John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Paul Ryan: A Thoroughly Decent Guy

Posted on October 18, 2016
Paul_Ryan--113th_Congress-- (1)

Paul Ryan is one of the most thoroughly decent guys you will ever meet in politics.

He is not a schemer.  Not a back-stabber.  Not a political animal.

He’s not the kind of guy who relishes digging up dirt on his political opponents.  He is not Frank Underwood.

When Mitt Romney selected him to be his Vice Presidential pick, Ryan wanted to take the opportunity to talk about his poverty agenda, because he believes that we must do something in this country to help poor people.

The big brains in the Romney campaign all said no, we can’t care about the poor because we have to focus on the Middle Class.  Romney, who before he became a Presidential nominee was a vulture, I mean, venture capitalist, probably didn’t know much about the Middle Class, having rarely hung out with them, unless they parked his cars in his car elevator.

And he probably didn’t understand that many in the Middle Class were actually slipping into poverty because of the Financial Crisis of 2008, which was why Ryan was pretty smart about focusing on it as a political issue.  But Romney’s view of those who were struggling to make ends meet became clear when he made his famous 47% comment, so there’s that.

Paul Ryan is a thoroughly decent guy who I am sure remains very loyal to Mitt Romney and the folks who populated his campaign, and I suppose that’s fine.

Ryan is a policy wonk, not a political schemer.

He believes good policy can make the American government great again, or at least not as wasteful as it is currently.  He believes we can reform the tax code to keep American companies in America.  He believes we can help families by getting the government off of their backs.  He believes we can make government agencies more accountable to the people.

He has unveiled, piece by piece, his blueprint to make the government work again.   And it has a lot of good elements.

There is nothing in this Ryan agenda that wouldn’t be signed by President Donald Trump.

There is little in this Ryan agenda that would be signed by President Hillary Clinton.

Trump is not a policy person.  He is just a rich guy who woke up one day, discovered a roiling, angry mass of the American people who were sick and tired of losing, and decided to run for President by catering to their desires.

I assume Trump’s basic governing philosophy will be to be pro-business on the regulatory and tax front while fighting for the American people on trade and immigration.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is a policy person.  Her policies should scare all Republicans, even the #NeverTrumpers.  She wants to put more regulations and higher taxes on a business sector which she fundamentally doesn’t trust.  She also wants more globalization, open borders and she secretly supports the TPP trade agreement despite the fact that she says she doesn’t.

Her agenda is radical despite the moderate veneer.  She will not govern like her husband.

It is completely insane for Donald Trump to continue to attack Paul Ryan.

Ryan is a good human being.  As a good human being, it makes eminent sense for him to recoil in horror at the conversation that Trump had with Billy Bush.  And Ryan is absolutely correct to offer no defense of Trump and his comments.

Defending Donald Trump is not in Paul Ryan’s job description.

Ryan’s job, which he didn’t really want and had to be talked into, is to defend the Republican majority in the House.  And right now, that’s probably the most important thing going.

People forget, but two years before the Financial Crisis of 2008 came the Democratic sweep of the Congress in 2006.  And right after Nancy Pelosi came into power, the Democrats passed a slew of anti-business laws, some of which President Bush was forced to sign, that made it more difficult for the private sector to function efficiently.

Was there a connection between the Democratic takeover and the crash that followed?  You bet there was.  And after President Obama gained the White House, they continued to pass legislation that made a full recovery difficult to achieve.

So, Ryan has an important job to do, which is keep Nancy Pelosi out of the Speaker’s chair.

All the more reason that Mr. Trump stop is his stupid attacks on Mr. Ryan.

Paul Ryan is a thoroughly decent person who is a fine public servant and who is doing his best for his constituents and for the American people.  He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way by Mr. Trump.

Subscribe to the Feehery Theory Newsletter, exclusively on Substack.
Learn More