The Worst Job in Washington, DC

The Zombie Eyed Granny Starver from Wisconsin has aggred to take the job of Speaker of the House, but he has laid out conditions that resemble those of a Heisman winning first round draft pick:

On Tuesday night, Rep. Paul Ryan announced that he’ll run for speaker of the House — if he gets the endorsement of every major Republican caucus by this Friday, and they agree to sign on to rules changes making it much harder for the far right to depose the speaker in the middle of a session.

In a meeting with his House Republican colleagues, Ryan laid out several conditions that he’d want in exchange for taking the job. According to a statement issued by Ryan’s office, he said:

  • That the next speaker should be “visionary” and “needs to use the platform to create a clear policy choice for the country”
  • That rules should be changed to make it much more difficult to challenge the speaker’s leadership in the middle of a House term
  • That he wanted to spend “less time on the road” (meaning less than the three weekends a month Boehner spends fundraising)
  • And that the next speaker should be “a unifying figure across the conference”

The last of those is particularly important. The statement from Ryan’s office says he will only run “if he is a unity candidate — with the endorsement of all the conference’s major caucuses,” and that members should “make clear whether they support” him by Friday.

So I guess that we can add prima donna to his resume as well.

It’s kind of amusing, the Teabagger caucus finally gets Boehner’s scalp, and discovers that they are now at the point where no one is willing to take the job.

Charlie Pierce notes that Ryan wants to ignore the basic history and responsibilities of the office:

Comes now Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, who apparently will deign to become Speaker of the House, but only if the entire Republican caucus in the House supports him, and only if the more recalcitrant members of the caucus agree not to turn on him. This very much includes the 40 members of the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” the prion-addled Patient Zeroes of movement conservatism, and the people who defenestrated John Boehner and also ended Kevin McCarthy’s aspirations. So far, these folks seem reluctant to accept the conditions proposed by “Uncle Paul” Ryan.

Ryan’s conditions include rules changes that would make it more difficult to overthrow a sitting speaker – a provision that Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, a leader of the Freedom Caucus, said is a “non-starter.” “We have to remember everything in the House and everything in Congress is about checks and balances,” Labrador said. “We have two houses of Congress for that reason. We have three branches of government for that reason, and one of the reasons that every board has the freedom to vacate (the chair).” And fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mo Brooks said in addition to that concern, he takes issue with Ryan’s track record on immigration. “Paul Ryan’s support for amnesty and open borders, that is a significant factor,” the Alabama Republican said.

​Plainly, Paul Ryan wants to be granted the authority and prerogatives of a being powerful Speaker without having to earn them through the process of persuasion that became a requirement of the office beginning with the breaking of [Despotic House Speaker from the turn of the last century] Joe Cannon. Now, having Paul Ryan two heartbeats from the presidency is a goddamn awful idea merely on its merits. But, beyond that, his demands seem to me to be based on a fundamental misreading of the current political landscape. For the past 30 years, through the deliberate development of the political identity that infected the party with the prion disease, no Republican politician ever will be allowed to be truly safe. The party handed the skunks the weapons, and the skunks learned how to use them. You’re their huckleberry now, sport.

This really is going to be the worst job in the world, and at the rate that this is going, I would expect half of the Republican Caucus to exhume the body of Ronald Reagan, and make him Speaker.

It is a f%$#ing mess.

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