Boehner Did More for Fiscal Conservatism Than Ryan

House speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama attend the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon in Washington DC, March 17, 2011
House speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama attend the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon in Washington DC, March 17, 2011 (Speaker of the House)

What a disappointment Paul Ryan has turned out to be.

The Republican congressman from Wisconsin, who leaves the speakership of the House of Representatives — and politics — early next year, was hailed as the last best hope of fiscal conservatism in the United States, but in fact his much-reviled predecessor, John Boehner, did more to shrink the deficit. Read more

Ryan Joins Exodus of House Republicans

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference National Harbor, Maryland, March 3, 2016
Republican House speaker Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference National Harbor, Maryland, March 3, 2016 (Gage Skidmore)

Axios reports that prominent Republicans are fleeing Washington DC.

House speaker Paul Ryan is the latest to depart, announcing on Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in November.

About a dozen committee chairmen are giving up their seats as well.

There are two reasons for the exodus:

  1. The expectation that Democrats will win a majority in the House.
  2. Frustration with President Donald Trump. Read more

How Can Ryan Possibly Believe Trump Should Be President?

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan answers questions from voters at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 15, 2012
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan answers questions from voters at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 15, 2012 (Lacy Landre)

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan made headlines on Monday when he said he could no longer defend Donald Trump, his party’s presidential nominee.

But it didn’t take long for commentators to point out that Ryan hadn’t withdrawn his endorsement. So we have the spectacle of the most powerful elected Republican in the country saying he can no longer “defend” his party’s nominee while still supporting the same person to become president of the United States.

Hypocritical? Of course. And for those of us who had high hopes for Ryan, it is profoundly disappointing as well. Read more

Ryan’s Excuse for Supporting Trump Is Embarrassing

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan meets with religious leaders in Washington DC, March 2
Republican House speaker Paul Ryan meets with religious leaders in Washington DC, March 2 (Bread for the World)

House speaker Paul Ryan announced on Thursday that he would after all vote for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Ryan, the most powerful elected Republican in the country, refused to endorse Trump last month, even after the businessman’s two remaining rivals had suspended their presidential bids.

He had also broken with precedent during the primaries to criticize Trump when the latter proposed to temporarily bar all Muslims from entering the United States. “[This] is not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for,” Ryan said at the time.

Now he maintains that he has “more common ground than disagreement” with Trump.

Ryan writes in a local newspaper in his home state of Wisconsin that private conversations with Trump have convinced him that the New Yorker would support his legislative agenda as president.

Which, if he’s honest, either means Ryan has changed his mind on major issues or Trump told him something different in private than what he says in public. Read more

Ryan Has Long Way to Go to Restore Trust in Politics

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan meets with religious leaders in Washington DC, March 2
Republican House speaker Paul Ryan meets with religious leaders in Washington DC, March 2 (Bread for the World)

Paul Ryan has a long way to go if he wants to restore civility and trust in American politics.

The Republican House leader implicitly criticized many in his own party this week for playing to voters’ fears and undermining their confidence in the institutions of government.

Ryan called for a more confident America, one in which “we question each other’s ideas vigorously, but we don’t question each other’s motives.”

“People with different ideas are not traitors,” he said. “They are not our enemies.”

You wouldn’t know it listening to some of the louder voices on the right. Read more

Republicans Overpromised (And Some Know It)

Republican congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin delivers a news conference in Washington DC, April 5, 2011
Republican congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin delivers a news conference in Washington DC, April 5, 2011 (Republican Conference)

Joshua Green suggests at Bloomberg Politics that there may be a realignment going on inside the Republican Party. Mostly working-class voters are fed up with the broken promises of a Washington “establishment,” he argues, and rallying behind presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump who each in their own way promise to radically shake up the system.

Cruz and Trump between them command the support of just one in two Republicans nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls. Neither man is likely to win the presidential nomination, let alone the presidency.

In the end, more reasonable, middle-class voters will almost certainly decide the general election and probably the Republican nominating contest as well. They always have.

But their control is slipping. Read more

Republicans Push Back Against Trump’s Pessimism

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan answers questions from voters at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 15, 2012
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan answers questions from voters at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 15, 2012 (Lacy Landre)

Listen to their presidential candidates and you may be forgiven for thinking America’s Republicans see only doom and gloom on the horizon. But there are party leaders with a more hopeful message. Read more