative, least establishment member of the establishment,” the Republican source said. “That’s what you need to be.”

Ryan, who’s more calculating and ambitious than he lets on, is running the same playbook he did to become speaker: saying he doesn’t want it, that it won’t happen. In both cases, the maximum leverage is to not want it — and to be begged to do it. He and his staff are trying to be as Shermanesque as it gets. Ryan repeated his lack of interest Monday morning in an interview from Israel with radio host Hugh Hewitt.

There is one other possibility, Mr. Allen - that Ryan really didn't want the Speakership, but John Boehner had quit, Ryan really was the only possible choice that could bridge "establishment" and Tea Partiers in the House, the majority party needed somebody to take the job, and there was nobody else.  Ryan took the gavel reluctantly, but he did understand and acknowledge that it made sense for him to do so in what was an unusual and, let's face it, emergency situation.

That template does not apply to the upcoming Cleveland convention.  Nobody has suddenly up and quit, requiring a replacement RIGHT NOW; Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have been running for the Republican presidential nomination for thirteen and almost ten months, respectively.  Between them they've earned 13,543,465 Republican votes to-date.  They're the last two candidates standing.  There is and will be no need for a "white knight" riding to the rescue of a deadlocked, contested convention.  The nominee should be, and will, be one of these two men.  Either Trump will get to 1,237 before the convention, or Cruz will get it on the second ballot.  Simple as that.

The idea that nine out of every ten Trump and Cruz delegates, after the jihad of the past several months, would bury the hatchet and close ranks behind the "establishment" choice  shall we say, "redefines" the term "delusional" by unimagined orders of magnitude:

[W]hy would delegates who favor Trump or Cruz ever support Ryan as a compromise choice? Trump is a protectionist and has sworn up and down that he won’t touch entitlements; Ryan is a free-trader and the most outspoken entitlement-reformer in the party. Cruz’s fans loathe the “RINOs” in charge of the party in Congress and detest poor deal-making with Democrats; Ryan’s the Speaker of the House and was savaged by the right for his 2014 budget deal with Patty Murray. A rare common thread between Trump and Cruz supporters is adamant opposition to illegal immigration; Ryan is notorious for his willingness to work with Democrats on amnesty....

Sketch me a scenario where Trump and Cruz delegates descend on Cleveland for a populist duel to the death in balloting and somehow end up steering around to Paul Ryan on the fourth ballot.....It can’t be overstated how absurd it would seem, after more than a year of populism dominating the primaries, for the guy who was “next in line” all along to be handed the nomination at the convention by establishmentarians after he didn’t even run. It would risk wrecking the party almost as surely as nominating Trump would. And really, why would Ryan even want it? If he could emerge from the convention with the party unified behind him, that would be one thing. As it is, with Trumpers deserting the GOP en masse after the nomination is “stolen” from him and Cruz fans enraged that Cruz’s tireless work to stop Trump was rewarded by having the nomination “stolen” from him too, the GOP would lie in pieces. Ryan would end up as a sacrificial lamb for Hillary, especially once she went to work on his record on entitlements.....How is this a good outcome for anyone? [emphases added]

It isn't.  Which is why it will never, EVER happen.  Because, and I'll say it again, no matter what y'all may think of the "GOPe", they're not stupid and aren't going to do anything that so clearly kneecaps their own self-interest.  And Mike Allen, and whomever his supersecret GOP "source" is, have clearly been paying way too many visits to Washington and Colorado. if you follow my meaning.

At any rate, the Speaker is not being the slightest bit subtle about his William T. Sherman-esque stance on challenging Mrs. Clinton in November:

HH: All right, now I want to turn to, you are going to be the chairman of our Republican Party Convention. I say our. I’m a Republican, for new listeners to the Hugh Hewitt Show at this hour, and longstanding member. I’ve always been an activist. You’re the chairman of the convention. You told the Times of Israel I decided not to run for president. I think you should run if you’re going to be president. I think you should start in Israel and run to the tape. I get that. But you are going to be chairman, and there is quite a lot of talk about Rule 40B. Do you think the rules of the 2012 Convention ought to bind this convention, Mr. Speaker?

PR: You know, I don’t know, that’s not my decision. That is going to be up to the delegates. I’m going to be an honest broker, and make sure that the convention follows the rules as the delegates make the rules. As you probably know, the Rules Committee meets the week before the convention. I believe it’s two delegates from each State and territory, about 112 people....

HH: That’s correct.

PR: …who’ll set the rules, and I’m not going to make an opinion or a judgment one way or the other, because it’s their decision, the delegates’ decision, who are the grassroots of the party, by the way. It should not be our decision as leaders. It is the delegates’ decision. So I’m not going to comment on what these rules look like or not. But I do believe people put my name in this thing, and I say get my name out of that. This is, if you want to be president, you should go run for president. And that’s just the way I see it.

HH: So you’re not the fresh face that Karl Rove was talking about?

PR: No, I’m not the fresh face. [Laughter] I’m not that person. I’d like to think my face is somewhat fresh, but I’m not for this conversation. I think you need to run for president if you’re going to be president, and I’m not running for president. So period, end of story. [emphases added]

Sounds airtight and unequivocal to me.  In essence, "If you guys make a mess at the convention, don't ask me to clean it up".  And if the "establishment" was loony enough to try this stunt, and Ryan turned them down, who else could they parachute in?  Mitt Romney?  Howard Baker?  Who?  Certainly not anybody the remotest bit "populist," or else what would be the point of the "intervention"?

My vote is for the "bleep-stirring" explanation above.  If Mike Allen did everybody the courtesy of identifying his "GOP source," I'm sure that would remove all doubt.

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