Can a Ryan Reign Really Save a Fractured GOP?

Chris Cillizza: “Paul Ryan’s tentative agreement to serve as House speaker has set off an era (or at least a day) of unbridled optimism among Republicans.”

“Not to rain on that parade, but there’s some compelling evidence to suggest that many of the problems that dogged Speaker John Boehner could well linger during Speaker Ryan’s reign (assuming that the Wisconsin Republican’s conditions to be speaker are even met). This chart — via my friend (and Republican lobbyist) Bruce Mehlman — documents how often House Republicans were on Ryan’s side on six key votes in 2015.”

“What the chart shows is that there are between 20 and 45 Republican members who make it their mission to defy the wishes of the party leadership. That has been a very good business model for the Freedom Caucus, which has turned itself into a high-profile power-broker on virtually every contentious legislative fight in Congress. It’s less reassuring for the new speaker.”



  1. I think there are two ways in which a “Ryan reign” could enable the GOP to overcome the impacts of the internal divisions among GOP members of the House.

    One would be for Ryan to persuade House members who are in the TP wing of the party, including those in the Freedom Caucus, to vote in favor of bills that are necessary for the government to function properly, such as a bill to increase the debt limit or a bill to establish a budget (or CR) that can pass in the Senate and avoid a veto, even if those bills do not contain everything the TP members want.

    The other would be for Ryan to establish a system that allows the TP members to force votes on issues, such as whether to increase the debt limit or approve a CR that doesn’t withhold funding for PP, and for Ryan to persuade the other GOP members of the House to take the risk of getting challenged from the right in a primary as a result of voting along with Dems to pass those bills.

  2. GOP Fractured, can it be fixed, probably but with 100% disability., GOP left to it’s own devices NO, NO and NO. All the Kings Horses and all the Kings men couldn’t fix the GOP. Once something is broken and you have the same people trying to fix it, well, LMAO.

  3. If Cillizza is right about Republicans’ new-found “unbridled optimism,” I can only conclude that these people are even crazier and less moored to reality than I had thought.

    Consider the Freedom Caucus saying that, while it does not “endorse” Ryan for Speaker, it does “support” him. Whatever the hell that means, it is already a sign that things do not bode well for Speaker Ryan.

    Frankly, I’ve been surprised at Ryan’s welcoming, upbeat tone in response to this. Most of the smart money has the GOP House flaring up yet again before the debt ceiling deadline in two weeks — and without those promises to stand behind him, how does Ryan imagine he can unite his unruly members any better than Boehner did?

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