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Ryan’s proposals show GOP’s faults

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke at the ultra-conservative Heritage Action group this week. His message had three points. First, the president made Republicans have the food fights within the party they have had the last seven years. Second, Republicans must reconcile the factions within the party. And third, the Republican Party must be both “inspirational” and “inclusive.”

Three amazing statements that, when combined, paint an interesting picture of where the Republican Party is today.

Ryan posits that, all too often, Obama has lured the Republicans into internal arguments that have made them seem the opposition party rather than “the proposition party.” This argument, a derivative of “the dog ate my homework” claim, seems wholly improbable. But, granting Ryan’s less than compelling logic here, his conclusion, to stop the internal divisions and arguments within the Party is, referring to Obama, “Don’t take the bait.”

Now, republicans have had difficulty defining this president. A faction of the party once tried, as birthers, to deny Obama was even a citizen. Then, a Republican meme became Obama was just a community organizer, not competent to hold the presidency.

The re-election of Obama seemed to soften that claim.

Then the president became the dictator when he, like all presidents before him, passed executive orders. And now, the community organizer, demagogue, who is barely a citizen, is forcing Republicans into traps that make them argue internally. Right.

Next, Ryan goes on to plead that the two factions within the Republican Party seek common ground. One faction, called by its detractors, the establishment Wing of the party, argues that Republicans should not promise things the party cannot deliver, like repealing Obamacare while a president named Obama holds a veto pen.

The other faction, called the Tea Party, argues that the real problem is not making impossible promises, but that the party does not deliver on its impossible promises. This failure to accomplish the impossible is the catalyst for anger within Republican ranks.

Ryan asks for reconciliation with a group that wants to make impossible promises and somehow accomplish those impossible promises, demonstrating that conservative values are not open to discussion. Were that such a world existed it might be somewhere within Alice in Wonderland.

Ryan’s third claim, that the Republicans must be inclusive is, at best, amazing; at worst, laughable.

The same party that has presidential candidates arguing to forbid any Muslims from entering the U.S., and arguing that Mexican Immigrants are “rapists and murderers”, wants to be seen as inclusive. The party that has presidential candidates refusing to accept the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage and that seeks to de-fund Planned Parenthood’s medical services wants to be seen as inclusive?

And if you find the inclusive argument difficult to imagine, try imagining the Republican party, that has only policies to undo the Obama years, as inspirational. This is the party that thrives on selling voters fear of ISIS conquering America, liberals taking away “their country”, and constitutional violations denying Americans their last freedoms.

Republicans other “inspirational” ideas are repealing Obamacare, failing to even propose immigration reform, passing another trade agreement designed to shift more jobs out of the U.S., and sending troops once again to the Middle East to fight yet another war there.

As for new programs, Republicans will offer tax cuts in the face of growing deficits, a new idea once called Trickle Down.

Speaker Ryan’s proposals are rich in imagination if not in fact.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.