In recent weeks, there has been increasing discussion about the possibility that House Speaker Paul Ryan could emerge out of a brokered convention as the Republican nominee if the donor class is successful in denying Donald Trump the requisite 1,237 delegates.
Just as Paul Ryan’s ascension to House Speaker represented a total repudiation of the GOP electorate by GOP lawmakers, Ryan’s selection as the Party’s nominee would similarly represent the donor class’s silencing of voters and voters’ views on immigration, trade, and foreign policy that have transformed the country and its role in the world.
Regardless, many in the “#NeverTrump” movement have indicated that they would support Ryan against the wishes of the Republican electorate that has voted for Trump.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” said former House Speaker John Boehner, who exited the House shortly after teaming up with Ryan to give President Obama expanded trade powers. “I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee,” Boehner said.
“If it’s an open convention, it’s very likely [the nominee] would be someone who’s not currently running,” Ryan’s fellow Wisconsinite Governor Scott Walker said last week. Walker’s declaration follows an earlier pronouncement that he would be “just fine” with leaving his state’s Sanctuary Cities in place.
As conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, who has endorsed Donald Trump, warned in January, “After months of waiting for Trump to self-destruct, the Washington-based Republican Establishment has finally found a way to take back control of the party from the outsiders and grassroots. The plan revolves around the newly empowered House Speaker, Paul Ryan.” Schlafly writes that through a brokered convention, “‘dark horse’ Paul Ryan could become our nominee. Such an outcome could destroy the Republican Party and guarantee a Democratic victory by causing disheartened grassroots voters to stay home.”
Currently speaking, it’s mathematically impossible for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to win the majority of delegates walking into the Republican National Convention in July. Similarly, while not mathematically impossible for Cruz to get there, it’s close— he’d need close to 90 percent of the remaining delegates to win a majority walking into the convention. As such, the strategy both are employing is force a contested convention—and wrest the nomination from Trump there. The risk, however, is that at a contested convention—as the now Cruz-backing Walker acknowledged—there’s no guarantee at all on who may emerge as the GOP nominee at that point. It could even be, as Walker said, someone who isn’t currently running: i.e., Paul Ryan.
Indeed, National Review, which helped put the third world migration enthusiast Paul Ryan into the Speaker’s office, seemed to embrace the idea of nudging him into the Oval Office. National Review’s deputy managing editor penned a piece entitled, “Paul Ryan for President!” writing: “One can imagine a case where Trump and Cruz control 60 to 70 percent of the vote between them, and neither one will budge, and no other candidate or boss will consider helping either one. Then it will be time for a respected and inoffensive candidate to offer a contrast to all the strong personalities in the Republican race, and Ryan is nothing if not Mr. Acceptable.”
Following their endorsement of Speaker Ryan, National Review became the heart and soul of the “#NeverTrump” movement, meaning that the organization has effectively abandoned even the pretense of being concerned about migration. As Breitbart has previously reported, not only will Paul Ryan continue to push for massive increases to the already record-breaking pace of migration, but his commitment to large-scale migration means it’s unlikely legislation will pass the House that would reduce immigration growth by curbing visas, which more than 9 in 10 GOP voters want.
As one conservative political operative told Breitbart News, “The Republican convention is the GOP establishment’s prom, and Paul Ryan is their Prom Queen.” The operative explained that in the event of a brokered convention, “Ryan would ‘somehow’ surface as the nominee, the same way he ‘somehow’ surfaced as the Speaker, despite explicitly saying he did not want the job.”
Although Sen. Ted Cruz’s political ideology is in line with Ryan’s brand of Washington think-tank conservatism—whether it’s Cruz’s record of pushing for expanded foreign worker programs or offshoring trade policies—party leaders seem to prefer Paul Ryan’s presentation, and are likely to use Cruz’s gains to ultimately throw delegates towards Ryan.
“You don’t really think they [GOP establishment figures] want Ted Cruz, do you? I mean they’re using him to stop Trump, that’s there view of this,” Pat Caddell said on Thursday’s program of Breitbart News Daily. “I believe they are using Cruz as a cat’s-paw … I don’t think they’re going to nominate him. I think they will then move to nominate, to try to nominate an Establishment figure, someone who hasn’t run.”
Revealingly, Paul Ryan has yet to endorse Cruz for President. If Ryan were to endorse Cruz, it would arguably make it much more difficult for Ryan to accept the nomination over a candidate he had previously endorsed— suggesting that Ryan’s ultimate aim is to use Cruz’s victories to pave his own path to the nomination.
However, in order to emerge as the donor class’s savior, Ryan needs to win Wisconsin’s primary election on Tuesday— putting Ryan Republicanism on trial. This effectively means that voters are not casting a ballot between Trump and Cruz, but rather the philosophy of Donald Trump versus Ryanism.
Indeed, Ryan has postured himself as the “Republicans’ anti-Trump.”
“Speaker Paul Ryan is emerging as the Republican’s biggest counterweight to Donald Trump,” The Hill wrote in January.
Since Trump’s philosophy is so opposite of Ryan’s, if Trump were to win Wisconsin, it would be seen as a wholesale rejection of Ryan Republicanism. Losing Wisconsin would be politically devastating for Ryan and would make it exceedingly difficult for him to emerge out of the contested convention. As such, Wisconsin is a must-win for Ryan via a proxy of his policy viewpoints, Ted Cruz.
Paul Ryan and corporate media have sought to frame the GOP Civil War of voters versus donors and donor proxies (i.e. Fox News, Republican publications, and various corporate-owned radio networks) as a battle waged over something as frivolous as candidates’ “tone” rather than the substantive policy divisions between the electorate and the Party’s corporate funders.
The media is correct in that voters are currently facing an election between Trump and anti-Trump, but the media has failed to articulate the policies differences between them.
Ryan Republicanism consists of four core tenets, which are:
Since Wisconsin voters sent Paul Ryan to Washington nearly two decades ago, the U.S. has imported a population of immigrants that is nearly three times larger than the entire population of Wisconsin, which now stands at 5.7 million. Each year the U.S. issues more green cards than the collective population of the 13 colonies the year George Washington was born. This year, the U.S. will issue five times more green cards than there are members of Daughters of the American Revolution.
Yet Paul Ryan believes those numbers should be even larger. For the past two decades there has been perhaps no greater advocate for the donor class’s agenda of mass migration than Paul Ryan.
As Roy Beck, president of the immigration control group NumbersUSA, told Breitbart last October, Ryan “has spent his entire adulthood ideologically connected to the open borders crowd. Open Borders is in his ideological DNA. That’s the terrifying thing. He’s an ideologue and has spent his whole life working for ideologues. Open borders seeps out of every pore of his being. This isn’t personal, it’s just who he is… Paul Ryan is the heart and soul of crony capitalism.”
Dating back to his time as a Capitol Hill staffer in the mid-90s, Ryan was in part responsible for derailing the immigration curbs championed by Civil Rights leader and late-Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. “Ryan is part of the group that created the massive immigration problem facing the nation today,” Beck said, noting that today, “As a direct result of Paul Ryan and [his then-boss] Sam Brownback, there are an additional 10 million immigrants in the country [than we otherwise would have].”
In 2013, Ryan joined forces with open-borders advocate Luis Gutierrez to campaign for Marco Rubio’s amnesty agenda. Gutierrez has previously said, “I have only one loyalty… and that’s to the immigrant community.”
While stumping for amnesty with Gutierrez, Ryan repeatedly made the case for open borders, declaring that: “America is more than just a country… It’s more than our borders. America is an idea. It’s a very precious idea.”
This statement is significant because, while a country has borders, “ideas” do not. If America is an “idea” rather than a “country,” then recent refugees from Somalia have as much of a “right” to a job in the United States as do children whose ancestors fought in the American Revolution.
Ryan’s belief that America is “an idea” has similarly been articulated by open borders ideologue—and rejected Presidential candidate—Lindsey Graham, who recently endorsed Ted Cruz.
In 2007, Graham gave an address to La Raza in which said, “An American is an idea. No group owns being an American. Nobody owns this. It’s an idea that’s unique to the planet and one of the center pieces of this idea is that you come here trying it knock it out of the park as a person.”
In a 2011 speech to the Alexander Hamilton Society, Ryan similarly suggested that America’s culture does not belong to any one group— i.e. its foundation was just as much the legacy of Britain as it was the legacy of Somalia: “America’s ‘exceptionalism’ is just this – while most nations at most times have claimed their own history or culture to be exclusive, America’s foundations are not our own – they belong equally to every person everywhere. The truth that all human beings are created equal in their natural rights is the most “inclusive” social truth ever discovered as a foundation for a free society. “All” means “all”! You can’t get more “inclusive” than that!”
The notion that being American is “an idea” without any cultural legacy and that America’s foundations “are not our own,” but instead “belong equally to every person everywhere” suggests that Ryan believes that merely stepping onto U.S. soil somehow has the magical transformative effect of turning recent migrants into an automatic Jeffersonian Democrats with a perfect understanding of Constitutional governance.
Ryan perhaps best demonstrated his commitment to this idea in a 2014 radio interview in which Ryan explained why “immigrants from the third world” make “some of the best Americans.”
“Some of the best Americans are the newest Americans,” Ryan declared.
Ryan suggested that it’s the job of Republicans to import more of them and then try to convince them of their conservative principles. “This is a challenge that conservatives have to answer, ” Ryan said.
In this regard, Ryan has certainly done his part. As House Speaker, Ryan funded visas for more Muslim migrants this year alone than there are Paul Ryan voters in his own district. According to Pew, only 11% of Muslims in the United States are Republican or lean Republican.
Working Class Communities “Deserve To Die”
Throughout his career, Ryan has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to offshoring U.S. jobs in the name of maximizing corporate efficiencies, regardless of the economic devastation it has on American workers and communities.
National Review recently provided a pitch-perfect explication of Ryan Republicanism in explaining their own views about the economic status of these working-class towns.
“The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible,” writes National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson. “The white American under-class is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”
Williamson insists that the destruction of these communities was not a result of our nation’s immigration or trade policies: “It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.”
Polls show that among the American electorate, Republican voters are the group most skeptical of free trade—with a nearly five-to-one margin of Republican voters believing that free-trade deals slash wages rather than raise them. Only a minuscule 11 percent of GOP voters, according to Pew, believe that so-called free-trade deals will be good for wages.
As Pat Buchanan has explained, Trump’s success represents a repudiation of the “free trade” idolatry that has allowed China “to cart off what was once the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen. Compare Detroit and Shanghai today — to see the fruits of ‘free trade’.”
While Donald Trump has said that his presidency is the only way to kill Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, Paul Ryan was Obama’s partner in crafting the TPP.
As CNN’s Dana Bash wrote in a piece entitled, “Paul Ryan’s New Partner: Obama,” Ryan “allied with the President he tried to defeat [in 2012]. As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he’s muscling a controversial trade bill through the House that could shape President Barack Obama’s legacy — and his own.”
In an op-ed with Ted Cruz published in the open borders Wall Street Journal, Ryan outlined the Ryan Republicanism trade agenda. In their op-ed, Cruz and Ryan describe the TPP as an “historic” agreement that “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”
According to the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 to 2013, the U.S. lost 3.2 million jobs to China— including more than 68,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Paul Ryan subscribes to the donor class orthodoxy on military adventurism.
As Larry Sabato has explained, “Ryan is just a generic Republican on foreign policy.”
“On foreign policy, Paul Ryan is truly a product of the era of George W. Bush,” Daniel Larison wrote in 2012.
Ryan is “an internationalist of the old school,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens. “He supports the ‘arduous task of building free societies,’ even as he harbored early doubts the Arab Spring was the vehicle for building free societies.”
As CNN reported:
During the administration of former President George W. Bush, Ryan was a reliable supporter of the administration’s foreign policy priorities, having voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. He also supported the 2007 surge of U.S. troops to Iraq… During his time in Congress, the Middle East has been an area of interest for Ryan. He formed the Middle East Caucus in the early 2000s, and from his position on the Ways and Means Committee, he took the lead on pushing free trade agreements with Middle Eastern and Gulf countries that called for countries to enshrine the rule of law and women’s rights in their governments.
Ryan Republicanism promotes policies that would start foreign wars in the Middle East and then would bring the refugees of those wars into the United States. In this sense, Ryan Republicans are launching a Democratic experiment on two fronts: not only do they seek to nation build and make the world safe for Democracy abroad, but they also seek to import large flows of migrants, who have no history of Democracy and limited government, into the country to see if they can seamlessly integrate into our Democracy here.
Ryan Republicanism also includes a unique vision of wealth redistribution in which income is transferred out of the middle class and into the pockets of both wealthy business owners and poor migrants. This is accomplished through trade deals that shift wealth to the owners of capital and away from laborers, as well as immigration policies that eliminate workers’ ability to bargain for higher wages. This also comes in the form of a greater emphasis on cutting Social Security and Medicare rather than reducing welfare benefits to migrants and foreign workers.
During the 2012 election in which Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney managed to lose what had been described as a “gimme election” against Barack Obama, Ryan sought to make the election a mandate on reducing Medicare payments.
As the New York Times reported at the time, Ryan’s budget plan became of “political focal point” of 2012. The New York Times correctly predicted that Ryan’s plan would “become the standard by which Republican candidates for the House, Senate and White House are measured.”
Indeed, Ryan’s decision to put Medicare cuts at the forefront of the GOP agenda— rather than welfare benefit cuts for migrants or job placement efforts for welfare recipients— cost Republicans heavily in what was immensely favorable year in which Democrats were on defense.
During the election, Ryan said he was determined to message on Medicare cuts: “We want this debate. We need this debate, and we will win this debate,” Ryan said. It was unclear why Ryan wanted the election to be a referendum on Medicare cuts, which even for those who believe such cuts are fiscally necessary often view them as something that can only be done after winning an election rather than a rallying cry before the election is held.
Ryan and Romney not only lost the election, but Ryan failed to win his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.
While Ryan has demonstrated his constant focus to reign in entitlements for American citizens as part of his previous framing of the “makers and takers,” Ryan has shown no such impetus to stop the government from giving benefits to non-citizens who are not entitled to them. For instance, Ryan was responsible for a widely-panned strategy to cut veterans’ benefits for American citizens instead of cutting welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.
Between 2000 and 2013, Wisconsin’s middle-class households shrunk more than any other state in the country, according to Pew Charitable Trusts. The state has hemorrhaged jobs to China and Mexico. Meanwhile the cost of illegal immigration for Wisconsin taxpayers is approaching $1 billion per year and the total foreign-born population (legal and illegal) has reached 275,000.
If Ryan emerges victorious in Wisconsin, he will be in a strong position to continue pushing to expand migration, pass offshoring trade deals like the TPP, and use American troops and dollars to spread American Democracy in the Middle East.
Wisconsin voters will weigh in on these issues in Tuesday’s election.