Let us count the ways:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Ryan favors other terrible fiscal policies: TARP and the internet sales tax scheme known as the Marketplace Fairness Act.
- 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.