Paul Ryan: I came to Congress to make tough decisions, not run from them

posted at 12:41 pm on January 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I (mercifully) got to spend the past few days trekking around the awesome and actual cliffs in Arizona with friends and completely ignoring the ongoing vagaries of the last-minute fiscal cliff drama (sigh, if only for a little while). MKH already touched on this, but catching up on what I’ve missed, this particular vote’s effect on certain members of the 2016 bench may (or, may not?) be a clutch side-narrative.

Over in the Senate, Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio took the opportunity to keep their noses clean, and Rubio played it diplomatically, abstaining from criticisms but reemphasizing his pro-growth message:

But two names might stick out, among the five Republicans who opposed it. Sen. Marco Rubio is widely considered to have a decent shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and, as Roll Call’s Jonathan Strong aptly tweeted, his “no” vote could put some pressure on another potential White House aspirant, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who will likely have to vote on this deal in the next couple days. Big votes like this one are the kind that come up in presidential primary debates; last time around, the 2011 debt-limit vote was a topic. Rubio explained in a news  release after the vote that he appreciated the hard work that went into the deal, but “rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing,” and those “will be made more difficult” by this bill. …

Perhaps an unsurprising name on the list was Sen. Rand Paul, never shy about bucking the policies of his fellow Kentuckian, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Of course, Rep. Paul Ryan did indeed have to pick a side late last night; the former VP nominee, now potentially poised to hold even more influence over his House Republicans after his VP bid and more than Rubio or Paul in the Senate, stuck by Speaker Boehner and contended that he voted deliberately and pragmatically:

Today, I joined my colleagues in the House to protect as many Americans as possible from a tax increase. We also provided certainty by making the lower tax rates permanent. The House has already passed legislation to prevent tax increases for every American family, and it is unfortunate that President Obama insisted on taking more from hardworking taxpayers. Despite my concerns with other provisions in the bill, I commend my colleagues for limiting the damage as much as possible.

“The American people chose divided government. As elected officials, we have a duty to apply our principles to the realities of governing. And we must exercise prudence. We must weigh the benefits and the costs of action—and of inaction. In H.R. 8, there are clearly provisions that I oppose. But the question remains: Will the American people be better off if this law passes relative to the alternative? In the final analysis, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I came to Congress to make tough decisions—not to run away from them.

So, sincere question: Is this such a 2016-consequential vote? The time between now and 2016 potentially amounts to political centuries, and we’re certain to have even more realistically piddling but politically overwrought drama over our divided government in the next couple of years — or, will even these tax hikes have such a deep-seated economic impact that this is one of the big votes that some Americans won’t be so easy to forgive and forget? Hmmmm.


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PS:

I came to Congress to make tough decisions, not run from them.

You were sent to Congress.

Axe on January 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I came to Congress to make tough decisions, not run from them

…so when will you become the new Speaker?

KOOLAID2 on January 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM

So, sincere question: Is this such a 2016-consequential vote? The time between now and 2016 potentially amounts to political centuries, and we’re certain to have even more realistically piddling but politically overwrought drama over our divided government in the next couple of years — or, will even these tax hikes have such a deep-seated economic impact that this is one of the big votes that some Americans won’t be so easy to forgive and forget? Hmmmm

Do people really believe that rank and file Republicans are going to punish people like Ryan for not raising their taxes? The last I heard a majority of Republicans were supporting a resolution to this even if it included a tax increase for the wealthy. In fact, they were more worried about taxes going up for everyone than they were a compromise.

In four years it could well be that Rubio will look like grandstanding opportunist and Ryan will look like a man of character who did what he thought was right. After all, Americans have to do things every day that they are not crazy about. They have to put up with bad bosses, do jobs they hate, get along with difficult neighbors, pay bills with little money…they understand that adults have to make those hard decisions.

I think a lot of the pundits and rightie blogs have completely misread the base and the public on this.

Terrye on January 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I’m DONE!!!!
Mr. Ryan, there is NO DIFFERENCE between you & Obama.

mmcnamer1 on January 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

I see quite well, though I do need bifocals now that I’m on the far side of 40. For the record, Teh SCOAMF isn’t a Soviet agent; he’s closer to the Mao School.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Well, wrong once again. You’re blind, like I said. And misinformed.

Do you know what Artek is? Hussein spent the summer of his 14th birthday there alongside such future communist luminaries as Yulia Tymoshenko and other kids of elite communists from all over the world. Paid for, FULLY, by the USSR communist party. Same as Hussein’s father was pad being a known communist leader in Africa. So, you still don’t think he is a Soviet plant not only via his communist father’s connections, but also CURRENTLY paid for and controlled by Soros, yet another “friend” of USSR (as is Hammer, another commie azzhole).

Trouble with you guys is you still think that we somehow “defeated” Soviet Union. It should be very clear by now that it is they who destroyed us in the end. Exactly as they foretold and predicted. Yes, we won the battle in the ’80s, but we did ultimately loose the war.

Why do you think Russians were so happy 2 months ago and openly stated they are now in charge of things. Same as when they heard about upcoming Kerry’s appointment. Elated on both counts.

Yeah, Reagan destroyed them. What a stupid thing to say.

riddick on January 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

What a stupid thing to say.

riddick on January 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Is Obama a puppet, or does he know he’s a Soviet plant?

Axe on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

*i.e., a useful idiot, or an apparatchik?

Axe on January 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

In four years it could well be that Rubio will look like grandstanding opportunist and Ryan will look like a man of character who did what he thought was right. After all, Americans have to do things every day that they are not crazy about.

I think a lot of the pundits and rightie blogs have completely misread the base and the public on this.

Terrye on January 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM

In other words, you’re saying that the rubes WILL be gullible enough to latch onto whatever GOPe-approved empty suit is waved at them. I don’t think so, not anymore.

You have no idea what the base thinks.

ddrintn on January 2, 2013 at 9:38 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 2, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Agreed

Schadenfreude on January 2, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Is Obama a puppet, or does he know he’s a Soviet plant?

Axe on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Both. You guys should have seen videos of the idiot’s first trip to Russia, he was treated exactly how lackeys are, literally. No one even shook his hand while the rest of the delegation’s were, the video was brutal. They call him “black azzed monkey”, same as they do any other paid for African “tsariok” (“little king”, very sarcastic term), read it any way you like it.

Small investment that paid off big time. No wonder he doesn’t want to show hos passports, Pakistan is not the real issue.

riddick on January 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Paul Ryan, along with Gov. Christie, is finished in national conservative politics. But then again, so is the Republican Party.

markmiclette on January 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Paul Ryan always was a stealth Democrat.

This is the guy whose solution to entitlement reform is means-testing everything, turning them into welfare programs.

cool breeze on January 2, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Check the popularity of doing anything to entitlement programs.

And, one concept of warfare that’s applicable here: It’s very difficult to un-retreat.

Another version: It’s very difficult to attack when running in the opposite direction.

Take your pick.

IndieDogg on January 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

You would have loved General George Washington. His career began with British General Braddock who turned a nice army into a construction outfit (but we have some nicely laid out roads yet because of him) in Pa, Va and Maryland.

Just a sample:

“Ironically, George Washington’s early military reputation was based on a retreat in the French and Indian War. British troops led by General Edward Braddock marched against Fort Duquesne on July 9, 1755. As the British passed through a clearing in the forest, they were ambushed by Indian allies of the French. Braddock refused Washington’s request to take militia into the woods to engage the Indians. Washington displayed remarkable courage in the fighting. He had two horses shot out from under him, bullets tore his coat, and his hat was shot off. Braddock was wounded and later died. Washington led the remaining British troops in retreat. Americans admired Washington’s courage and gave him credit for his willingness to engage the enemy and for leading the successful retreat. Some Americans believed that divine providence had spared Washington for important future service.

George Washington’s use of strategic retreat in the American Revolutionary War guaranteed the survival of the Continental Army. At the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, the British soundly defeated the Americans and Washington’s troops fled to the safety off a nearby fort. On the foggy night of August 29, Washington led a skillful retreat of thousands of American soldiers by boat from Long Island to Manhattan. A few months later, Washington maintained a fortified position on hills near White Plains, New York. When the British easily captured a nearby hill that was higher, Washington successfully led his troops in retreat to even higher hills near New Castle. In September 1777 at Brandywine Creek near Philadelphia, the British swept around and came up behind the Americans rear defenses. Washington himself led a successful defense of the rear that allowed most of his army to escape. “
http://www.pbs.org/georgewashington/classroom/military_leader2.html

You guys should call Chairman Priebus after you get a few million dollars together to run.
,

IlikedAUH2O on January 3, 2013 at 9:11 PM

You’re going to make the tough decisions Paul Ryan? How about you propose a budget that actually cuts spending? How about you propose a 15% cut in all taxes, spending, and regulations and put it before the congress for a vote? How about you tell Washington that you understand that the only way to pay this catastrophic debt is to allow productive Americans to produce. Tell Washington to get off our backs and allow us to build and trade and profit. You will not because you are not there to make tough decisions your are there to maintain power.

WyattsTorch on January 5, 2013 at 12:04 AM

This guy always has an excuse for voting for the Progressive’s legislation.

He voted for TARP. He voted for the GM bailout. His votes are always followed by an excuse.

Note to Ryan. I don’t care the about the super-intellectualism that you apply as justification to vote Progressive.

If you’re voting with Obama/Pelosi/Reid, YOU ARE Obama/Pelosi/Reid. Socialist to the core!

Carnac on January 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM

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