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Monday, November 10, 2008

Ryan Riding Political Winds Of Opportunity

Friday’s (Nov.7) Janesville Gazette hard copy front page article titled “Will Paul Ryan be next star for GOP” was the headline story of the day and attempted to help repaint the Congressman’s future as more of a policy maker and less of a leadership role within his party.
JG Excerpt:
Ryan announced Thursday he also won't be a candidate for House minority leader after being asked by colleagues to lead Republicans in the next Congress.
Though Ryan has been mentioned as a “rising star” in GOP politics by the likes of Robert Novak, Steve Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and of course myself, and has been a key player in the “Young Republicans” and other GOP hyper-partisan group-thinks, he's never taken a lead role. So this does not come as a big surprise.
JG Excerpt:
We need a house cleaning in our party, and we need a party that's going to go and tackle the problems of the American people," Ryan told Hume.
There’s something about that “house-cleaning” part Ryan wants no part of. Otherwise he would’ve taken that House minority leadership role. Obviously, I have no desire to see the Republican Party claw back to credibility, but like any deep hole, that would require a lot of hard work and courage.

Yet it appears, our congressman may have found a better way to reposition his career if he takes the advice from one of his local media enablers.
JG Excerpt:
Milam, of WCLO AM radio's "The Stan Milam Show," said Ryan might not want to languish in a Democrat-dominated Congress. Obama's Election Night speech, in which he reached out to those who did not vote for him, signaled that Obama would recruit Republicans for his administration, Milam suggested. "I can't think of a better Republican to be a part of that than Paul Ryan, who has demonstrated moderation and leadership in areas of finance and in the budget. There ought be place for him on that team," Milam said.
Milam has a point. After spending most of his career kowtowing to the Bush Administration and becoming a dependable party-line rubber stamp among his colleagues, Ryan would now find himself reduced to nothing more than an obstacle to progress by opposing the Democratic-led majority in Congress. He would find himself opposing the Obama Administration by as much as 90% of the time if history is correct. And what good would that do for his career?

Why the apparent and sudden change in his job security strategy? McCain lost. Certainly, President Obama has the prerogative to choose his own policy makers, but he must be careful not to choose those who might be viewed as career opportunists or those who might pose a threat to progressive legislation and reform.

But Ryan could prove to be of some value. His economic policies including those described in his legislative novel titled “Roadmap For America’s Future” are little more than corporate-laid booby traps designed to sell-off the U.S. Treasury and taxpayer interests to privatization. Although we are in the throes of a Bush/Ryan economy, Obama will still need to know what the wrong direction is policy-wise. Ryan can provide that with his novel.

It is in this regard that it’s beginning to look like Ryan has found greater opportunities to advance his career with the Democrats of all people, than any role his Republican comrades in Congress can offer.


RichE95 said...

I am one of those independents who voted for both Obama and Ryan. I voted for Obama because as General Powell said, he has the potential to be transformational. I voted for Ryan because, quite frankly, I agree with him on the issues. Ryan's plans are the most coherent and foward looking I can remember since Paul Tsongas. He would wind up being a forgotten token if he joined the Democrats. Better he follow the opportunities he has chosen. The future will catch up with him and he will then be ready to lead. If Obama truly is willing to reach across the aisle he can work with Paul Ryan through the congress.

Lou Kaye said...

Rich, I believe the story published by the Gazette is meant to paint Ryan as bi-partisan - not that he would join the democrats or the Democratic Party.

But Obama is now the go-to player here, not the other way around.

Representatives are just that - representatives. I'm far more concerned about the consequences of what his record has brought than on some plan for the future. That's one of the big problems with Republicans in my view - instead of letting the free markets and the natural human condition run its course unhindered - they've got a plan.

RichE95 said...

I never said Ryan would become a Democrat. I was referring the the Milam suggestion you mirrored that he go to work for Obama. The big problem with the Republcans was they forgot to stand for anything - be it earmarks or entitlement reform. They did not have the political courage to look ahead. It is easier to get elected by spending and promising now and then pass the bill to our grandchildren. Locally we have seen the result of GM and the UAW living for the present without regard for those who will follow. Paul Ryan, like Tsongas before hime, was not part of that type of thinking. Men like that dare to promote greater thought. We forget that in our form of government the legislative branch is responsible to craft the budget and form the legislation and policies for the long term. The Executive Branch is responsible for carrying out that policy at home while at the same time formulating the policy to defend us outside our borders. The President may suggest economic policy but the congress should formulate it. Paul Ryan is well placed to help do just that. Government is riddled with unfunded obligations which will make the current situation pale by comparison when the chickens come home to roost.

Lou Kaye said...

Your comment "He would wind up being a forgotten token if he joined the Democrats" seemed to convey the idea he might join with the Democrats and that would be mistake because he would languish in Congress. Milam nearly implies the opposite - but he doesn't go all the way. I understand.

But the president does have his own economic advisors whether members of Congress or not - Milam suggested Ryan try to jump on the president's team - since Obama said he will try to reach out to Republicans. Milam played with a lot of words also by describing anything less as to "languish."

It is my opinion Ryan is trying to lose some of his partisan reputation because the party brand is in the toilet. His media enablers make the case for him so Ryan now comes across as the "rising star" hot commodity.
The whole idea comes across as self-serving for Ryan's political future. Nothing less.

That's is why I wrote about it.

RichE95 said...

Understood. While Ryan has adhered to what would be considered Republican principals, I never considered him as a strong partisan. That was probably because his party leadership didn't adhere to those principals. I would guess his partisanship will be easier to measure with a Democrat in the White House. As usual, thanks for the discussion.

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