Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Will Paul Ryan Replace Boehner?

The Deal is even bigger than it appears on the surface. As the first break in two years of wall-to-wall Tea Party obstruction in the House of Representatives, it forebodes a new alignment there.

Paul Ryan, who ran for VP last year as a policy wonk and ended up exposed as an habitual liar, is now in line to pull the House GOP together as the next Speaker. Lying can be a disability one heartbeat from the Oval Office, but it’s part of the job description for a leader in Congress.

“It is clear that the conservative movement has come under attack on Capitol Hill today,” says a broadside from the hard Right, and John Boehner as Speaker in taking most of the heat for the deal with Patty Murray and the Democrats while Ryan is exempted from their anger.

All this suggests that Boehner’s two-year straddle of Tea Party zealots and saner GOP members of his caucus is approaching its end. Under the circumstances, it won’t be his even loonier Iago, Eric Cantor, who will be replacing him to pull the party together.

Would Ryan be any improvement? Judging from his performance this week, his ascension would be a step in the right (or center) direction. The man who gave up his life-long idolatry of Ayn Rand in a heartbeat has demonstrated some aptitude for flexibility.

“He has been a marvelous soldier in coming to this agreement,” enthuses a House Tea Party member.

The way things are going, it will be no surprise to see him leading the troops after Congress reconvenes early next year.

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