Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Boat, Back and the Budget Man

BeeLine has been on hiatus for the the last seven weeks-planned and unplanned.

The planned hiatus involved a trip to Denmark and a transatlantic cruise from Copenhagen to New York City that took me offline for almost a month. We visited Norway, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in addition to the voyage across the North Atlantic that was not far off of the path the Titanic took over a century ago.

The unplanned hiatus involved a back injury I sustained on the last day of the voyage when I made a misstep on some stairs. That resulted in about two weeks where I was laying prone most of the time and it is only now that I am able to sit for any extended period of time. Needless to say, blogging is difficult when you are flat on your back.

However, I am finally back on the road to recovery and a lot has happened in the last two months.

Among the big news items...

  • Donald Trump still defying political gravity in the GOP Presidential race.  However, Ben Carson seems to coming on strong of late in recent polls.
  • John Boehner resigning as House Speaker and his heir apparent, Kevin McCarthy, self-imploding on his way to the Speaker's chair.
  • Paul Ryan being "drafted" to run for House Speaker after taking himself out multiple times before. Interestingly, many true conservatives don't think he is conservative enough but consider that Ryan's lifetime American Conservative Union Rating is 90. His score last year was 84. Daniel Webster, who received the initial endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus ( and effectively ended Kevin McCarthy's bid for Speaker) which represents the Tea Party wing of the party, has a lifetime rating of 78.83 and his score last year was 72.  McCarthy's lifetime ACU Rating is 88.63 and he also had a 72 score last year. Based on the ACU Rating, Ryan is more conservative than either of them!
    • I am a big supporter of Paul Ryan and I think he was the only realistic candidate for Speaker. Why? He is the smartest guy the Republicans have in the House. He knows policy and he understands politics. Very few politicians have both skills. He has the needed experience on how the House and Washington work. He is articulate and is the best spokesperson the Republicans have to explain their positions to the American people. He has been a national candidate and is used to the spotlight and the scrutiny with a high profile position. He got his college degree from the same school I did! What more can be said?
    • I have written about Paul Ryan many times before in these pages. Here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote shortly after Mitt Romney selected Ryan to be his running mate in August, 2012.

I believe Paul Ryan is the most consequential person I have seen on the political scene in the last 30 years.  We have not had anyone since Ronald Reagan who has had more influence on the direction of the debate in Washington.  Ryan almost single-handedly put the budget debate and entitlement reform on the front page.  Many have said that you could not broach the subject of entitlement reform in Washington and survive.  Ryan did and he has only not survived, it has gotten him to a place where he and Mitt Romney might actually be able to save the country from its fiscal delinquency.

I have written about Ryan several times in these pages.  The first was a year and a half ago in The Punter and The Quarterback.  I described how I saw Paul Ryan compared to Barack Obama.
To use a football analogy you've got a punter and a quarterback.  The punter runs on the field, kicks the ball quickly and hopes that his teammates make the tackle on the return so he doesn't have to get his uniform dirty.  The quarterback is determined to take his team to victory.  He is not afraid to put everything on the line to do it.   If he has to scramble, he won't be sliding to avoid getting tackled.  He is all in to win. 

The punter-President Barack Obama.  The quarterback-House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States because he said he was going to change Washington.  He was going to cut the deficit in half.  He was going to be a leader like none we had ever seen before.  All he has done is punt, punt punt.

Paul Ryan was just a young Congressman from Wisconsin when he came to Washington.  However, he has done nothing but lead, lead, lead.  He not only has shown a mastery of the difficult budget issues of our country but he crafted a concrete plan and path to deal with it.  He not only took on the tough issue of entitlement reform in that proposal but he has been able to get the entire Republican caucus in the House and Senate to support his approach. 

He has persevered even when he has been viciously and unfairly attacked by Democrats.  They have run ads showing him throwing grandma over the cliff.  They have called him every name in the book. 

You will hear it all over the next few days.  He's radical.  He's heartless.  Of course, the Democrats have no plan of their own other than to take the country over the cliff.  President Obama's budget has not even been able to get one Democrat vote in the Senate in the last two years. The Democratic-controlled Senate has not produced a budget for over 3 years. On the other hand, Ryan's budgets have passed the House in each of the last 2 years.

I said this about Ryan in April, 2011 after he released his 2012 Budget proposal.

"Paul Ryan has put a proposal forward that will require the American people to decide what path they want to be on.  A path that can provide a way out of the fiscal mess we are in and the potential to put us on a "path to prosperity" as Ryan calls it.  Or the current road to ruin that we are currently on.  The American people have to decide the future they want.  

The 2012 election just got much more interesting due to Paul Ryan. That is when we will also find out whether Ryan is the man for the times or simply is a man ahead of the times.  No matter which way it goes, I know one thing.  Paul Ryan is A MAN!  We have not seem many like him in Washington in a long time.

I don't agree with Paul Ryan on everything. However, I don't doubt his capabilities, his courage and his commitment to do what is right for this country. That is all I need.

If there is a man for these times, I believe that Paul Ryan is that man.

If you still have doubts, read this blog that I also wrote in 2012 about Paul Ryan and The Fourth Turning.

May the House of Representatives agree with my conclusion about the man tomorrow.

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