Open Thread: Paul Ryan, Attempting to Spin Shit into Votes

You and your puppetmasters painstakingly built this monster, Ryan — too late to claim you had no idea…

At least the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver still has one defender among the Media Village Idiots. Chris “Mad Bitcher” Cillizza:

Open Thread: Could Not Happen to A More Deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver


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All You Need To Know About Paul Ryan


…the speaker is torn between his personal feelings about the tape showing Donald Trump discussing grabbing women by the genitals and his desire to preserve the historic GOP majority in the House of Representatives.

My reaction:

A) Profile in Courage.


B) Put his picture in the dictionary next to “Party Before Country”

I have many dreams about this election. One that is very unlikely — but less so than a week ago — is that the GOP loses the House, and Ryan loses his seat.

A boy can dream, can’t he?

Image:Éduoard Manet, The Rabbit 1866.

ETA:  I’ll confess. This post was motivated in part by a desire to use that picture in association with today’s GOP.

Late Night Deserving Target Open Thread: The Sorrows of Young Ryan

Back in the halcyon days of last week, Politico worried about “Paul Ryan’s treacherous political future”:

[T]he speaker’s allies have become keenly aware of his precarious political future, the daunting challenge of governing under a President Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and the rough task of rebuilding a GOP that many Hill Republicans believe has been overrun by anti-free trade populists who favor bombastic bomb-throwing over thoughtful policy discussions. All while weighing the possibility of his own bid for president, which Ryan did not rule out in a speech on Wednesday.

Whether he goes that route or not, Ryan is likely in for a tumultous next few years. If Trump wins and Ryan retains the speakership, the Wisconsin Republican will be forced to continue to wedge his positions into Trump’s alternate Republican universe.

If Clinton wins, Ryan will have to preside over a slimmed Republican majority, more heavily populated with burn-the-house-down conservatives. He’ll have to cut deals and do business with Hillary Clinton — a woman he’s met with privately just twice — while at the same time keeping conservatives content.

It’s a governing scenario that people close to him are beginning to envision, according to multiple sources in his political orbit — and not a particularly pleasant one…

Today, from Buzzfeed‘s underrated snarkster McKay Coppins:

In the four months since he formally endorsed his party’s nominee for president, Ryan — the esteemed Speaker of the House, the sterling guardian of conservatism, the intellectual leader of the Republican Party — has been reduced to a miserable Trump flunky sheepishly counting down the hours until the election is over. Each day he spends tethered to the Donald seems to bring some fresh humiliation; each role he inhabits in the entourage proves more undignified than the last. Adviser, apologist, hype man, scold — none brings redemption, or even reprieve. And so he trudges on toward November, a stench of sadness clinging to him as he goes.

Friends and allies, disappointed though many of them are, have tried to show Ryan support in this difficult time. They labor to give him the benefit of the doubt, to rationalize his endorsement — and when they’re defending his honor on the record, they might even find themselves slipping into Messianic metaphors…

“I think he endorsed Trump because he tries to see the best in people, and he hoped that his endorsement would be a down payment on a new and improved Trump,” said Katie Packer, a friend of Ryan’s who served as Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012.

“Unfortunately,” she added, Ryan’s policy agenda “has been hijacked by Donald Trump,” and “I think there will be some who find it hard to forgive his support” of the nominee.

Sources close to the Speaker said he endorsed Trump in June in hopes of gaining access to the candidate’s inner-circle and steering him away from his more destructive behavior. Ryan also believed he could convince Trump to infuse his platform with more orthodox conservative policy…

Translation from the weaselspeak: Ryan hoped he could bamboozle Trump’s handlers, and introduce them to the hallowed GOP tradition of “dogwhistling” racism/sexism/xenophobia. Bad guess, Paulie!

…Whatever the reason, Ryan has seemed to grow more visibly dyspeptic about his lot in life since returning to Washington. At a press conference last month, he became uncharacteristically testy with reporters when they asked him about Trump’s proclamation that Vladimir Putin was a stronger leader than President Obama.

“Do you think I’m going to stand up here and be an election pundit?” Ryan responded sharply. “I’ve got other things to do in this job. Yeah, he’s the nominee of our party, because he won our nomination fair and square. I’m not going to sit up here and do the tit for tat on what Donald said last night, or the night before, and Hillary versus Donald. That is not my job, and I’m not going to be the election year pundit commenting on all these little things. I’ll leave it at that.”…

You call yourself a Catholic, Mr. Ryan; you should’ve remembered the warning about avoiding the near occasion of sin. Trump’s philosophy is not much different than yours — he’s just more honest about his own selfishness and greed.

Go cry on your hero Ayn Rand’s grave, ya little blue-eyed weasel.

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Thanks, Obama!

And on the very same day, GOP Leader Ryan once again steps on his own… tongue:

Open Thread: Paul Ryan Sucking Up to the NRA Again

The exact language is still in flux, and multiple sources said discussions are ongoing. But Speaker Paul Ryan’s office and other leadership staff have been researching ways they can punish Democrats for their controversial occupation of the House floor to protest the chamber’s lack of response to the Orlando, Florida, shooting massacre.

GOP lawmakers are expected to discuss the matter next week upon returning from their summer recess. While no votes have been scheduled, some members have been given notice that the response could come to the floor in September.

One option that’s been floated is a resolution broadly stating a sentiment that such tactics shouldn’t be allowed and will be sanctioned somehow going forward. Others are hoping Republicans will publicly rebuke certain Democrats they say “intimidated” nonpartisan House staff members during the late-June incident…

House Republicans were furious when Democrats took over the House floor, a breach of decorum that shut down the chamber for 25 hours after Ryan refused to allow a vote on a gun-control bill. GOP lawmakers seethed in conference meetings following the incident — which garnered loads of favorable press for the Democrats — and demanded that Ryan act to rebuke them.

Republicans say the Democrats’ actions endangered the institution by undermining rules that have governed the chamber for 250 years. Even senior Democrats privately expressed concern about potential long-term fallout, particularly if they’re eventually in the majority and Republicans resort to the same kind of tactics…

Repubs are furious that the Democrats got all that favorable media attention for nothing more than actually acting on their stated principles, and in the process made the GOP look like two-bit gunsels failing to enforce their NRA bosses’ bidding. Because screaming for security to strongarm an elderly civil rights hero and a military vet who lost her legs in combat… wasn’t the ‘strong daddy’ image the Repubs were trying to project.

Republicans have also taken issue with how a few Democrats in particular acted during the protest. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters in July that nonpartisan House staff complained to him that Democrats were bullying floor employees, even knocking something out of one staffer’s hand when the person was trying to restore order.

McCarthy said his staff was investigating the matter, had talked to multiple witnesses and was seeking video footage to verify the account. POLITICO has not independently verified his assertion.

IIRC, McCarthy is the mook who lost his shot at the Speakership because he couldn’t resist bragging in front of cameras that Gowdy’s most recent BenghaziAIEEEE!!! hearings were a stunt to take down that uppity Clinton woman. He’s not dumb enough that he still wants to take the job away from Ryan, is he?

Thursday Evening Open Thread: Collateral Damage

File under “Could not happen to a more deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver”…

Apart from more delicious schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?