Paul Ryan: Democrats' beard
With enabling Republican chumps acting precisely with the fiscal abandon of Democrats, what's the difference? Who needs any of them?
In Paul Ryan's acceptance speech as new House speaker, he said: "But let's be frank: the House is broken. We are not solving problems. We are adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean." In light of his budget-busting deal, what has he done other than become the very problem he castigates?
No doubt, the average American had hoped that statement signaled new leadership, but what it has resulted in is predictable crybaby Boehner-like capitulation. Same as the former speaker's political expediency, another budget deal has been struck, with Democrats forestalling the threat of a government shutdown and debt default until September of 2017. At the time, Mr. Boehner claimed he was "cleaning the barn," but what has Mr. Ryan done other than step in it with both feet while simultaneously kicking the can down the road? The old Washington adage of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" is in full holiday display.
Mr. Ryan's Washington-insider "clean slate" double-speak was cheap political theater – lip service given and just as quickly forgotten. Likewise is his already tiresome clichéd excuses like "we played the cards that we were dealt with as best as we possibly could." Mumbling such platitudes, Mr. Ryan's floor-averted eyes and new, impressive peach fuzz lay bare what he is: a feckless political poser. He looks like an errant teenager caught speeding and wrecking the American public's new Porsche. That Porsche is our faith, dashed once again, in our elected representatives to act like responsible adults with the country's purse strings.
How exactly in Mr. Ryan's policy-wonk brain does adding $2 trillion in deficit spending to the nation's $19-trillion credit card – $9 trillion and counting under Mr. Obama – equate to two bills reflecting "Republican priorities" as he laughably claims? What Mr. Ryan got for his "deal" was domestic oil export tokenism in line with the glass beads Native Americans got for "selling" the island of Manhattan to the white man. In return, "junior" gave up the store:
- Funding for Obamacare and Planned Parenthood remains in place.
- An overall increase in domestic spending beyond previously hard-fought "sequestration" caps.
- Mr. Obama is free to bankroll U.S. resettlement of 10,000 unverifiable Syrian refugees and others from terrorist hotbeds.
- The largest spending on renewable energy in history, and extensions of critical tax credits for solar and wind energy production.
Clearly, the best interests of the American people are all but forgotten. What happened to the public's need for safety from potentially radicalized Islamic foreigners? Where is the fiscal responsibility of adding trillions of debt at interest to the nation's tab? Moreover, what about the long-term future economic solvency of the Republic with such unchecked and habitual overspending? These issues require making politically unpopular choices that Republicans don't have the stomach for. (Is it any wonder that establishment Republicans scratch their heads in collective confusion at the Trump phenomenon? Get a clue: this is why.)
In any case, when this unpopular deal is expected to pass due to Democratic majority of votes (a violation of the so-called Hastert rule, in which a speaker has pledged to call up only legislation that has support of a majority of the majority party), something is foul in the political process.
"We feel good about the outcome. We succeeded," gloated White House press secretary Josh Earnest. With Mr. Obama and his minions openly crowing victory – when the opposing party technically has control of both chambers of Congress – something is very wrong indeed.
Obviously, Paul Ryan has shown his true colors. And, like every insulated, tone-deaf politician, his actions indicate that his stay in Washington, D.C. has been far too long.
David L. Hunter is on Twitter and blogs at davidlhunter.blogspot.com. He has previously been published in multiple in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, FrontPage Mag, and extensively in Canada Free Press, and American Thinker.