Up front, let me say that I really do admire Rep. Paul Ryan and thought he was the best decision (not that there’s a lot of competition for the title) that Mitt Romney made during his failed bid for the White House in 2012. Whatever his titular role, he is definitely a thought-leader and a Republican the party turns to on many important issues.
There’s something odd in the way his quest for the speakership has been reported in the press that makes me a little uneasy. (Okay, another caveat: It’s altogether possible that the press isn’t reporting any of this accurately, so that’s why I’m not willing to say simply No.)
Basically he’s requiring that the entire Republican caucus line up behind him before he’d take the job; no clumping together enough factions for a slim majority, he wants everybody on board.
Again, I’m not behind closed doors with Republicans, but best I can tell, that conversation likely went down one of two ways:
A) “Okay guys, here’s my vision. These are my top 3, 5, or 10 priorities, strategies on how to accomplish them, and what life will look like if we’re successful. I’ve put it all out there, and if elected, y’all should be prepared to see me work hard toward these goals. Who’s with me?”
B) “Okay guys, here’s the thing: I don’t want to hear anymore of y’all’s bullshit. And I’m not going to preside over a bunch of guys yelling at each other and not getting along. So if you want me to be your Speaker, I want to see 100% of you behind me, and a pledge that you won’t throw me over the ledge like you did with that guy from Ohio. Who’s with me?”
The concern should be pretty obvious:
If it went down (is going down) like A, that shows true leadership: Putting forward a vision and seeking support
If it went down like B, he’s saying he’ll only become the leader if the group doesn’t need one. What sort of leadership is that?
Again, I don’t know, and I’d like to think that Ryan is an upstanding dude with his head spun on straight. But if the last 20 or so years of politics has taught me anything, it’s that there are no heroes and none of these guys really do anything that isn’t in their own best interest.
What do you think?
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)