Good Riddance, Paul Ryan, and Thanks for Nothing

Paul Ryan is the picture of defeatism. He is a defeated man. He’s blaming others, of course. But he brought the defeat on himself.

Ryan once stood for fairly libertarian principles of limited government. Yet just this year, he presided as Speaker of the House – with a Republican President who wants fiscal restraint – over the largest debt, deficits and domestic spending in American history. The voters gave him everything and he didn’t even try. Obama would have been vilified for the budget just passed under Paul Ryan’s Congress, and deservedly so.

In his tenure as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan first gave Obama everything he demanded – and more. Then, under Republican President Donald Trump, Ryan’s House of Representatives spent even more than Obama demanded at the end of his term, and probably the same as a President Hillary Clinton would have spent in office.

Ryan blames his defeat on “polarization”. What’s so bad about polarization? Polarization is a sign of health. At the time of the American Revolution, there was polarization between the British King and the American colonists. The colonists said the individual has rights inherent in nature. The British King said, “No you don’t. Your rights come from me.” Polarization ensued, and the right side won, changing the course of human history forever.

At the time of the Civil War, there was polarization between North and South. The North said the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to all individuals, including blacks, and that slavery was both immoral and illegal. The South said the opposite. Polarization ensued, and the right side won.

We need polarization today, and desperately. We need one side to say, “Most of what the federal government currently does it should not be doing, and is not authorized by the Constitution. Let’s develop a budget that sets a course for phasing out government as we know it, and returning to the limited government our Founders gave us.” Paul Ryan didn’t even try, and he didn’t act like he even cared. It’s one of the biggest missed opportunities in American history. That’s the defeatism that is Paul Ryan’s legacy. He will claim he’s a victim, but he’s not the victim of anything other than his own bad choices.

If Paul Ryan had stuck to what he used to claim were his beliefs of limited government and fiscal restraint, he would have embraced the polarization and picked a side. He had the perspective and intelligence to do so. But he choked – in a big and continuing way.

The fiscal and Constitutional disaster that’s our current government is not all Paul Ryan’s fault. But it’s as much his fault as anyone else’s. Whether due to laziness or moral cowardice, he succumbed to the pressures and the temptations of the morally challenged D.C. Swamp. The liberty and freedom he once claimed to cherish paid a price. He will spend the rest of his career chattering on Fox News claiming he’s a victim and cashing in on the wretched, worthless job he did, like so many other ex-politicians.

Good riddance, Paul Ryan. Thanks for nothing. We counted on you to provide an alternative, and you only made things worse.

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