Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Three Days To Decide

The GOP has reached an important crossroad.
They have a choice. They can continue to focus their efforts on a strategy of obstruction and opposition as they have for the past seven years. Or they can exercise their control of the legislative branch to offer proposals that move their agenda and the country forward.

“Opposition” or “Proposition.

That is the choice that Paul Ryan gave the Republican caucus when he agreed to allow his name to be placed in consideration for Speaker of the House.

Ryan gave his caucus until the end of the week to decide.

Ryan has no interest in the speakership. He is content to spend his time doing the only job he ever wanted…chairing the powerful Ways and Means Committee. But the Party needs him because apparently he is the only one who can unite their fractured caucus.

So after several days of deliberation Ryan has thrown his hat into the ring. But he did so with conditions: that the party would unite behind him…that it would move from being a party of opposition to one of proposition…that it would change the current rules that allow one disgruntled member to set into motion the process to unseat him…and that he would not give up any of his family time. If the caucus found these “requests” agreeable then he would gladly serve.

He gave them three days to decide.

It didn’t take Ryan’s detractors three days to voice their opposition to his candidacy. Ryan had barely left the podium when a number of conservative media outlets joined several members of the party’s Freedom Caucus in blasting him. “King Ryan!” “Obama’s New Partner!” In the eyes of the far right Paul Ryan is not a true conservative.

For the record…Paul Ryan is a very conservative politician. His views on taxes, entitlements and social programs would make any progressive ill.

But Ryan is also a pragmatist. He understands that we have a two party system of government and that you need to find common ground across the aisle in order to move the country forward. You are never going to get everything you want. Compromise is the key. In Ryan’s eyes engaging in opposition and obstruction to the extent that it hurts the party and the country is not an option.

I agree with very little of Paul Ryan’s policy agenda. But I support his nomination for Speaker of the House. Paul Ryan is one of the few adults in the Republican caucus. He is one of the few conservative lawmakers that actually wants to govern and is willing to find common ground to get things done. In my view he is the clear choice to get our government working again.

There is a great deal at stake here. We are in the middle of the general election season. Maintaining control of the legislative branch is critical to moving the conservative agenda. The Oval Office is there for the taking. The deadline to raise the always controversial debt ceiling is November 3. The government will once again run out of money on December 11.

If the GOP can coalesce quickly around Ryan it will end much of the internal chaos and put the party on firm footing moving forward. If Ryan is defeated chaos and dysfunction will rule once more.

Opposition or Proposition!

They have three days to decide.

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