11 December 2013
The Republican crack-up continues
Little more than a year ago, Paul Ryan created whatever excitement existed among self-styled conservative Republicans over Mitt Romney's presidential bid. Now, from the way some talk on the air and online, the Wisconsin congressman is a RINO fit to be primaried. That's because he appeared to behave responsibly this month, quietly negotiating a spending deal with Sen. Murray that would prevent another government shutdown next month. The idea obviously wasn't to take big steps toward cutting debt or deficit, but to keep the government running. For the GOP base, this is compromise, capitulation to "Washington." More taxes continue to be levied and more money spent by the government than base Republicans can justify, and not enough people are suffering either to motivate them to become useful or to satisfy the moral sense of the base. There can be no normalcy (to use a good old Republican word) while such conditions prevail. The question now becomes whether there are enough people of this mentality in the House GOP caucus to scuttle Ryan's deal or threaten Speaker Boehner's authority. Boehner put a target on himself today by rebuking the extremists in his own party for attacking the deal. It remains to be seen whether the opposition to Boehner is the extreme or the mainstream of the Republican party today.