Paul Ryan, though Speaker of the House of Representatives, is just a congressman. Congressmen run for re-election every two years. So Ryan is up for re-election again. This time, Ryan has an anti-establishment challenger who is going to self-fund and attack the DC culture.
Normally I’d go in for such a thing. I expect that Paul Ryan and I will disagree on numerous things. But there are a few mitigating factors that lead me to endorse Paul Ryan for re-election and send him a check.
First, conservatives just picked off John Boehner, deservedly so. Ryan, the replacement, is definitely a better Speaker than Boehner and, frankly, is a better Speaker than most anyone who would replace him.
Second, there are more viable races in which terrible incumbents can be beaten around the country and there are races where conservatives can win open seats if they focus their resources there.
Third, I frankly think that at a time the GOP is fracturing and a bunch of former Democrats, white supremacists, and people otherwise alienated from the political process are trying to take over the Republican Party, Paul Ryan is the steadiest hand in the tumultuous seas right now. He is a far better leader than Boehner was and vastly better and more conservative than Mitch McConnell.
Fourth, I like the guy. We may disagree politically on some things, but I think Paul Ryan is the best conservatives can hope for right now in Washington and he’s a decent person.
I have a lot of friends who are going to read this and give me unmitigated hell for the next few weeks. That’s fine. I see a party fracturing and a descent into tribalist, nationalist tendencies among a lot of people who should know better. If we’re going to fight the GOP civil war, I think Wisconsin’s First Congressional District can at least provide us with one stable, non-tribalist happy warrior against a horde of angry people willing to sack the party of Lincoln and Reagan just because they’re pissed off.
In the fight between madness and Paul Ryan, I’m with Paul Ryan. Conservative energies and money are best deployed elsewhere to move the House of Representatives right.