Serious Conservative

Paul Ryan voted against the debt ceiling increase.

Here’s  how you can determine who to support in the 2016 Democratic primary: imagine how each candidate and his or her team will go after Ryan for that vote.  If you don’t like the result of your little thought experiment for your current favorite, pick a different candidate.

79 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:


  2. 2
    El Caganer says:

    I’m not sure there are any potential Democratic candidates who would agree with Ryan, so I don’t understand this.

  3. 3
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    I think the proper approach is “Paul who?” He’ll be in a ditch beside the Republican campaign trail long before they spot any Democrats on the horizon.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I don’t think people interested in this level of detail are among the persuadables. If Paul Ryan gets the nomination, which I really doubt, he’s the guy who wants to un-do the New Deal.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Whether or not Ryan retains his seat after the elections this year is still an open question.

  6. 6
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    Every one of those 201 who voted against should be sent to Gitmo. Goddamed bastards.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: You think Zerban has it in him this time?

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    Also too, at least for me, Ryan has always seemed like that kid who shouts out to the teacher “You forgot to give the homework assignment!”

  9. 9
    Botsplainer says:

    Weird. Is FYWP crapping the bed?

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    @Omes Omnibus

    Came within spitting distance last time with but paltry party and deep pocket support.

    Could happen; wouldn’t rule it out.

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:

    Paul Ryan is running for Speaker (or majority leader, I guess). Not President. This was about dealing with what he’s going to need to do no later than the beginning of the next Congress.

    All prognostication worth exactly what you pay for it.

  12. 12
    kbuttle says:

    @NotMax: More the guy who climbs into the lifeboat and yells “I’m safe – pull up the ladder!”

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: It would be interesting to have a CIA (not that one) alumnus in Congress. Aside from getting Ryan out, of course.

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    chefs are indeed underrepresented in national politics.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:


    More the guy who climbs into the lifeboat and yells “I’m safe – pull up the ladder!”



  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    Determine whom to support.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tom Levenson: Paul Ryan is running for Speaker (or majority leader, I guess).

    That’s interesting, though I doubt Speaker. I could see him going for an Tom Delay-like gray eminence role behind a meat-puppet Speaker, but I think he and Cantor have figured out they’ve pissed in the pool too much to make the nice office worth the trouble. I still think Paulie Blue Eyes is gonna go the Sarah Palin route soon after flaming out in 2016.

    @NotMax: I didn’t see him up close, but that race does kind of sum up American politics, the guy who actually did succeed in the sacred and holy private sector (he’s “met a payroll”, as Republican rhetoric has it) lost to the theoretical Randian who has pretty much never had a non-gov’t job.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    OT but this is one of those candidates for “long reads” that needs more attention. Maybe an FP post?
    This is how families go hungry
    Obviously it deals with SNAP cuts and food pantry destruction. It focuses on NYC as that city takes a significant hit from the cuts. But the trends they discuss, the chaos, and the fear are national in scope. (if we stay focused on just our nation, of course)

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Scratch a conservative, find a guy with a government check in his past and/or present. Every. Single. Time.

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What if you’re not very imaginative? Or you imagine wrong?

  21. 21
    piratedan says:

    sounds like a calmly calculating politician at work, just like Ms. Rogers who also voted against the debt limit increase. Perhaps it was to allow them to not be subject to a primary challenge by a teahadi or perhaps we’re seeing some Machiavellian maneuvering in order to supplant Mr. Boehner. Power is a helluva motivator and if you enjoy seeing yourself on TV (regardless of the cotent of what you’re saying) that could be a motivating factor. I wonder if Ms. Rogers defection is a long game play to put a female face in as Speaker to try and allay some of the culture war claims. If I was on the downside of this media onslaught with my policies, I might think this is a good move, kinda like the nomination of Our Miss Sarah to the Vice Presidential position on the ticket, but I’m kind of dubious about just how much savvy there is going on in the GOP these days.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead

    Then savor the foreknowledge that La Bachmann will be gone, gone, gone.

  23. 23
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    I don’t see Ryan running for Speaker – it’s a thankless job herding those cats. There’s no glory in it because he’d look as weak as Boehner when his caucus votes against him, and being Speaker is a final destination, not a stepping stone to the Presidency.

    The reason I think this is a good thought experiment is that Ryan’s vote shows him to be an unserious, weak appeaser of teanderthals, and that’s the opposite of his beltway presence. So what’s the best way to simply explain this vote?

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): Ryan and McMoRo voted against it because they could. They had the number they needed.
    There’s no deep reasoning behind his No vote. It doesn’t mean anything and he will never pay any price for it.

  25. 25
    maya says:

    A serious conservative uses both sides of the toilet paper.

  26. 26
    gf120581 says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): Ryan wants to be Ways and Means chair, not Speaker. If anyone makes a run at Boner for the job, it’ll be Eric “pay no attention to the knife aimed at your back” Cantor who does it.

    Ryan’s vote is, as Drum put it, a tell that he’s got 2016 aspirations and is therefore voting in accordance with the mental asylum that is the GOP base.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    The biggest mistake,imo, the President made was to praise Ryan’s thoughtfulness. Ryan will run for President, if he thinks he has a chance.

    OT..Over 100,000 customers are without power in Atlanta. There appears to be a lull in the precipitation, where I am, but it’s just temporary.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:


    After pulling apart the two-ply.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): The fact that Paul Ryan, Serious Wonky Deficit Hawk, is a complete fraud is nothing new. Luckily for him, his twin political bases, the Tea Party and the Beltway Party, are stupid and uninterested in actual policy. Unluckily for him, neither of those bases can compensate for the unbearable lightness of his being. I still think he’s peaked.

  30. 30
    feebog says:

    Jaysus, I hate to agree with Cornerstone, but just how much significance is a no vote on a one year debt limit extension in early 2014? Ryan is not interested in becoming Speaker, he is going to make the case that as the last Republican VP candidate it’s his turn for the number one spot. Good luck with that Paulie, not going to happen.

  31. 31
    Gene108 says:

    On a side note outside groups want to replace Boehner as Speaker.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:


    Quayle 2.0?

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I would argue that the main reason Conservatives have such faith in the private sector is that so few of them have experienced it up close.

  34. 34
    Ash Can says:

    None of the potential 2016 candidates are going to utter the terms “fucking asshole,” “asswipe,” or “piece of shit” on air, so this point is moot, at least for me. The only possible exception here is for people who live in Ryan’s district, and who have a choice of Dem challengers in the primary. Maybe the challengers still won’t be dropping f-bombs with the cameras rolling, but if any of them are willing to really play hardball with this schmuck, then all the best to them.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @feebog: The question was whether there were Democratic candidates who would make the Debt Ceiling an issue were they facing Ryan, or whether the hypothetical candidate would run for the hills over that kind of issue. The answer is “no, I don’t see any Democrat who would stand up and say that the Debt Ceiling needs to go.” The voters aren’t really always all that bright on this issue.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    mistermix, did you add the word “Democratic” in the sentence “Here’s how you can determine who to support in the 2016 Democratic primary”
    Or did my eyes just gloss over that? Because I initially read it as “2016 primary”.

  37. 37
    Bill Arnold says:

    I don’t get it. The 200 (approximately) Republicans who voted against this essentially voted against funding the United States Government, since we are running deficits. (Tangentially, the deficits won’t go away through magical thinking and are aggravated (arguably) by Republican economic policies. (Some would say “sabotage”).)
    Many of them voted for the budget deal authorizing the spending levels which they have now voted against.
    Are they expecting to get praise for these anti-American (and in some cases, hypocritical) votes in the midterm election? (The primaries are another story).
    I understand that they will argue that these are symbolic votes, but the argument is weak because there were similar votes in 2011, and very recently late 2013, which came uncomfortably close to being non-symbolic, close enough to damage the U.S. economy a lot. (Stunting recovery in 2011 and similar uncertainty shocks since then, integrated over time, is pushing maybe $1 trillion damage, perhaps more. I don’t have or know of calculations for this though. The numbers I’ve seen are billions of dollars related to borrowing costs, not damage to the economy due to uncertainty.)

  38. 38
    El Caganer says:

    @maya: The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce

  39. 39
    NotMax says:


    Protocol is an odd duck, but really. Using the designation “The Honorable” for the presidential press secretary? (source, see Jay Carney listing)

    Doubt this is new, but it is new to me.

    (Also note that Stephen Colbert was on the guest list.)

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @Bill Arnold:


  41. 41
    Ash Can says:

    @Corner Stone: I agree with this. They’re grandstanding. Sure, they look like assholes doing it, but they’re pandering to the original assholes — i.e., the people dumb enough to put them in office in the first place, and who they’re hoping will be dumb enough to propel them to bigger and better things.

  42. 42
    Comrade Mary says:

    Paul Ryan voted against the debt ceiling increase.

    Won’t hurt him much as there was no hostage crisis this time. He can point to a long history of protest votes that never put the increase at risk (including at least one from Obama).

    Ryan is a sociopathic asshole, but he’s got plausible deniability on this one. Try something else.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    How many times has Paul Ryan voted to increase the debt limit? If he voted to decrease taxes, Medicare Part D, unfunded wars and tarp, he voted to increase the debt. It’s hypocritical to vote for the very bills that increase the debt but refuse to fund it.

  44. 44
    Cervantes says:


    Doubt this is new, but it is new to me.

    Goes back five decades, at least.

  45. 45

    Paul Ryan is a phony and the sky is blue. Is that a surprise to anyone?

  46. 46
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @Corner Stone: No, it was there all the time.

  47. 47
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think we can at least all agree that Paul Ryan is dreamy with that athletic build and those bedroom eyes.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:



    (I go back even further, yet still find it jarring.)

  49. 49

    OT: BTW I has an update on the Lori Gottlieb who has a long article in the Sunday NYT after reading her interview on one of the many Times blogs. I don’t know why but that woman really bugs me.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    jonas says:

    imagine how each candidate and his or her team will go after Ryan for that vote.

    I just don’t see how this is a big deal. Back in 06 or 07, IIRC, Obama voted against a debt ceiling increase, which everyone took, not unreasonably, as a sign of his presidential ambitions. Is it hypocritical? I suppose so — but also PAS (Politics As Usual).

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @,a href=”″>Just Some Fuckhead

    I think we can at least all agree

    Not on your tintype.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    By the way, is Paul Ryan still pushing his cargo-cult approximation of economic wonkery?

  54. 54
    srv says:

    Gaia is angry and had some Covettes for breakfast.

  55. 55

    @Amir Khalid: Unfortunately most serious people in the media buy the bullshit about austerity, that Ryan peddles.

  56. 56
    EconWatcher says:

    In fairness, back when he was in the Senate, the President also voted against a debt-ceiling increase that he knew was going to pass anyway, as a symbolic gesture.

    So I’d say this vote doesn’t prove that Ryan is a fraud. The gaps and fudging in his budget proposals do that. Just trying to be fair….

  57. 57

    Just get rid of the Debt Ceiling already, what point does it serve except to add drama for the Punditubbies?

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Tangentially, the deficits won’t go away through magical thinking

    You’ve already lost the Republicans. If it weren’t for magical thinking, they wouldn’t be thinking at all.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): Ok, thanks. At least on this occasion I have an explanation for my confusion.
    Eye glossiness.

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    …he voted to increase the debt. It’s hypocritical to vote for the very bills that increase the debt but refuse to fund it.

    There’s something about the Congressional Republicans’ behavior these days that’s disturbingly reminiscent of Sheriff Bart holding the pistol to his own head in the early part of “Blazing Saddles.”

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @NotMax: All presidential press secretaries have been called “The Honorable.” The first three were Truman’s — named Early, Short, and Tubby.

    (I am not making this up.)

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    It looks as if they’re describing any government official as “The Honorable So-and-So”. At least we don’t have the whole British “The Honourable” vs. “The Right Honourable” distinction.

  63. 63
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    The 200 (approximately) Republicans who voted against this essentially voted against funding the United States Government, since we are running deficits

    They’re being guided by their belief that that government is best that doesn’t govern.

  64. 64
    BGinCHI says:

    In other news about assholes:

    Paula Deen has partnered with private equity firm Najafi Media “to build and grow her business, Paula Deen Ventures.” That new holding company has hired Steven Nanula from Paula Deen Food Company as ceo. The WSJ puts the investment at between $75 million and $100 million. Jahm Najafi says in the announcement, “We know that the enterprise will be successful and valuable, as Paula and her team continue to bring quality products and experiences to her loyal fan base.”

    A few days ago, Deen was in Clarence, NY outside of Buffalo to celebrate the opening of her retail headquarters, which houses the Paula Deen Food offices and a retail store for people for her products and foods.

    For those who know suburban Buffalo, that’s about perfect.

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    In other news, a spokesman for Paula Deen told the press that Deen is launching a new show in which she will shoot a duck and cook it each week.

  66. 66
    Schlemizel says:


    Sadly, the jughead that will most likely to replace her is worse. Just as brain damaged but smart enough to keep his mouth shut. The Twin Cities are bracketed by two examples of this shit. John Kline on the Wisconsin side of the cities is a flaming shitheel but he rarely gets caught saying the worst stuff out loud. A lot of dog whistles. Erik Paulson on the West side has a more educated & sophisticated bunch in his district so he walks very softly but votes about 100% with ol Batshit. Because I live in Ellison’s district which is safe I spent the last 2 cycles trying to beat Paulson as I thought we had a chance. Turned out we had a crappy candidate 4 years ago (looked good on paper) and we just could not get over the top either time. Unless we get someone good this time I may switch and see if I can help against Kline, who really is scum too & needs to go.

    But I am not holding out much hope that MN delegation will get much better than it is right now

  67. 67

    @BGinCHI:Her food is vile, she is always gratuitously adding more fat whether it is needed or not. I saw her once make a burger topped with bacon and lots of cheese and she then served it on a Krispy Creme donut.

  68. 68
    jl says:

    I for one, during a debate against Ryan, would grab that sucker from behind his podium, give him a noogie, neck punch and a wedgie, and kick him the ass for his vote, and other bad things he has done.

    So, if other bigshot Dems don’t pan out, I may be available in 2016. You can contact me here, at comments at BJ blog.

    Edit: I forget whether it is supposed to be podium or lectern. If podium is the raised stage thing, Ryan might be hiding there after I destroyed him utterly in preceding debate, so it makes little difference.

    And note that I would NOT bash Ryan over the head with his lectern,that would be uncivil.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @jl: One usually stands on a podium, behind a lectern.

    (Of course, Paul Ryan may do it the other way around.)

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:I think we can at least all agree that Paul Ryan is dreamy with that athletic build and those bedroom eyes.


    Where’s my siren signal?

  71. 71
    bmoak says:


    The difference is that this particular debt ceiling vote covers expenditures from the recently-passed budget that Ryan himself shape, and got lots of bipartisan starbursts form the major media for doing so. The fact that he turned around and voted against it might make an interesting line of questioning from a reporter, but it will ever happen.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:


    I forget whether it is supposed to be podium or lectern.

    Originally, a podium was something you stand on (from the Greek word “pod” meaning foot) while a lectern is the thing you stand behind (originally a Bible stand, from the Latin word “legere”, to read). The distinction has become blurred and people routinely use podium to mean the thing you stand behind. And, to complete the pedantry, the area where the speakers stand should technically be called the “rostra” not the “rostrum”; it’s originally named after a speaker’s area in Rome that was decorated with the captured rams (rostra, meaning beaks) from enemy warships.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    IMO, some here think the average voter understands what a vote on the debt ceiling limit is. It’s pretty obvious that they do not. And I would wager that the typical R voter almost certainly does not.
    So linking the vote on a debt ceiling to the vote on passing a budget is kind of irrelevant, IMO.
    Budget = Good and responsible
    Debt Ceiling = Bad and spending more money money money

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    Either get rid of the stupid debt ceiling limit function, or rename it and start calling it “Budget Authorization Vote” or something that doesn’t have the word “debt” in it.

  75. 75
    taylormattd says:

    Confused by the exercise. I also think this will have absolutely zero negative effect upon Ryan should he decide to run.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore: OK, then. after destroying his arguments with facts and logic, I will chase Ryan’s skinny little PX-whatever ass all around the rostra, catch him behind his lectern and give him a noogie, neck punch and a wedgie, and he will be so scared by my devastating argument and physical humiliation that I deliver, that he will do the rest of the debate hiding behind the podium.

  77. 77
    James E. Powell says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I would argue that the main reason Conservatives have such faith in the private sector is that so few of them have experienced it up close.

    I don’t completely disagree, but would argue that the main reason conservatives have such faith in what they call the private sector is that people from businesses give them money and pick up their tabs. Most of the people we meet in politics are, like Paul Ryan, people who have never done anything else. They view business people either as patrons or marks.

  78. 78
    mclaren says:

    Since Paul Ryan is the odds-on favorite to the win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, that dispenses with the Republican candidacy. So the big question becomes: who should Democrats run in 2016?

    Because at this point, anyone the Democrats run will win. Anyone.

    If the Democrats run a dead dog in 2016, it will win over Paul Ryan.

    Everyone should realize that Democrats have a rare opportunity here. We can run anyone we want and s/he will win in 2016 because the likely Republican frontrunner is so insane, so grotesque, so bizarre, so completely unacceptable to the bulk of the American electorate.

    Shouldn’t that suggest that Democrats ought to run the most progressive candidate we can find who has a broad appeal?

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren: Let’s go with that thought: do you have someone in mind?

Comments are closed.