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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Boy Wonder Set Up To Fail: Ryan Can’t Fix What Is Broken In The Republican Cabal

paul-ryan-speakerHis victory speech after becoming Speaker demonstrated that Ryan has no idea what he is getting into, and he is being set up to fail, because no one person can fix what is broken inside the Republican cabal.
During his speech, Ryan said, “Let me be frank. The House is broken. We are not solving problems. We are adding to them. I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean. Neither the members nor the people are satisfied with how things are going. We need to make some changes starting with how the House does business. We need to let every member contribute, not after they’ve earned their stripes, but now.”
Ryan wants the committees to take the lead in writing the legislation. Ryan said, “A neglected minority will gum up the works. A respected minority work in good faith. Instead of trying to stop the majority, they might try to become the majority. In other words, we need to return to regular order.”
Boehner made similar points when he took the gavel in 2010, “For too long – under Democrats and Republicans alike – Congress has been too closed and too insular. Both parties are guilty. I want to change it. I’ve wanted to change it for a long time. And now we have a chance to do it…Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort. I don’t have all the answers, and wouldn’t pretend to. I welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker, expert, or citizen about how we can make this institution function again.”
Boehner failed miserably, and the same forces that doomed the Ohio Republican are likely to take down Ryan.
Ryan is dealing with a caucus that isn’t united. The cabal doesn’t control the House Republican caucus because most of the members only have to answer to their donors. They reside in gerrymandered districts that are safe from any consequences. In short, House Republicans can do whatever they want with nothing to fear. They don’t need Ryan for fundraising, and since many of them occupy safe districts, passing legislation isn’t a priority.
House Republicans have no incentive to get things done, and Ryan has no power to make them do anything. Ryan has taken up an empty post that ironically, thanks to Citizens United, has no real power outside of committee assignments and controlling the House floor.
What is broken in the Republican cabal is that there are two or three parties operating inside the House Republican caucus. They will play nice with Ryan for a while, but old tensions will soon surface, and the same forces that sent Boehner running back to the Buckeye State will have their way with Ryan.

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