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Paul Ryan: New Leader of the GOP

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:42 am - April 29, 2011.
Filed under: 112th Congress,Leadership,Noble Republicans

To the consternation of Roger L. Simon, whose guest I was on Pjtv on Election Night 2008, I proclaimed that, in the wake of Democratic victories that night, Rush Limbaugh was the interim leader of the GOP.  While I might have missed the mark a bit, the talk show host did offer a robust defense of conservatism at CPAC the following February at a time when many of us were despondent and liberal pundits were proclaiming the death of conservatism.  The Tea Party had just been born.  And Sarah Palin seemed content to remain in Alaska, governing the Last Frontier.

Well, the mainstream media may have declared that accomplished reformer and charismatic conservative the leader of the GOP, but while many on the right respected her, few acknowledge her at Reagan’s heir.  Then-RNC chairman Michael Steele never really gained a following with the rank-and-file (it’s fun to speculate how much better the GOP would have done last fall had we had a man with the political acumen and Washington experience of Haley Barbour helming the RNC in the early Obama years).  The Republican congressional leaders, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, remain focused on running their respective chambers than aspiring to national leadership.

The media seem eager to declare Donald Trump, currently the most prominent Obama critic, as the GOP leader—without bothering to ask whether his political platform aligns with that of rank-and-file Republicans.  They do seem to forget that since Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has been built on a set of principles, of small government, personal freedom and a robust national defense, principles of which (alack!) all too many GOP leaders have lost sight.

Until this month.  When, after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released the Republican budget plan, left-of-center pundit Jacob Weisberg wrote that if “the GOP gets behind” this proposal “in a serious way, it will become for the first time in modern memory an intellectually serious party—one with a coherent vision to match its rhetoric of limited government”, he all but declared Ryan the leader of the Republican Party, pending the party getting behind said proposal.  And get behind it they have.  To be sure, while most support its general outline, not all Republicans back the plan.  Four House Republicans voted against his budget.  And last week, Senator Susan Collins of Maine was “the first Republican senator to state publicly that she will not support the Ryan budget.

Back in his southeastern Wisconsin district where he is set to conclude today “his 19th town hall meeting of the last two weeks“, Ryan “is also garnering more attention and bigger crowds than the presidential hopefuls“.  As he meets with his constituents, he’s been explaining why we must cut federal spending and reform entitlements.  In short, he’s been standing firm not only on core Republican principles, but also defending an actual plan to enact them into law.

Screen capture of an image found on Gateway Pundit who links an article reporting that Ryan’s town-hall meetings have been “drawing capacity crowds“.  Yeah, Ryan has attracted some criticism, but he takes thatl in stride, acknowledging the legitimacy of his critics’ concerns, saying, “This is Wisconsin. . . .  We have divergent political views. We have a lot of political diversity. Any town hall is going to represent that, some more than others.

So today, Paul Ryan, the man with a plan that most Republicans support, has become the de facto leader of the GOP.  Let’s hope the mainstream media give him the attention he has merited with the work he’s put into drafting his budget and the efforts he has made to explain it to his constituents and his colleagues.  But, I fear they’d rather enable an eccentric billionaire who feeds on publicity.

That real estate mogul may provide amusement and entertainment, but Mr. Ryan has a vision and policy proposals.  And increasingly, Republicans recognize that his plan is the best way to rein in federal spending and start to reform a bloated federal government.  And we appreciate his ability to articulate its merits and its necessity in terms that most of us can easily understand.

With 81% of Americans holding that the deficit is a problem that must be addressed now, his ideas, if effectively communicated, may well resonate beyond the GOP.

UPDATE:  John McCormack reports that Paul Ryan “received a standing ovation Thursday afternoon during the Q&A part of” a townhall “meeting with constituents at a high school auditorium in a suburb of Milwaukee”:

Ryan faced a larger number of hecklers at this event than previous ones, but they were just a sliver of the max capacity crowd. The vast majority of those present stood and applauded Ryan after one constituent rose to thank the congressman for producing his plan to rein in the federal budget

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24 Comments

  1. Ryan “is also garnering more attention and bigger crowds than the presidential hopefuls.:

    But also huge crowds of protesters, by which I mean, three hippies with signs.

    And for all the administration’s bluster, they haven’t produced an alternative plan to Ryan’s for deficit reduction. In fact, Obama’s budget policy can be summed up in a single word.

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 6:00 am - April 29, 2011

  2. But Jimmy and Chris invited the Donald to CPAC

    GOProud’s board chairman, Chris Barron, decided he wanted to invite Donald Trump to CPAC.

    So, he did.

    Today, Trump arrived at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel about 3 p.m. this afternoon, Feb. 10.

    Of the invitation, Barron told Metro Weekly, “We invited Trump for a couple of reasons: One, because unlike the boycotters who are undermining CPAC, we wanted to be value-added, we wanted to be positive to this conference, and we’re bringing something positive to this conference. We’re bringing somebody who has a huge megaphone, a huge draw.

    “Secondly, Donald Trump is out there talking about the issues that most conservatives care about, the fiscal issues.”

    http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2011/02/trump—-invited-by-goproud—.html

    Comment by rusty — April 29, 2011 @ 9:08 am - April 29, 2011

  3. “Obama’s greatest victory of the entire past year — his crowning achievement for the past twelve months in the most powerful office in all the world — is his celebrated triumph in successfully producing a common form of secondary identification.” – Ace

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 10:01 am - April 29, 2011

  4. Do you think that’s realistic?

    Helluva lot more realistic than running a campaign reelection on massive failure and double digit unemployment.

    Comment by TGC — April 29, 2011 @ 10:35 am - April 29, 2011

  5. A 2.8% unmeployment rate is certainly achievable. We can just cook the books the way the Obama regime does. First, we’ll lower the baseline of what constitutes full employment by shrinking the total workforce, then we’ll count all part-time workers as fully employed. Piece of cake.

    Sarcasm aside, we must remember, first of all, the Levi is stupid. The Ryan Plan is not the be-all and end-all of deficit reduction, it is the first big step (Much as ObamaCare is the first Big Step in nationalized health care). It is also the only substantive plan that anyone has offered. All his side has done so far is play political games, lie that the Ryan plan ends Medicare, and lie about the size of the tax increases that would be necessary to match the deficit reduction that would be achieved through the Ryan plan (About 80% on all income levels).

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 10:56 am - April 29, 2011

  6. Even if 2.8% unemployment was a lie. Levi’s just fine with that.

    He’s actually upset that people who are clearly more intelligent than him are trying to drag him into the future.

    Now hush Levi, adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 29, 2011 @ 11:13 am - April 29, 2011

  7. You guys know that the crux of the Ryan budget involves achieving a 2.8% unemployment rate by the end of the decade with huge tax cuts for the wealthy, don’t you? Do you think that’s realistic?

    Levi, you could not prove that 2.8% unemployment is the crux of the Ryan budget if your life depended on it. You are blowing smoke. You are quoting Slate, TPM, Huffpuff, Krugman, deaddogintheburningpond and all the usual suspects.

    No, it is not realistic. It is also not true.

    Normally, I would leave it here and play Levi like a carp sucking mud. But, the left is so desperate, they are bald faced lying. I say “lying” in the Augustinian sense of ignoring the truth.

    In February, Ryan asked the Heritage Foundation to run some numbers for his plan. The 2.8% unemployment popped up in their predictions. (In no way is the prediction in anyway the crux of the plan. But Levi is forever pulling his Chicken Little act.)

    However, Levi and all others, the Heritage Foundation pulled the memo that had the 2.8% unemployment guess and posted this:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/04/06/heritage-updates-ryan-budget-estimate/

    The new number which you can reach by the link in the Heritage page is 4.272%.

    In the Reagan/Carter campaign the Democrats screamed bloody murder over what they dubbed “trickle down” economics. Then, when Reagan was elected they screamed that Reagan was depending on a lady named Rosie Scenario to seduce the economy. They have been lying ever since about the incredible economic engine Reagan and his “trickle down” plan unleashed.

    So, he comes Levi with lies and blather about Ryan and how old Rosie Scenario is the crux of the Ryan plan.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 29, 2011 @ 11:42 am - April 29, 2011

  8. Also, let’s remember that today’s meme for Barack Obama, the Obama Party, “progressives”, and Levi is that those killed in the tornadoes in the Southeast deserved to die and were being punished for their representatives voting against “climate change” legislation.

    Think we’ll see any of the usual climate worshipers like Rob Tisinai, Counterfail, or others show up to tell their Barack Obama and their fellow Barack Obama Party members that making climate predictions based on single weather events is wrong?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 29, 2011 @ 12:38 pm - April 29, 2011

  9. Obama will undoubtedly tell the suffering folks in Alabama that they should have built stronger houses…

    Comment by Mary — April 29, 2011 @ 12:41 pm - April 29, 2011

  10. …or moved to Chicago.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — April 29, 2011 @ 12:47 pm - April 29, 2011

  11. The attempt by activist Democrats to Astroturf Ryan’s public appearances become increasingly farcical.

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 3:15 pm - April 29, 2011

  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX5ueEKsSWc&feature=player_detailpage

    Comment by Dooms — April 29, 2011 @ 3:33 pm - April 29, 2011

  13. Ah, spamming comment threads with undescribed links, for those who are just too lazy and stupid to prove a thoughtful comment.

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 3:49 pm - April 29, 2011

  14. [...] Paul Ryan: New Leader of the GOP [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Paul Ryan Welcomes Criticism — April 29, 2011 @ 3:49 pm - April 29, 2011

  15. Its a response to the blatant racism of Trump and the birthers.

    Comment by Dooms — April 29, 2011 @ 4:08 pm - April 29, 2011

  16. Um, Dooms, did you read the title of the piece to which you post your comment? It’s not about Trump nor it is about the birthers save to say that Mr. Trump is not the leader of the GOP. I contend Paul Ryan is.

    Please explain how your link is relevant to that topic. Thanks!

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 29, 2011 @ 4:20 pm - April 29, 2011

  17. I’ll stick with my theory that Dooms is lazy and stupid until his comments provide evidence to the contrary.

    Comment by V the K — April 29, 2011 @ 4:29 pm - April 29, 2011

  18. Thank you, Dooms for throwing the deck full of race cards. I was worried you might have gone off track. I like my bigotry to be utterly predictable and you do not fail to please.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 29, 2011 @ 4:41 pm - April 29, 2011

  19. Woo! Congressman Ryan! He’s awesome! And handsome :)

    Comment by joeedh — April 29, 2011 @ 4:42 pm - April 29, 2011

  20. Hey, Levi!

    How’s that 2.8% unemployment as the crux of the Ryan plan working out for you?

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 29, 2011 @ 6:04 pm - April 29, 2011

  21. Yeah, those horrid racists who questioned McCain’s and Goldwater’s legitimacy.

    It really is the bigotry of low expectations. Dooms thinks that all people are as gullible and easily lead as him.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 29, 2011 @ 6:55 pm - April 29, 2011

  22. It’s bad enough that liberals think blacks are stupid, doop. It’s even worse when you try to prove them right.

    Comment by TGC — April 30, 2011 @ 3:47 am - April 30, 2011

  23. Dooms is all-racism, all the time.

    Yes Dooms, that makes *you* a racist. A racist is: someone obsessed with race. Someone who can’t have a thought, without it involving race. That’s you.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 30, 2011 @ 12:34 pm - April 30, 2011

  24. Hi HT,
    “In February, Ryan asked the Heritage Foundation to run some numbers for his plan. The 2.8% unemployment popped up in their predictions. (In no way is the prediction in anyway the crux of the plan. But Levi is forever pulling his Chicken Little act.)”

    The point is that “Path to Prosperity” cites Heritage’s figures and asks us to visit Heritage to learn more. Ryan used Heritage to give his plan credibility. And Heritage used these figures until the gales of laughter made them realize that they could not do so anymore. I guess the maxim doesn’t always hold that if it is a big enough whopper, people will believe it.

    And, the 2.8% “idea” (lower taxes = greater dynamic effects = greater tax revenues since more people working, outweighing overall decrease in marginal rates) is a central plank of many conservative proposals. So, I don’t think it is a “red herring” to point this out or Ryan’s reliance on these ideas.

    Comment by Cas — May 2, 2011 @ 11:30 am - May 2, 2011

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