Charlie Pierce is among the best political writers in America, and he joined in the numerous reflections of Ryan's career today. Like Ryan, Pierce is Irish-Catholic, but unlike Ryan (and fellow lifetime grifter Scott Walker), Pierce actually got an undergraduate degree from a Wisconsin university, and actually follows Christian values of caring and compassion for those going through tough times, and demands a government that does the same.
That's in strong contrast to Purty Mouth Pau-lie and Gov Dropout, who use their religion as a shield to hide behind, and try to injure those who are less fortunate. And that is perhaps why Pierce has always had an extra level of disgust for an already-disgusting man.
As a longtime connoisseur of Ryan’s public fakery, I may never decide what about him I find the most nauseating—the retrograde policies that he gussies up as concern for the poor and downtrodden, or the wet-eyed phony sincerity with which he sells them. Even in his press conference on Wednesday, Ryan expressed disappointment that, in his two decades in Congress, he didn’t get to fully gut Medicaid and Social Security. From C-SPAN:Of course, when Ryan says he'll "keep fighting" to screw the old and the sick, he's hinting at his next job - as a highly-paid front man for some BS right-wing group like the Heritage Foundation or AEI or the Bradleys (or, if things really go right, all 3 of them), guaranteed to have those pretty blue eyes on Sunday morning TV continuing to sprout things that are proven to be completely false and/or absurd.
Entitlement reform is the one thing, the one other great thing I spent most of my career working on. I’m extremely proud of the fact that the House passed the biggest entitlement reform bill in the history of the House of Representatives. Do I regret that the Senate did not pass this? Yes. But I feel, from all the budgets that I’ve passed, normalizing entitlement reform, and the House passing entitlement reform, I’m very proud of that fact. But of course, more work needs to be done. And it really is entitlements. That’s where the work needs to be done. And I’m going to keep fighting for that.This would include, of course, “reforming,” probably out of existence, the Social Security survivor’s benefits that got him through high school and college before he could line up at the federal trough for the rest of his adult life.
Pierce ends with a fitting flourish for the outgoing Speaker.
It would be great if every respectable Republican in the district ran and hid and left Nehlen as the party’s standard-bearer in the race to replace Paul Ryan. It also would be quite fitting. Ryan always served as one of the more “respectable” faces of a Republican Party that was steadily going mad. He didn’t care as long as the people who bought him dinner were happy with how he was rigging the nation’s economy on their behalf. Now, he’s going home to spend more time with his donor…er…family.
Ryan was also rightfully ripped today by Paul Waldman in the Washington Post column. Waldman says that while Ryan is a vapid fool who believed in some awful ideas, that made him a perfect face for a Republican Party that talks a big game, but has no moral backbone, and no ideological or intellectual honesty.
During his news conference this morning, Ryan explained his departure this way: “I have accomplished much of what I came here to do, and my kids aren’t getting any younger.” So what did he accomplish?
For years, Ryan has presented himself as someone deeply concerned with fiscal discipline, committed to getting America’s books in order. As anyone with any sense realized, this was a scam: Like all Republicans, he used the deficit as a bludgeon against Democratic presidents, then forgot all about it while a Republican was in office.
At the same time, Ryan — a lifelong admirer of Ayn Rand, the philosopher of selfishness — dreamed of destroying the safety net, eviscerating Medicaid, privatizing Medicare, slashing food stamps, and generally making life in America more cruel and unpleasant for all those who aren’t wealthy....
Paul Ryan was always a fraud. He pretended to be a wonk’s wonk, but his budget and policy plans were full of sleight-of-hand and magic asterisks that fell apart on the most superficial examination. He pretended to be terribly worried about the deficit, but he happily jacked it up when he got the chance. He pretended to care deeply about the poor, but would have made their lives impossibly more miserable had doing so been politically tenable.
And he pretended to be scandalized by Trump’s repugnant words and actions but, after a few regretful words and a furrowing of his brow, would always go right back to supporting the president. So while he will surely be remembered as one of the least effective speakers we’ve ever had, you can’t say Ryan didn’t faithfully represent his party.
Let's play "Spot the minority!"
As for my thoughts about Paul Ryan, well, Jon Stewart and his choir said it better than I ever could have several years ago.
Ryan stepping down also means that within a span of 2 years, Wisconsin can be rid of Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, and Scott Walker as "representatives" of our state in politics. Then add in the possibility of someone like Robbin' Vos getting his weasely self beaten in WI-1 by "Ironstache" Randy Bryce or Cathy Myers in November, and that would be one hell of a clean sweep out of scum for the state.
LET'S MAKE IT SO.