Paul Ryan’s goodbye spells trouble

A decent man steps aside in the tradition of a citizen legislator

The Paul Nehlen wing of the Republican party should be happy. To this noisy group of never-satisfieds, Paul Ryan was the problem, not the answer. Their reward could very well be U.S. Rep. Randy “The Iron Stache” Bryce. Say hello to ObamaCare on steroids, make-work jobs, and More Free Stuff.

Paul Ryan: Not pure enough. Not sufficiently mean-spirited. Temporized on supporting the would-be strongman, Donald Trump. A constitutional check and balance. Except Donald Trump now realizes how important, and effective, is Paul Ryan.

Wing nuts

Paul Nehlen and supporters

To segue a bit: you may have noticed that China’s leader is lowering tariffs on American goods and promising to respect intellectual property. We’ll keep looking for mainstream media credit to Trump but have found none so far.


ISIS is near extinction. Trump is rattling Putin’s cage for the poison gas attack in Syria. All the Leftward news media can talk about is Mueller and the porn star.

Is Alan Dershowitz the last civil libertarian remaining on the Left? The federal government raids the office, home, and hotel of a private attorney. Here is Dershowitz at The Hill:

I believe we would have been hearing more from civil libertarians — the American Civil Liberties Union, attorney groups and privacy advocates — if the raid had been on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer. Many civil libertarians have remained silent about potential violations of President Trump’s rights because they strongly disapprove of him and his policies. That is a serious mistake, because these violations establish precedents that lie around like loaded guns capable of being aimed at other targets.

Leah and Paul

Paul Ryan with Leah Vukmir

How much of Ryan’s announcement this morning, long rumored, is cold political calculation? Personally, it’s got to be a factor. Had election 2018 shaped up as a cake walk, we think he runs.


Given those headwinds, we do believe the over-riding factor was, as Ryan says, spending more time with his family. That is the kind of man he is. No, your Squire does not know him personally. But he is close to those who are close to the Speaker. The man is grounded.

Which makes the unhinged haters on both the Far Left and the Far Right the more to be pitied. 

Has the pendulum swung?

It is supposed that state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will try to fill Ryan’s void. But Republicans must play catch up. Rick Esenberg says, via Facebook: 

  yet another data point that says Republicans should be very worried about the fall. My own sense is that the reason there is a blue wave is a reaction against the populist turn in the GOP. I don’t know that you can overcome that reaction by doubling down on it. Focus on the economy like a laser beam. Find issues that, unlike trade, don’t tear apart your base and roil the markets.

Legislation is a tough slog. At a minimum, a leader of the U.S. House of Representatives must corral at lest 218 poobahs into a common course of action.  Each of them is independently elected and answerable to no one except their constituents in the next election. That is our system. It is designed to restrain runaway legislation, thank God. 

Democrats are running on Trump/Walker hatred. That is what elected Rebecca Dallet to the state supreme court. A Democrat House will impeach Trump because that is the sum and substance of their programme. 

The Senate, on the other hand, is shaping up as more Republican. The NY Times says Tammy Baldwin is the most endangered Democrat. (“Democrats need to win 28 seats to control the Senate. Republicans need only 9.”)  Too many Democrats in Trump states must play defense. And Trump is more popular, not less popular, these days. 

Tim McCumber notes: “In February, Paul Ryan will be in Janesville while Nancy Pelosi will still be in DC.”

That’s the problem with Republicans; we have very few lifers. 

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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16 Responses to Paul Ryan’s goodbye spells trouble

  1. old baldy says:

    A family member that works on the Hill predicted Ryan’s departure several months ago. Their reasoning was he wanted out for several reasons: Ryan never wanted to be Speaker and let that be known; Ryan isn’t alone in being sick of the disrespect trump has shown for anyone that doesn’t pay daily homage to the trump altar; the effects of the tariffs are really going to hurt WI industry and ag; and I think this is most telling – Ryan and others (Flake, Corker, et al) don’t want to be the party in power when things go really, really bad, like a shooting war with Russia or NK.


  2. richard lesiak says:

    So the rats jumping ship continues. Ryan leaving. Another R from Fld. named Ross pulled the plug today too. Paul finally got all his rich friends a big tax cut (no one talks about the big spending increase with it), he has 10 million in the bank and will get out before the poop hits the blades with frumpy. It doesn’t get much better than that. I agree with you on one point (cough gag) that his election would not have been a cake-walk. The blue wave is coming and Paulie is moving to higher ground.


  3. AnonyBob says:

    Dave, I believe I told you some time ago that Ryan wouldn’t be running, for the reasons Baldy cites. “Spending more time with his family” is laughably cliche. No politician ever said it and meant it literally, literally. What he really means is: “I’m out. I don’t want be the leader that took the majority to the minority. Trump and The Freedom Caucus make this job miserable and impossible. There’s also a very good chance I’ll lose my reelection. I’m starting my search for my next job before all the other GOP losers clog the pipeline.” If it was true he wanted spend time with his family, why did he wait until his kids were teens, when they don’t want to spend time with their family? As for his replacement, Vos is a priss with plenty o’baggage, whose record doesn’t exactly scream “populist.” Legislative leaders don’t make good candidates for higher office. Legislative legerdemain means squat to voters. Just ask Governors Chvala or Loftus. Say hello to Congressman Stache.


  4. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    No, what’s really laughable is the notion that Ryan is quitting before he loses. He may not have been able to keep a Republican majority, and consequently the speakership, but there was nobody saying he would lose in November. The seat was his if he wanted it, period.Now they’re all claiming credit for “predicting” his withdrawal, but that was telegraphed months ago and required no foresight whatsoever.

    If Baldy or Bob knew Paul Ryan half as well as they pretend to, they would not be mocking his statement about spending more time with family. Paul Ryan may be the only person in the world to say that and mean it. He only accepted the speakership on the condition that he be allowed to fly home every weekend rather than raise money for other Republicans as most speakers are asked to do. As for “Congressman Stache,” I believe he’s more likely to join Chvala and Loftus as a not-ready-for-prime-time-player.


    • old baldy says:


      I made no claim to “know” Ryan, you made that up. Re-read my comment and see for yourself. Just take a look at all the retirements on the Hill. Those folks are scared of the future; of getting beat, of being the majority that became the minority; and of being in power when things go really, really bad.


  5. dad29 says:

    Too many Democrats in Trump states must play defense. And Trump is more popular, not less popular, these days.

    Yet Esenberg–a Libertarian–suggests that ‘populism’ is poison for Pubbies.


  6. AnonyBob says:

    “And Trump is more popular, not less popular, these days.“
    A Morning Consult poll last week found 54% of registered voters disapproved of Trump’s performance, while 41% approved. (I suppose that’s an improvement from being in the 30’s.) More important, 41% strongly disapproved, while only 19% strongly approved. Yep, Trump is a great motivator. For the Dems.


    • madisonexpat says:

      What office is he running for?


      • AnonyBob says:

        He never disbanded his campaign committee and has been raising money for it been since day one of his presidency. But what’s that got to do with how people view his performance?


  7. Tom Paine says:

    Good riddance. Paul was a RINO from day 1. He never would support or allow The Wall. He’s an open borders guy. In fact, his budget deals reflect his views as a closet Democrat. That said, I doubt anyone with a perspective like those in the Freedom Caucus will replace him. No matter, bloated budgets forever; more cheap talk about conservatism, and millions more illegals to enter the Dim Party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnonyBob says:

      Wrong, Paine! He’s no RINO, just a spineless hypocrite. Cut-n-Run Ryan made his career on eliminating the deficit. His legacy? Adding $1 trillion to it with tax cuts for his benefactors, not for his constituents. (Enjoy your tax cuts now, Dave & Splat, because they’re disappearing in the future.) Your party SO deserves this.


  8. madisonexpat says:

    ABob is still enjoying his quality of life since the last election I see. Ryan is the Washington Party. Doubtless he’s a good man as evidenced by his departure. Trey Gowdy is another example. They’d win re election if they wanted.
    The fight is not between gridlocked parties, it is between Washington DC and us.
    Trump hatred, open borders, repeal the 2nd Amendment, raise taxes? That’s the ticket.
    Why vote for Tammy Baldwin? Well, she hates Donald Trump, that’s why.


  9. madisonexpat says:

    Interesting to note that Trump haters are Ryan haters were GWB haters and Reagan haters. I perceive a pattern.


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