Conservatives are coalescing movement-wide against an effort by House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to ascend to the Speakership in the wake of outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s forthcoming resignation.
“Paul Ryan is Boehner 2.0, except worse. Boehner didn’t keep his promises, but at least he made them,” ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell said in a statement.
Ryan is making no promises to do anything to advance a conservative agenda. He is demanding a Mafioso-style loyalty oath to his moderate agenda. He has promised nothing, nothing at all to advance the conservative cause. No wonder he has an “F” conservative rating. He’s demanding conservatives support him. No wonder Obama and Reid and Pelosi like him.
George Rasley of ConservativeHQ, legendary conservative Richard Viguerie’s shop, says Ryan’s demands amount to the end of democracy in America.
“In a bizarre act of arrogance unprecedented in American political history, establishment Republican Paul Ryan has spelled out the terms under which he will accept the third highest office in our constitutional republic and they amount to nothing less than the destruction of democratic government in America,” Rasley wrote on Wednesday. “What Ryan announced to the House Republican Conference last night was a set of conditions under which he would accept the Speaker’s gavel that amount to discarding any pretense that the House of Representatives is ‘the Peoples’ House,’ as in We the People, to make it simply ‘Paul’s House.’”
What each of them is referring to is an effort by Ryan to eliminate the procedure known as a “motion to vacate the chair”—the mechanism by which Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) pressured Boehner to resign, a process that has been in place since the early 1800s—something that is infuriating Republicans conference-wide, especially conservatives.
The process, a check installed by Thomas Jefferson, has been untouched for centuries and only serves as a final check by House members against an out-of-control House Speaker.
Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck—in an email to reporters on Tuesday evening—explained that Ryan “believes there needs to be a change to the process for a motion to vacate the chair.”
“No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time,” Buck wrote in the email.
“Ryan is not proposing to eliminate the motion to vacate,” Buck—who used to work for Boehner before joining Ryan’s team—Tweeted on Wednesday.
“It should exist. The process for how it can be used, however, should be changed. Open to different approaches,” Buck added in another Tweet.
Buck hasn’t responded to follow-up questions when asked how any change to the process that Jefferson installed, especially a change that would keep the “weapon” of such a resolution from being “pointed at” a Speaker “all the time,” would not constitute an end to that particular check.
ConservativeHQ and ForAmerica are hardly the only conservatives fighting tooth and nail against Ryan. Tea Party Patriots has released a call sheet on its website urging its activists to “STOP PAUL RYAN.” The Tea Party group has released a sheet with Conservative Review rating scores for various House GOP members it says grassroots activists should target with phone calls—along with those members’ office phone numbers—calling for grassroots pressure on them to fight back.
“We’ve got to do what we can today and through the rest of the week to strengthen the resolve of the House Freedom Caucus,” Tea Party Patriots said in the post.
We have included a list of phone numbers and pre-populated Tweets below. Please call and Tweet as many as you can throughout the rest of the week. Tell them it’s time for new leadership in Washington. We need leadership that will change the top-down power structure of the House so that each Member has more power to actually represent their constituents.