This is a day that will live in infamy. For this is the day that Paul Ryan was elected the 62nd Speaker of The House for the United States congress.
Ryan’s election comes after the tumultuous departure of former Speaker John Boehner. A GOP that is being fractured by a rogue sect of ultra-conservative radicals fueled Boehner’s resignation and left the Republicans in a state of extreme disarray.
It is into this maelstrom that Ryan has been thrown and expected to guide the ship into safer waters.
He is going to fail. Here are the five reasons why.
1. Old Enemies Still Remain
The splinter cell of Tea Party Republicans has not left congress. There is no reason to think that they will put aside their radical agendas just because a different hand holds the speaker’s gavel.
The discord in the Republican Party is well documented and deeply entrenched. It would take a universally respected political presence to unite these people. Paul Ryan is certainly no that because…
2. Second Choice
Not even 24 hours had passed after Boehner’s resignation before his GOP cohorts were preparing his replacement to take office. Kevin McCarthy was nearly universally assumed to be Boehner’s successor and this mass acceptance may have led to a stabilizing hand on the wheel for the Republican’s in congress. However, hours before he would have been elected McCarthy dropped out of the race.
McCarthy’s sudden exit left the GOP in a scramble and out of that panic Ryan emerged with the job.
This is not the order of events that leads to a successful outcome in congress. Ryan is already behind the eight ball in terms of popularity before he has even taken office.
3. Insane Budget Policies
Ryan chairs the extremely powerful Ways and Means Committee for congress. As chairman Ryan spearheaded the controversial “Path to Prosperity” budget plan. This plan would severely gut vital budgets such as those allotted for education and infrastructure development.
Budgetary issues are what finally cracked Boehner and now the Republicans have elected Ryan who is sure to bring more of the same with him to the floor. Once again this is not a strong indication for the establishment of peace in an extremely combative legislature.
Paul Ryan did his best to defeat President Obama in 2012 when he ran as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential selection.
According to an article published by The Guardian Obama called Ryan over the phone to congratulate him on his appointment.
This seems like a slight against the newly elected speaker. Certainly Obama is a busy man, but if he viewed Ryan as a true colleague he could have made the effort to meet him in person.
It seems likely that the relationship between Ryan and Obama will be less than a smooth ride. This limits Ryan’s ability to work on either side in addition to battling his own.
5. His Grey, Dead, Soulless Eyes
How is congress supposed to solve problems when Ryan’s gaze keeps turning them to stone?
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