In response to a plan by a small band of so-called conservatives to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House back in 2015, I became a proud activist in the “Dump Boehner” movement. Needless to say, when the Democrat’s favorite Republican announced his retirement, it was a happy day for conservatives who were working to see the GOP return to its Constitutional roots.
Unfortunately, as so often happens in Washington, the courage to do what’s right fell to the cowardice of compromise as one Republican after another abandoned the plan for a new conservative leader. Instead of fighting for their principles, the invertebrate GOP surrendered to passivity and elected a new boss who was the same as the old boss in Paul Ryan—a move supported by even Barack Obama.
My concerns proved to have merit as Paul Ryan waffled his way through issues, from the Obamacare repeal to abandoning GOP promises to fix the budget over the past two years, and now that his RINO-ness has collided head-on with the Trumplican rebrand of the GOP, Paul Ryan just announced that he is abandoning ship ahead of the upcoming Blue Tsunami.
Based on my jubilation when Boehner retired, you’d think I’d be happy about Ryan’s announcement, but I am not. When Boehner was forced out of office, there was a conservative plan to replace him, even though it failed, and with Ryan’s sudden retirement we don’t even have that.
The two leading candidates to replace Ryan are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. You may recall that McCarthy was considered “next up” when Boehner retired, but he withdrew his name from consideration due to his inability to garner support from conservative groups like the House Freedom Caucus. And Steve Scalise is a ten-year veteran of the House who carries a 49% (F) Liberty Score.
Unfortunately, the so-called conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus appear ready to support McCarthy this time around, using a scheme where Chairman Mark Meadows would be elevated to McCarthy’s old job. In other words, the HFC will compromise conservative principles in the name of political opportunism, just like the Republican establishment currently in power.
Paul Ryan needed to go, but just as it was when Boehner retired, change simply for the sake of change is no change at all. It only perpetuates the status quo.
And here’s something to scare the bejesus out of you; if McCarthy gets the Speaker gig, the Republican leader and the Democrat leader, regardless of who’s in the majority and the minority, will both be Representatives from California.