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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, September 29, 2008

The thing about Paul Ryan

by folkbum

I mean, besides his being a liar (which "one of his local banks" failed?!?).

Ryan's raising some eyebrows for having railed strongly against the bailout bill--even against the principles within the bill--but then having voted for the measure this afternoon. (The bill failed, about which I am ambivalent. It was a better bill than the blank check Paulson asked for, but it was not great. And the devil we don't know is yet to come.)

It's simple, really: Paul Ryan voted for this bill because John Boehner told him to.

Nancy Pelosi told Democrats to "vote their consciences." Boehner said roughly the same thing (GOP whip Jim Blunt was desperately trying to round up retirees to vote yes, too). The subtext, of course--and it was probably made more explicit behind closed doors--was that if you were in a safe district, you needed to vote yes. No one wanted to take the heat for passing this bill, but no one wanted to say that Congress failed to act at the most critical time our economy has seen in decades.

Which is not to say that every safe member voted for the bill, given that 350 or more of the current members are likely to cruise to re-election. Even here in Wisconsin, you had Sensenbrenner and Petri voting no. But neither of them will suffer from bucking party leadership. Ryan is a young pup yet, and despite what looks to be perpetual (for the next few years) minority status for the Republicans, Ryan's a rising star and will need the help of the national GOP to take on Russ Feingold in a couple of years (or to try for Kohl's seat two years later).

Internal consistency is not important here; Ryan's already made his street cred. With all the bluster out there in the ether (and the press accounts that paint the opposite picture to what really happened), Ryan's got his fiscal conservative bases covered, regardless of his actual vote.

Anyway, Ryan's opponent: Marge Krupp. Give there, or through my ActBlue page.

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