New at American Clarion: Disappointment in Paul Ryan Provides Clue to America’s Current Mess

Wilfred McClay of the University of Oklahoma best summarized the root cause of conservatives’ unpleasant choice for president this fall: “when a political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising essential topics, the electorate will soon turn to ‘unrespectable’ ones” like Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, the punditry remains slow to recognize this, and nothing symbolizes its cognitive dissonance more than the reactions to House Speaker Paul Ryan supporting Trump despite Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The past few weeks have been filled with fears and lamentations over the threat to Ryan’s standing as, Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes puts it, “the intellectual leader of the conservative movement in the GOP.”

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg sums up the sentiment in writing that it’s “more difficult for me to write than it should be” that Ryan’s “a disappointment”:

[P]hilosophically and temperamentally, I’ve long felt that Ryan is my kind of politician, and that judgment didn’t change after getting to know him (which is rare, given how most politicians are all too human). His vision for government’s role and the kind of party the GOP should be has always resonated with me, even if I didn’t agree with him on every policy or vote.

It should tell you all you need to know about the sorry state of the Right that disappointment in Ryan took this long for so many.

Read the rest at American Clarion.

New at Live Action: Why Aren’t WI GOP Leaders Fighting for Fetal Tissue Bill?

Disturbing news is coming out of Wisconsin, where Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is trying to lower pro-lifers’ expectations for a vote on AB 305, which would ban medical research from using fetal organs obtained from abortions:

Every time people say ‘I think that I have the votes,’ they don’t,” Vos said. “My job is to count votes for a living […] My job is to talk to lawmakers and to try to craft a compromise that can work in the long run that we can also make sure we explain to the public and do the right thing […]

There were many who said, look, let’s try to craft a bill that can address the issue but not go so much further. And some of those on the pro-life side have said they don’t want to compromise at all; they’d rather ban the research. I just fundamentally have an issue with that, which is why we’ve had that discussion in caucus and we haven’t found a consensus.

Vos has been dragging his feet on the legislation for months (GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he has reservations, too, while Governor Scott Walker is largely keeping quiet on the issue). In September, Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling said it was “very disturbing that the Speaker can’t find 50 votes out of 63 fellow Assembly Republicans all almost all of whom at least claim to be pro-life,” and the Milwaukee pro-life ads we reported on earlier this month were meant in part to pressure him to change his tune.

Read the rest at Live Action News.

How Awful Would Paul Ryan Be as House Speaker?

Let us count the ways:

  1. His Heritage Action and Conservative Review scorecards are 55% and 58%, respectively. That’s far worse than “imperfect”—Ryan’s record of standing with conservatives doesn’t even rise to the level of “below average.” It’s in F territory. I know liberals believe in rewarding failing grades, but are conservatives ready to join them?
  2. Ryan is an open-borders fanatic of the worst order, from sabotaging efforts to control immigration early in his career to championing the most recent amnesty bill, without regard for how utterly its border and enforcement provisions were proven to be fraudulent. Indeed, his immigration zealotry overrides his other supposed conservative principles so fully that he openly supports “guest workers” for the express purpose of relieving employers of the burden of having to offer Americans higher wages.
  3. Pro-lifers and marriage defenders can’t count on Ryan to have our back when it counts. He has repeatedly voted for budget resolutions that include funding for Planned Parenthood, supports unprincipled and unworkable “truces” on social issues, and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which threatened religious employers’ right to require adherence to a faith’s principles even when relevant to the position.
  4. The sole rationale for Ryan’s stature on the Right is his supposed fiscal seriousness, his reputation as the smartest adult in the room when it comes to getting spending under control. Thing is, even that is wildly overblown. For all the hysterics it inspired at the time, his 2012 budget plan would have actually increased spending by trillions over the next decade, left countless wasteful and destructive programs and agencies untouched, and wouldn’t have balanced the budget until 2040. Worse, a year later he joined forces with Democrat Patty Murray to sabotage one of Hill Republicans’ only substantive accomplishments in recent memory, the sequester budget caps.
  5. Apart from his budgets’ substantive deficiencies, Ryan has never been any good at selling his ideas to the public. The pattern is pretty simple: Ryan churns out a plan, does little to no work helping his fellow Republicans prepare a real campaign to make the case for it, leftists inevitably scream that it means the elderly dying and poor people thrown on the streets, and Ryan responds with wonkish technobabble that impresses political junkies who already know better but means nothing to the voters he needs to reassure. Shouldn’t the fact that he couldn’t even put away Joe Biden have been a red flag here?
  6. Ryan favors other terrible fiscal policies: TARP and the internet sales tax scheme known as the Marketplace Fairness Act.
  7. Here’s Ryan in 2013 saying “if we had a Clinton presidency […] I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now,” and here he is in 2014 saying Barack Obama’s repeated violations of federal law, separation of powers, and the Constitution “do not rise to the high crime and misdemeanor level”…just in case any part of you was still expecting Speaker Ryan to give the Left a real fight.