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Paul Ryan Accepts Obamacare as Law, Throws GOP a Life Line

Paul Ryan... he's back and ticking off Tea Party colleagues in the House.

Paul Ryan… he’s back and ticking off Tea Party colleagues in the House.

PERHAPS Rep. Paul Ryan saw the AP poll blaming Republicans for the shutdown. His op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lays out a plan to “end this stalemate” that has President Obama’s poll numbers plummeting with everyone else in Washington, but makes no mention of Obamacare.

An excerpt of Paul Ryan’s plan to “end this statement”:

The two political parties have worked together on entitlements before. In 1982, Social Security’s trustees warned Congress that the program would go bankrupt within a year. If it had, seniors would have seen an immediate cut in their benefits. Instead, Congress passed a package of reforms—the most important of which was an increase in the retirement age. Because Congress phased in this reform over time, there were no budget savings in the first five years. But through 2012, the savings were $100 billion. In the next 75 years, Social Security’s actuaries expect that these reforms will save $4.6 trillion.

[...] Reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code will spur economic growth—another goal that both parties share. The CBO says stable or declining levels of federal debt would help the economy. In addition, “federal interest payments would be smaller, policy makers would have greater leeway . . . to respond to any economic downturns . . . and the risk of a sudden fiscal crisis would be much smaller.”

This isn’t a grand bargain. For that, we need a complete rethinking of government’s approach to helping the most vulnerable, and a complete rethinking of government’s approach to health care. But right now, we need to find common ground. …

“Rethinking of government’s approach to health care” acknowledges that Obamacare is the law. That’s a very big problem for Tea Party cranks. It is, however, a step forward for the Republican Party itself.

John Podhoretz’s name was said in vain today by Rush Limbaugh for writing from the reality based center of what is now Republican exile. From “Suicide of the Right”:

But Republicans look considerably worse. And for the Right, the Republican Party is the only game in town.

This is what my fellow conservatives who are acting as the enablers for irresponsible GOP politicians seem not to understand. They like this fight, because they think they’re helping to hold the line on ObamaCare and government spending. They think that they’re supported by a vast silent majority of Americans who dislike what they dislike and want what they want.

From David Frum, who delineates what mistakes cause political parties to become “ineffective,” the path to failure, not to mention the inability to win national elections. This particular mistake deserves to be at the top of the list:

Habit 4: Collapse of leadership.

The Republicans have always been the more disciplined of America’s two political parities, and today they still are. But whereas before, discipline used to flow from elected leadership down, today it flows from factional leadership up. An aide to Sen. Mike Lee told the National Review: “The minority of the minority is going to run things until our leadership gets some backbone.” The Lee aide was specifically referring to the Republican minority in the Senate, but the language has broader implication. According to Robert Costa, a well-sourced reporter at NRO: “What we’re seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power … The outside groups don’t always move votes directly but they create an atmosphere of fear among the members [of Congress].” Large organizations are inherently vulnerable to capture by tightly organized militant tendencies. This is how a great political party was impelled to base a presidential campaign on the Ryan plan—a plan that has now replaced the 1983 manifesto of the British Labour Party as “the longest suicide note in history.” It’s the job of leadership to remember, in the words of Edmund Burke, “Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.” That job is tragically going undone in today’s GOP.

Conservatives and Tea Party cranks don’t like it, but Rep. Paul Ryan has attempted to show leadership in today’s Wall Street Journal. He is offering what David Frum writes is missing. Because of his conservative cred, he also offers a life line to House Republicans who know that the current course is set for collision.

If Republicans were smart they’d grab it, but they’re not these days, preferring to court the crazies who follow Limbaugh and Hannity, the right-wing ideological extremists who own the shutdown and have further demolished the Republican brand.

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9 Responses to Paul Ryan Accepts Obamacare as Law, Throws GOP a Life Line

  1. Ga6thDem October 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Ryan’s economic plan is inoperable but at least he, like you say, realizes that the GOP is in deep doo doo and is trying to mitigate the damage.

    • Taylor Marsh October 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Oh, absolutely agree about his budget plans.

      Establishment/elite/SANE Republicans simply have to start taking the Tea Party cranks on and challenging them.

      Following the Limbaugh/Hannity talk radio crowd is simply INSANE.

      • Ga6thDem October 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

        I’m hoping sec shows up and regales us with his tales of what is going on in talk radio. LOL.

        • Sandmann October 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

          Heads are a ‘splodin!

      • Solo October 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

        Insane is what the GOP does!

    • Solo October 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

      It’s not working! The GOP is now in full retreat!

  2. PeggySue October 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    And the screechers were out in full force demanding Ryan’s head. You know there is a serious problem when even a Paul Ryan fails the Purity Test. He did not mention the requisite Obamacare ransom. Therefore, he is a weasel, surrendering to the enemy.

    And according to one Republican Congress Critter only the French do that.

    Where do they find these people? Under rocks?

    • Ga6thDem October 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      There is some kind of stupid gene that attaches itself to the GOP. CNN did a piece on the voters in my district (Legitimate Rape Phil Gingrey) and either CNN happened to find the most stupid people in my district (there are a lot of them so apparently not hard) but these tea party supporters are absolutely the most selfish idiotic people anywhere. One person even said that the shutdown was hurting her business and she was gong to lose money but she wanted it continue anyway. Honestly, these people deserve for their business to go under if that’s how they think.

  3. newdealdem1 October 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    I truly do not understand these people. What the hell is it that they want?

    One of their own let this slip the other day.

    ““We’re not going to be disrespected,” said Congressman Stutzman during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    These people are beyond political parties. As Peggy Sue says they are “ideologues” not loyal to any person or party or human being. They are beyond reason. They are loyal to an idea or a thought in which people play no role.

    Here are some definitions of “ideologue” from “Merriam-Webster” online

    “an impractical idealist”
    “blindly partisan”
    “fanatic”
    “zealot”
    “militant”
    “true-believer”
    “maniac”
    “junkie”
    “cultist”

    Used in sentences:

    “As long as there are ideologues controlling one side of the aisle, legislative compromise is out of the question.”

    “The revolutionaries proved to be impractical ideologues who had no idea how to run a country.”

    These “Tea Party cranks” (Taylor’s word which I find very appropriate) don’t have a freaking clue what they want, or what the consequences of what it is they wish for. And, haven’t a worry in the world (or, so they seem to pretend they don’t) about the harsh outcome of their game-playing.

    I am still of the mind as I said several nights ago, being part of the business community up close and personal in my work life, I cannot see how they will not stop these moronic, know-nothing, mindless ideologues who profess loudly and proudly their ignorance about almost everything, I cannot see how the business community (whatever all of us think of them) will let this economic disaster happen. Self-survival and greed are powerful things and will reign in madness every time. Even the beyond greedy, Koch Brothers (menace to our country who along with many others planned the GOP shutdown) love their money/power more than they love unintended financial chaos so will pull the emergency cord on the Tea Party. These vermin have already jumped ship.

    I wonder if Paul Ryan is part of the GOP group selected by Boehner to meet with President Obama tomorrow.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong