Random Thoughts About The Ryan Announcement

I was on the treadmill (ugh!) watching the news, when it was announced that Paul Ryan would not seek re-election.

Virtually all the talking heads, including former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, prefaced their reactions by noting that Ryan was a “policy wonk” who understood the economy.

Bullfeathers.

As Paul Krugman (whose Nobel Prize was in economics) has repeatedly pointed out, Ryan is an ideologue. A genuine policy wonk would adjust his economic prescriptions in the face of evidence they didn’t work; Ryan’s tax “reform” was a bigger version of the policies that have proved so disastrous in Kansas and Oklahoma. Rather than learn from those lessons, he doubled down. (It reminded me of the old communist sympathizers who explained that a communist system really would work–that Stalin just hadn’t done it right.)

It’s possible, of course, that Ryan isn’t a “true believer”–that his his tax “reform” was a return on his donors’ investment, and he’s not sticking around to suffer what he realizes will be the political consequences.

A couple of commentators reported that–despite all indications that his spine had simply been removed–behind the scenes, Ryan was critical of Trump and had been a restraining influence on our dangerous President. Color me skeptical; however, the remainder of Ryan’s term will offer an ideal test of that thesis. Since Ryan won’t be running again, he’s free to add his voice to those of the other GOP Trump critics (none of whom are running again).

If I were a betting woman, I wouldn’t risk my money on the likelihood of a Ryan eruption of moral outrage or defense of the rule of law.

In all fairness, Ryan didn’t want the job as Speaker, and for good reason. Thanks to the very successful national Republican gerrymander in 2011, the party won seats well in excess of its votes, but a significant number of those elected from districts that had been designed to be deep red were extremists determined to hew to a Tea Party/White Nationalist vision of America (and not so incidentally, intent upon forestalling primary challenges by candidates even farther to the right.) Estimates are that there are some 80+ members of the GOP’s “lunatic caucus” –and they feel no need to listen to the party’s leadership, which they scorn as the “establishment.” Herding cats would be simple by comparison.

Those of us who detest Trump and the feckless Republicans in Congress who have utterly failed to constrain him are tempted to cheer Ryan’s announcement. And I am certainly encouraged by its implications; without Ryan (not to mention the other 26+/- Republicans heading for the door) , it will be even more difficult for the GOP to hang on to its majority.

But there are six months between now and November, and Trump is increasingly unhinged. As Mueller’s investigation gets closer, as the legal and ethical lapses of his cabinet and cronies become public, and international events he clearly doesn’t understand pressure him to make decisions he is ill-equipped to make, he increasingly resembles a cornered animal.

A rational man would reach out to knowledgable people for advice, but Trump is not a rational man. He’s threatening to bomb Syria, to nullify the Iran accord, to start a trade war with China, and God knows what he’ll say or do when he meets with Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

As the rats desert his sinking ship, he’ll be perfectly willing to take us all down with him.

 

36 thoughts on “Random Thoughts About The Ryan Announcement

  1. Speaking of the man who Ryan replaced, John Boehner, is now a champion of legalizing marijuana. Miracles do exist when you’re not an auctioned off individual.

    Ryan will be richly rewarded in the “private sector” for jamming through his tax plan which did nothing but create a giant deficit on the backs of the American people while enriching the tax avoiders – donor class.

    The con will continue…

  2. “Virtually all the talking heads, including former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, prefaced their reactions by noting that Ryan was a “policy wonk” who understood the economy.”

    I am forced to agree with the statement that Ryan understands the economy; he fully understands that meddling in our paid into Social Security and continuing to pay into Medicare will result in dire consequences for those of us who placed our trust and our worked-for earnings into both. Just as he understands that the full consequences of what Trump’s “tax reform” will be once it settles fully in place and reaches out to effect all of us.

    He got his; we are left to our own devices…if there are any saving devices left to us.

    “As the rats desert his sinking ship, he’ll be perfectly willing to take us all down with him.”

    The copied and pasted comment above fits not only Trump; as we who are watching are well aware. Ryan’s bogus anti-Trump comments during the past 16 months or so do not distract us from his votes cast to support Trump. Regarding “…the likelihood of a Ryan eruption of moral outrage or defense of the rule of law.” Would we believe Ryan or our lying eyes…and ears?

    “Bullfeathers”, Sheila? Is that a dog whistle to some of us who posted on yesterdays blog as well as placating others? Just askin’ – lol

  3. Todd; regarding Boehner’s apparent turnaround, we know not what he has been about since leaving his position as Speaker. Could it be that he or a loved one has an illness which marijuana use would benefit and this new position is simply another self-serving move?

  4. Ryan’s decision was probably also influenced by the likelihood that he was either going to lose his seat or be SOH when the Democrats took over and he had to hand the gavel to Nancy Pelosi or equivalent. I also think he doesn’t want to be around when the sh*t hits the fan from the the “tax reform” and the duped start to slowly realize what has happened to them and the other 99% of the tax paying public. Maybe he’s reached a comfortable economic level and wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor for the Kochs; maybe he’s lost his faith in that weird conservatism he espouses. They ALL want to spend more time with their families when the end is near.

  5. dbert,

    I agree with your comments. I will add that for myself that I do not believe for one minute the “I want to spend more time with my family”. He had his whole adult life to do that and he didn’t because he was totally engaged in seeking power. Now that his pursuit is obstructed on all fronts he says he wants to pay some attention to his children who are near adulthood. Really?

  6. dbert,

    “They ALL want to spend more time with their families when the end is near.”

    The problem is what Sheila said: “As the rats desert his sinking ship, he’ll be perfectly willing to take us all down with him.” That’s you and me folks. This HORROR SHOW is turning out to be worse than being on the Titanic where there were at least a few lifeboats available.

  7. In preparation for our voyage on the sinking ship, I would strongly recommend viewing “The Caine Mutiny.” It can be rented for only $2.99 at Amazon.com.

    We need continued encouragement wherever we can find it.

  8. “Those of us who detest Trump and the feckless Republicans in Congress who have utterly failed to constrain him are tempted to cheer Ryan’s announcement.”

    We must ask ourselves if Ryan’s replacement can possibly be any worse? We thought we knew how bad things would be under Trump’s administration; it turns out we didn’t know squat! We do not even have a clue as to what he and his administration will do today…or in the next hour. We can be confident in the belief that it will be WRONG!

    Making some personal connections between federal and state economic situations regarding Trump’s “tax reform”. My Social Security increased $14; my Medicare premium increased $14 plus increases in co-pays while loss of some coverage. Last week my Indiana vehicle registration on my 22 year old Sunfire increased $15 due to the new Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Act; where is the money from the increase in the local gas tax which was designated only for road repair. Add in the fact that Mayor Hogsett requested additional assistance from the State to fill our hundreds of thousands of pothole – only in Indianapolis. This week I received my property tax statement with a 50% increase due to an unannounced reassessment of my 65 year old home in a low-middle class neighborhood where no City or individual improvements have been made. Or did someone tell the Treasurer’s Office I was forced to replace my 31 year old furnace, putting myself in debt for the first time in 25 years?

    Will Ryan get his way to reinvent Social Security and Medicare; to the benefit of no one who has paid into it for decades? Will Ryan’s “loss” be a “loss” or will it be like Trump’s election with some of us wishing for a reincarnation of Richard Nixon?

  9. @Todd and @JoAnn: Boehner is on record saying that he was “unalterably” opposed to legalizing marijuana … Money talks!

    Ryan used his father’s Social Security to get himself through college – and then closed the door behind him.

  10. “Since Ryan won’t be running again, he’s free to add his voice to those of the other GOP Trump critics (none of whom are running again).”

    I love Stephen King; have learned much from many of his books; in rereading one of them this morning I found a term that I believe fits the comment above. The term is, “crossing the Rubicon”; the meaning, did one make an irrevocable decision? Will Ryan actually not be running again or will he “walk back” that decision? CAN he “walk back” that decision? Eight months of Trumpism is a long time and much can and will happen. Or will he “cross the Rubicon” of adding his voice to other Trump critics and Trump will force him out? He has done that before but voted for Trump and against his earlier voiced opinions.

    Nothing is as it seems in this government and “that man behind the curtain” changes with regularity.

  11. Everyone has overestimated Paul Ryan from the beginning. He was also another con man, but not the lunatic type that was elected President. You won’t see Ryan rolling still balls around in his hand, but you WILL see him clutching his Ayn Rand novel to his breast.

    “It’s possible, of course, that Ryan isn’t a “true believer”–that his his tax “reform” was a return on his donors’ investment, and he’s not sticking around to suffer what he realizes will be the political consequences.” His tax plan, going back 20 years, was ALWAYS a hoax, but Republicanism, devoid of ideas, latched onto this plan for the oligarchs and made it their basic economic platform.

    Today’s Republican party is the most destructive, corrupt and backward organization in our history. They have no soul for the working classes and have no compunction about lying their asses off to get reelected. Ryan is merely another example of how easily people are conned and fooled by these very bad people.

  12. From the above >> Virtually all the talking heads, including former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, prefaced their reactions by noting that Ryan was a “policy wonk” who understood the economy.<<

    Not surprised at these comments they have scripts they read from rather than using their intellect.

    A scientist bases their decisions on known facts, not a wannabe belief. At one time humans wanted to believe the earth was center of the universe. This was reinforced by the theocracy. Galileo felt the wrath of the blind believers – the ideologues. So it is not a stretch that Ryan and others would put heir "faith" in a novel by Ayn Rand.

    Ryan was one of those selected by the 1% to carry the water for them and with the Trump-McConnell -Ryan tax cuts he delivered. Ryan will probably seek sanctuary and employment with a Koch Bros “think tank”, I place those words in parenthesis since a Rabid Reactionary Right Wing think tank is an oxymoron.

    The Trumpet (aka Agent Orange) is spinning off in all directions, with no personal gravity to center himself (except what is good for the Trumpet is all that counts) he flails around with threats and insults on twitter. Essentially, The Trumpet takes advice from no one since he thinks he is the smartest person in the world.

  13. Ryan can now “spend more time with his family” (and/or some lobbying firm) while enjoying a generous lifetime pension for his service to country, a pension he would deny others who have paid into our social security accounts into their sixties or beyond. Yes, he was a budget wonk, but not for the purpose of improving budget and debt management but rather how to take advantage of the process based on Ayn Rand principles, whose hard-right capitalistic views necessarily involved paying off the superrich in order to keep the good times rolling. (See Trump

  14. I enjoy all of the commentary from everyone, but Peggy wins the award for best comment ever.

  15. I had the pleasure of watching Megan McCain have a meltdown on “The View” yesterday after Ryan’s announcement. Even though she got married last fall, she shared that she had a crush on Ryan because of his conservative views. Puke. I hope the GOP shrivel up and die soon and a true conservative party actually comes back to join us to run the country. Eddie Munster (Ryan) has probably been hired by the Koch Brothers somewhere and will be spending the rest of his days doing their bidding. puke again.

  16. Mea culpa. I hit the wrong button. To continue > (See Trump’s recent tax atrocity).

    I think part of the reason he quit is because he got what he wanted – a 1.5 trillion dollar transfer of taxpayer money to his superrich donors who fund him and his party and because he couldn’t put up any longer with the pretense that we have anything other than a lunatic in the Oval Office. My biggest surprise comes with his timing; why would he voluntarily become a powerless lame duck for the next several months while awaiting the blue tsunami? Strange.

  17. What we’re witnessing with Ryan is the same old thing that’s been going on for almost 50 years of the Republican’s SLOW MOTION COUP……TWO STEPS FORWARD AND THEN ONE STEP BACKWARD.

    What happens next, the Democratic Party has a sigh of relief, mobilizes and plays the same song again and lets the Republican Party OFF THE HOOK which this time will allows Mike Pence to step in as the EVANGELICAL SAVIOR.

    What’s new? As usual, the situation will only become worse.

    MLK was right. The biggest problem is with the so-called LIBERALS.

  18. There shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth!… or so the republicans would have us believe. OY! Be gone already ya teabagger!!! that is my thoughts – of course there is the after thought that says ‘yeah, he leaves.., but WHO are they going to shoot for as a replacement? We have this November to contend with and all that goes in between. My best hope would be realized if we could come up with a government configuration that would allow us to PROGRESS beyond a reality show about a mob clown with misanthropic intent! and get back to being the United States of America?

  19. For several decades now oligarchs (how come even real news only uses that word referenced to Russian?) have been selling Rand Tea and it’s as addictive as opioids. Just think your job, from corporations, pays you money. Government on the other hand costs you money. Easy choice for folks including “policy wonk Ryan”. No more thought required. Rand Tea is like free opioids and the more you take the easier your life gets.

    What is wrong with those liberals tainted by the belief that we should do what the Constitution actually says obviously besotted by the ridiculous notion that there are no entitled classes of people.

    Short thinking is so easy and obvious. Long term thinking is so abstract and uncertain.

    This is why it took humanity thousands of years to think of liberal democracy and to enjoy the benefits for only 250 years before falling back on the opiates of the masses.

  20. Nothing will change for the good unless we CHAIN Mike Pence to Donald Trump. Just picture two criminals, both of them chained together as convicts, working hand and hand together.

  21. I was thinking of THE DEFIANT ONES
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Defiant_Ones

    The Defiant Ones is a 1958 crime film which tells the story of two escaped prisoners, one white and one black, who are shackled together and who must co-operate in order to survive. It stars Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier.

    In this case, the stars are Donald Trump and Mike Pence. If caught both deserve the same SENTENCE…….POLITICAL DEATH handed down from The Court of Public Opinion by a jury of their peers.

  22. Maybe the Tea Party/dark money lackeys in the House smell blood in the water and were ready to take down the Speaker and replace him with one of their own. Ryan may be immoral but his is not self-destructive. He is getting out with all of his chips and then some.

    Impeachment of both DT and Pence would leave us with the (as yet unknown?) Speaker to succeed to the office. It is like playing Russian roulette (no pun intended).

    In the meantime, Gorsuch is pushing the SCOTUS even further into the oligarch’s corner. Atlas may has shrugged in Ryan’s case (good one, Peggy) but Gorsuch may be picking up the mantle behind the scenes.

    The degree of hubris and downright condescending meanness gets worse every day.

  23. a lot of republicans are going home,,, seems their job is done,and now its time to reap the benifits of raping the poor and middleclass,working class,and whoever else that got hit… maybe the bloodbath is taking a new turn with,the radical fraction, the teabaggers..we may have only seen the begining…..now,after me, get out and vote…

    bumper sniker
    save America,
    boil a teabagger

  24. With all due respect to Mueller we cannot rely on him to be able to fix our election anomalies. We can only rely on our election power. Good Americans everywhere are girding their loins for the November races because the outcome is absolutely critical for the country.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

  25. I just hope we have a country left by November and into January. I wouldn’t be surprised that, after Trump starts his war, he suspends the election to retain warlord power over the country.

  26. JD,

    “Impeachment of both DT and Pence would leave us with the (as yet unknown?) Speaker to succeed to the office. It is like playing Russian roulette (no pun intended).”

    I didn’t say anything about impeachment. I’m talking about unmasking the deception that allowed for both, Trump and Pence to be elected to such positions of power.

    See http://www.TheAlarmReport.info for an example of how to kill “two birds with one stone”…….the Mayor of Dallas and her brother-in-law the powerful Democratic operative, Robert Strauss, in the Court of Public Opinion.

  27. Vernon,

    “I just hope we have a country left by November and into January. I wouldn’t be surprised that, after Trump starts his war, he suspends the election to retain warlord power over the country.”

    One thing for sure, you won’t have the luxury of “speaking truth to power” as is allowed on this blog. It will surely be under strict censorship as was the case in many instances during W.W. I.

  28. What Talleyrand said of the Bourbon royals is true of the GOP: They learn nothing and they forget nothing.

    Their chance to find their moral compass with regard to the short fingered vulgarian has long passed. And any blathering they may do now is not followed by any meaningful action to counter the incompetence, corruption, and flagrant disregard for the rule of law. We all think (hope) that a majority of them will finally act if (when) the vulgarian fires Mueller or Rosentstein to really kill the investigation. But I don’t think they will. We have a president who demonstrably has violated his oath of office, and who views the office as nothing more than just another means to line his own pockets. And the GOP congressional members appear to have no interest in their own oversight responsibilities.

    Ryan’s just another toady who’s running home, rather than staying to do what’s right in stopping the madness. If we don’t vote the GOP into oblivion in November, I don’t know that we’ll have the opportunity to try again in 2020.

  29. Liked your comments regarding Paul Ryan. Ryan was marketed to the media and the public as a numbers guy but his budget numbers never sense. The math never worked. He seemed to suffer blank zones in his logic.

  30. Two quick comments-

    I still dislike the term “polarization”. It gives the impression of two sides in the opposite end zones, while in reality we are fighting to see if we cross the 50 yard line. Radical Bernie is jut pushing FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, and perhaps a return of the War on Poverty that was inspired by Democratic Socialism co-founder Michael Harrington. Obama, whom I strongly supported, was still basically Center Right – even if he was way left of the current Republicans.

    As for Paul Ryan, he accomplished his goal (based, as noted, on his religious devotion to Ayn Rand). He got his tax cuts. He knows that he can’t accomplish part 2, but he hopes that by bankrupting the country, government will be forced to de-fund all enforcement of regulations, end social security and medicare (and medicaid), and perhaps even sell the post office. Then he will have achieved his Ayn Randian paradise.

  31. Ryan knows his seat could be up for grabs. There will be a sour taste in GOP supporters this November. Ryan will retire with 80,000 income for the remainder of his life. He’ll ride the talk shows and book train for another few years. We must elect officials who will change laws for Congress benefits to match the citizens they are serving.

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