John Boehner is out. He finally got his wish to go back to Ohio and play golf, smoke cigarettes, and/or drink in peace and quiet. I am not knocking him for any of these things. It all sounds like a nice retirement. Then, we have Paul Ryan elected as the Speaker of the House. His primary message to the media is that the Republicans need to stop being the party of opposition and become the party of proposition.
But the actions of the party over the weekend, including Ryan, indicates that none of the Republicans even believes in the message. We have seen the same tired politics they have tried for over 40 years. Just updated to fit the scene today.
The first indicator was Ryan himself. During his talking tour on Sunday, he showed just what kind of Speaker of the House he will be. It is not one of proposition, but one or opposition. When asked about immigration reform, Ryan said he could “not work with this President because we can’t trust him.” He went on to say that the President “tried to go it alone. He tried to make laws. Presidents do not make laws, Congress makes laws.”
So, it can safely be said that we will see no movement on the critical issue of immigration reform anytime soon. But, Ryan failed to point out a couple of things on immigration reform. First, the President working with a bi-partisan group of Senators did pass a comprehensive immigration reform law. That law has been languishing in House ever since it was passed in the Senate. So, the President did not “go it alone” until he realized that Ryan’s own part of the legislature had no intentions of working with him. As a matter of fact, Ryan said: “it would be ridiculous to work with him on this.”
Ryan vaguely said the he received the backing from the ultra-wing conservatives only after he promised not to bring up immigration reform in the House. So, this isn’t the case of not being able to trust the President. It is a case of not lying to our wacko wing of the party just to get the votes. A bi-partisan bill passed the Senate years ago. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the bill. Yet, Ryan won’t bring it to a vote because “he can’t trust the President?” So, Party of Opposition: 1 – Party of Proposition: 0!
The second indicator from Ryan was when he was asked about Paid Family Leave for workers. Ryan listed some “demands” before he agreed to take on the role of Speaker. The biggest was that he would be able to continue to go home to Wisconsin and spend time with his family. Now that sounds nice. He loves the idea that he is seen as a good “family man.”
So, he was asked about whether or not he would be in favor of bringing up the Paid Family Leave act that also has been languishing in the House. He said – NO! He said:
Because I love my children and I want to be home on Sundays and Saturdays like most people doesn’t mean I’m for taking money from hardworking taxpayers to create a brand new entitlement program.
Problem, he wouldn’t be “taking money from hardworking taxpayers” he would be making corporations pay people for time they need with their families, like after giving birth. But it get’s even crazier. He went on to say:
I think it’s good to have balance in your life. And, you know, I’m from the X generation. As dads it’s probably different than the older generation, the way we operate in our families.
And I think people want citizen legislatures. I think people want you to be with the people you represent, seeing, talking, hearing, listening, empathy. And I also think it’s important to be with your family on weekends. I’m just talking about more time away. I’m talking about exactly what I’ve been doing, which is being with my family, being with my constituents on Saturdays and Sundays.
Now ain’t that sweet. He loves being with his family. Yet, if you have a baby and take the 12 weeks of leave you are entitled to and would love to see that paycheck keep coming in, forget about it! See, there is another problem here, from what I understand. Since Ryan is claiming that he is going home to “meet with his constituents” I am not sure who is paying for all of those flights back to Wisconsin.
I may be wrong, but since he is claiming it is “work related” I believe we are paying for his time with his family. Or, at least part of it. If that is true, wouldn’t that mean that we hardworking tax payers are financing his “entitlements?” If I am correct, Ryan wants to keep his “entitlements” but doesn’t think a new mother should have any “entitlements” like being paid for time off to take care of her family. But, we forget, when it is for us, it is “entitlement.” When it is for him, it is “perks” that his office “entitles” him to. Party of Opposition: 2 – Party of Proposition: 0!
Then we have the Presidential Candidates on the Republican side showing just what their agenda is. After the last debate on CNBC they have thrown a “hissy fit.” Seems the questions asked by the moderators were just “too hard” for them. Well, according to them, they weren’t too hard, they were “liberal mainstream media trying to ask ‘gotcha’ questions.”
Yes, I have to admit that telling a candidate that his numbers for his tax plan don’t add up and asking for his comments is a real “gotcha” question. How dare a debate moderator ask a question about specifics of your plan! So, the candidates, well most of them, had a nice “family” dinner last night to discuss debates going forward. Don’t forget, the RNC has already cancelled the debate in February with NBC and Telemundo because of the last debate on CNBC.
Anyway, apparently, the “family” has some major disagreements. As an example, Jeb Bush’s campaign manager Danny Diaz urged the group to reinstate a planned Feb. 26 debate with Telemundo after the RNC hurriedly fired off a letter to NBC News last week announcing plans to suspend involvement with the network’s future debates, including the February debate in conjunction with Telemundo. However, Trump’s campaign refused to budge, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski even threatening to boycott the debate if Telemundo was reinstated.
There was one consensus reached. According to the Washington Post, no changes would be made until after the next debate which will be held on Fox Business Network. According to one operative in the room, “people are afraid to make Roger (Ailes) mad.” Which I find remarkable since the first debate was held on Fox News and candidates complained about their moderators. Especially Megyn Kelly! But since Fox is the Republican propaganda machine, I guess you don’t want to piss off the boss.
They did come to an agreement of sorts. They came up with a modest list of demands, including opening and closing statements of at least 30 seconds; “parity and integrity” on questions, meaning that all candidates would receive similarly substantive questions; no so-called lightning rounds; and approval of any graphics that are aired during the debate.
The campaign representatives also moved to take the Republican National Committee out of the debate negotiating process, calling for the campaigns to negotiate directly with the TV networks over format, and to receive information about the rules and criteria at least 30 days before each debate. However, Reince Priebus, the RNC Chair said that the RNC was “still in charge of the debates.” Oh, boy!
In the end, Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg drafted a final letter to the networks by the end of the two-hour meeting with some notable demands:
- “Will you commit to provide equal time/and equal number of questions to each candidate?”
- “Will you commit that you will not ask the candidates to raise their hands to answer a questions
- “Will you commit that you will not ask yes/no questions without time to provide a substantive answer
- “Will you commit that you will not allow candidate-to-candidate questioning…?”
- “Can you pledge that the temperature in the hall be kept below 67 degrees?”
So, everything is nice and calm among the candidates, right? Not so fast. At least one candidate is denying the campaigns have reached a consensus on how to handle the media and future debates at all. “First of all, there’s no deal in place among the candidates. So that’s erroneous reporting,” New Jersey Governor Christie said in an interview on Fox News. “But secondly, you know, stop complaining. You know, do me favor. Set up a stage, put podiums up there, and let’s just go.”
Then there is Ohio Governor John Kasich. He doesn’t seem too thrilled by the Republican whining this weekend, insisting that he was not at all bothered by the CNBC debate or moderators. “In the third debate, they asked me a lot of questions and I didn’t feel anything was below the belt,” he told CNN on Saturday. “I don’t want to spend my time talking about the process of the debate. However they set it, I’ll show up and do the best I can to let people know who I am. So it’s just not something I’m focused on.”
Now we have Republican Presidential Candidates complaining about the debate process. They don’t like being asked questions about specifics of their “plans” because they really don’t have any workable plans. They want to blame that “liberal media bias” for their lack of substance. And, they want the RNC out of the debate process.
What type of debate do you think the Republican Candidates really want? Well, I think Ted Cruz summed it up very nicely. He said: “Could you imagine a debate moderated by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin?” The wacko wing of the party would love that. But, I don’t imagine the rest of America would be holding their breath on the results of those three “moderating” a debate. Party of Opposition 3 – Party of Proposition 0!
If you Republicans are serious about being a party of propositions, then I suggest you talk to us specifically about such things as immigration reform, climate change, tax reform, job creation, women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, health care, terrorism, foreign policy and reasonable gun control. Stop saying “no” to everything and tell us what your specific plans are. Or, are you afraid we might reject your ideas once again? Why is it okay for you to spend time with your families, but not us? Hey, Jeb, you are the one who said we need to work more!
Okay, it has only been a few days since Paul Ryan became the Speaker of the House. I understand that he needs to “consolidate” his role and all that. But, when he says the Republican Party needs to stop being a party of opposition and become a party of proposition, I have a hard time swallowing those words. The actions of his candidates for President and his own words tell the real truth.
The Republican Party doesn’t have any propositions to offer the American People that they will accept. They keep complaining about the Democrats, the President, the media, and anyone else who is not a wacko conservative nut. They really have become the “Know Nothing Party.” Not because they won’t say what goes on in their meetings like the original party, but because they really know nothing about governing.
Paul Ryan said the Republicans need to become the “proposition party.” NOT!
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