Good riddance, Paul Ryan

An aide to the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives has announced that Ryan will retire from congress at the end of the current term. At 48 he is very young by congressional standards and this has prompted immediate speculation as to why he is leaving. He has, of course, given the common and usually bogus reason of wanting to ‘spend more time with his family’.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Ryan insisted that he had never sought the job of speaker and that his plans to retire were focused on his desire to spend more time with his children. “If I’m here for one more term my kids will have only known me as a weekend dad,” said Ryan.

Others are suggesting that he fears that Republicans may lose their majority in November and thinks it better to bail out before that happens.

“This is a titanic, tectonic shift,” an unnamed Republican told Axios, which first reported the news. “This is going to make every Republican donor believe the House can’t be held.”

In a statement, Tyler Law, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said: “Speaker Ryan sees what is coming in November, and is calling it quits rather than standing behind a House Republican agenda to increase healthcare costs for middle-class families while slashing social security and Medicare to pay for his handouts to the richest and largest corporations.”

Others are suggesting that with the passage of a massive tax cut for the wealthy, Ryan has achieved his life’s ambition.

Friends said Ryan was ready to step down after passing a tax reform bill, one of his longtime goals, Axios reported.

What kind of person has a major life goal to give tax cuts for the rich? I’ll tell you. It is a person who is a fanatical follower of Ayn Rand. But I don’t buy this reason either because it has long been Ryan’s goal to cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid benefits too, something he has said he fantasized about while still a college student because he is a Randian true believer who thinks that the poor are moochers and looters and parasites who leech off the hard work of the truly virtuous that comprise the one-percenters. His attitude was captured aptly by Charles Pierce who referred to him as the ‘zombie-eyed granny starver’.

So what will happen to his congressional seat?

The Wisconsin congressman also may leave behind a competitive race in his district. Although Trump won there by 10% in 2016, Barack Obama won the district in 2008 and narrowly lost it in 2012.

There is a competitive Democratic primary there between ironworker Randy Bryce and schoolteacher Cathy Myers. The only other Republican candidate running, Paul Nehlen, is a vocal antisemite and white nationalist.

We already have an openly white nationalist and anti-Semite as the Republican nominee for a congressional seat in Illinois. If another one wins the Republican primary in August, the Republican party’s true brand will be even more apparent.

I have long despised both Ryan and the media who fawned over his pretend wonkiness to treat him as some kind of serious policy thinker, when he was just one of your run-of-the-mill servants of the oligarchy who had the ability to use numbers to snow journalists. So what do I think are the real reasons for his leaving? It is the true Randian reason of wanting to make more money. He likely feels that he is most marketable to the oligarchs while he is still speaker and that if he is relegated to mere minority leader his negotiation leverage is diminished.

So say hello to Paul Ryan, future lobbyist.


  1. Helge Heinrich says

    May be he has been chosen by Pence as new VP when DJT resigns.
    That way the R’s can avoid a special election for his old seat.

  2. alkaloid says

    He knows on some level that everything he’s ever promoted is going to crater the country, so he’s going to leave in order to build a case that he shouldn’t be associated with the impending onslaught of Greek-style austerity/social demolition that’s likely to take place unless there’s a massive revolt against it.

    The summarized version: rat leaving a sinking ship. I wonder where he’ll climb onto next?

  3. says

    First Boehner and now Ryan cut and run when the going gets tough.

    I’m no great fan of Pelosi, but she, at least, stuck around to fight.

  4. anat says

    Regarding the spelling of the English for ‘hatred of Jews’: From

    From the outset the term anti-Semitism bore special racial connotations and meant specifically prejudice against Jews.[2][13] The term is confusing, for in modern usage ‘Semitic’ designates a language group, not a race. In this sense, the term is a misnomer, since there are many speakers of Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs, Ethiopians, and Assyrians) who are not the objects of anti-Semitic prejudices, while there are many Jews who do not speak Hebrew, a Semitic language. Though ‘antisemitism’ has been used to describe prejudice against people who speak other Semitic languages, the validity of such usage has been questioned.[26][27][28]

    The term may be spelled with or without a hyphen (antisemitism or anti-Semitism). Some scholars favor the unhyphenated form because, “If you use the hyphenated form, you consider the words ‘Semitism’, ‘Semite’, ‘Semitic’ as meaningful” whereas “in antisemitic parlance, ‘Semites’ really stands for Jews, just that.”[29][30][31][32] For example, Emil Fackenheim supported the unhyphenated spelling, in order to “[dispel] the notion that there is an entity ‘Semitism’ which ‘anti-Semitism’ opposes.”[33] Others endorsing an unhyphenated term for the same reason include Padraic O’Hare, professor of Religious and Theological Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College; Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and James Carroll, historian and novelist. According to Carroll, who first cites O’Hare and Bauer on “the existence of something called ‘Semitism'”, “the hyphenated word thus reflects the bipolarity that is at the heart of the problem of antisemitism”.[34]

    Objections to the usage of the term, such as the obsolete nature of the term Semitic as a racial term, have been raised since at least the 1930s.[24][35]

  5. Mano Singham says


    Interesting! So it seems like ‘antisemitism’ is the recommended way of writing it. One learns new things all the time.

  6. lanir says

    In addition to seeming to be a Randian true believer, Paul Ryan is pretty adept at presenting himself. We’ll see him again running for president. This maneuver now is just him leaving before things tank but I’d imagine he’ll spin it into a sort of “Once and Future King” style legend among the Republican faithful.

  7. Mobius says

    Rand. Ugh. What a reprehensible person she was.

    As for why Ryan is quitting, I think it has two aspects. One is that he would likely have faced fierce competition from a Democrat for his seat. Two is that he would likely have faced fierce competition from the Tea Party wing of the Republicans. Ryan is not popular with the Tea Party. He isn’t ideologically pure enough for them. Given how conservative Ryan is, that says a lot about the Tea Party.

  8. KG says

    I think he may be considering a 2020 or 2024 Presidential run, depending on circumstances -- but in either case, wants to be out of the way when the bodily waste hits the air conditioning device.

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