Paul Ryan is a Terrible Liar
Each day, it seems that the Republican nomination will be heavily contested at the convention, with a serious potential that Trump will not be the nominee. Even if he were to receive more delegates than anyone else, anything short of 1237 means he will not secure the nomination on a first ballot vote of the delegates. With rules of the convention being up in the air, it opens someone who isn’t even running for President to receive the nomination. Paul Ryan has been a heavily rumored pick. At the height of the rumors, he held a press conference to absolutely insist he is not running for President.
The Chosen One
There’s no reason to believe him at all. Paul Ryan has a history of claiming to not be interested in higher office and then ending up in those exact positions! Before going into this history though, it’s important to understand why Paul Ryan’s name gets brought up all the time. That begins with his biggest funders and supporters: The Koch Brothers.
The Koch Brothers have always liked Paul Ryan, who worked with a conservative group that would merge with a Koch group into FreedomWorks, one of the original Tea Party organizations. He’s received 65,000 dollars from them over the course of his career, and there are several public and private comments that have led Paul Ryan to be a favored son of theirs.
In 2012, Paul Ryan was a potential candidate for President, but he decided that he didn’t want to run. The people that were pushing him to run were the Koch Brothers, who became a key pillar of the Republican Party’s funding. Not only did they back candidates like Paul Ryan, but they helped take other Senate, congressional, and state legislative seats. Paul Ryan declined to run for President as he just was not willing to make the commitment of campaigning. He preferred to work on policy, and was in a tight budget battle with President Obama.
When Romney had secured the nomination and the time to pick a Vice President had come, Paul Ryan was picked. At the time I thought the pick went against Romney’s strategy of moving to the middle as Paul Ryan had just proposed a budget that massively cut taxes and cut programs that would help the middle class and the poor. He also didn’t help shore up any demographic outside the typical Republican constituency either. This was a result of was Koch Brothers influence largely pushing Paul Ryan as “the guy”.
Last year, John Boehner was the Speaker of the House and suffering from an insurgency in his own party. It was expected that he would step down and Republicans would decide on a new speaker. Kevin McCarthy, who was just a peg below in the hierarchy, was seen as the likely next Speaker until he dropped out after some poor comments regarding the Benghazi hearings. Paul Ryan became a popular name and he was insistent on not wanting the job because of the hassle it would be. Shortly later, Paul Ryan accepted the role.
Just before his press conference he came out with a video that is essentially presidential ad. Its every boring trope you would expect out of a campaign ad. Before that, he apologized for “makers” and “takers” remarks he made that were similar to Romney’s 47 percent comments from the 2012 campaign. He’s distanced himself from Trump’s incendiary dialogue towards Muslims and Mexican immigrants as well. All signs point to someone who is about to run for President as a moderate, wonky, Republican.
A Clear Fraud
Paul Ryan has an unearned reputation though. He’s largely been described as a “smart, budget guy conservative.” In reality he is no such thing. His big expertise, his ideas on the budget, are awful. He would blow a massive hole in the debt with his tax cuts that wouldn’t be able to be offset by any amount of the cuts he has planned. His other policy ideas just include the standard fare of deregulating in favor of Wall Street and corporations while privatizing Medicare and Social Security. Because he’s able to sound reasonable, intelligent and talk about Ayn Rand, he’s seen as some sort of sophisticated thinker when this is really just putting sprinkles on a bag of garbage. And in his role as Speaker of the House, he’s already missed one budget deadline that he had previously talked about making sure they would meet.
The Machinations of the Kochs
The Koch Brothers have been incredibly strategic. They had their original candidate in Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, but he was too boring and seen as regular establishment in an anti-establishment year. They were quickly able to realize there wasn’t a suitable option to put their money behind and haven’t spent any money in this primary season. Instead they’ve prepared for the Senate, which is in real danger of flipping to Democrats.
With a contested convention, it’s likely no candidate will win on the first ballot and that means all bets are off. With the Koch Brothers’ strong influence on the Republican Party, this makes Paul Ryan an option. Most delegates are party insiders, former officeholders, or fundraisers. With party leaders often making delegate selections, the Koch Brothers have a strong indirect connection.
They have consistently guided the Republican Party over the years, and in a time where there is no leadership, the largest donors are filling in the power vacuum from the shadows. When it comes time to vote in Cleveland, Paul Ryan will certainly be an option because he is exactly the candidate the Kochs have always wanted.
Party Nominee Selection was Never Democratic
This is all incredibly undemocratic, but ultimately these decisions have always come down to the party. The democratic way of selecting nominees is fairly recent when looking at the history of elections. They’re in charge of their own rules, and have frequently changed them in order to influence the outcome in a manner that they think will benefit their party the best. However, if it’s this transparent in Cleveland, they will absolutely suffer consequences. Trump will certainly have the most delegates, and many of his passionate supporters will be infuriated if someone who didn’t even run ends up the nominee. It’s impossible to predict what will happen, but I would say it’s absolutely foolish to rule Paul Ryan out, if Trump doesn’t reach 1237 delegates.