The Freedom Caucus, largely a Tea Party entity, started claiming scalps. They took down Boehner because he wouldn’t let Congress work the way it should, then they treated Kevin McCarthy like a sad clown. Then they put their weight behind a moderate, Daniel Webster, who no one had ever heard of. The end result is… Speaker Paul Ryan, which wasn’t supposed to be possible. And who does he choose as his new chief of staff? David Hoppe, a solid conservative with scars from a dozen prior battles.
What a difference from just a few years ago. Remember the first Ryan roadmap plan from back in 2008, the one that the whole GOP freaked out about and many moderates worried was going to ruin the party? The original sponsors were this obscure budget ranker and this nobody senator from South Carolina, who are now respectively the president of the Heritage Foundation and the Speaker of the House. And now the roadmap is pilloried as this horrible squish idea!
Conservatives may not like what Ryan’s speakership may bring, as Matt Lewis notes. But there is no question the Tea Party has now forced into office the most conservative and talented leading congressman of his generation. And again – they don’t really want him! He’s not good enough! Whenever they win it’s not enough, and that’s great!