While House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows insisted last month that none of his group’s members were pushing for Speaker Ryan to step down after the embarrassing spectacle over the Republican’s first foray post-Trump into replacing Obamacare, one member has said Ryan should step down.
Rep. Justin Amash (R – Mich.) gave a ridiculous reason at a town hall on Monday for why Speaker Ryan should go, that the speaker should someone “non-partisan.”
Say again? Non- partisan in what way and in what world is that a thing? As a House Freedom Caucus member, it seems safe to assume Amash can’t mean he wants Ryan to start handing out goodies to Democrats.
Amash didn’t name who he would consider a suitable “non-partisan” replacement, but he did indicate that former-Speaker John Boehner would be better than Paul Ryan.
If you’re scratching your head in bemusement thinking, isn’t that the guy the House Freedom Caucus helped usher out the door in 2015, you’d be correct. John Boehner, who was even squishier than Ryan, was accused (rightly) of getting Republicans the short end of the stick at nearly every turn and was finally shoved into retirement in favor of an extremely resistant Paul Ryan. Because as much as conservatives hated Boehner, after Kevin McCarthy stepped in it, Paul Ryan was the only viable option for a new speaker.
And as many in the House and even in the HFC have pointed out, there’s still no one else to take that thankless job. The idea that a speaker should be non-partisan and that Ryan should be more like Boehner is utterly laughable. Ryan was a holdout against Trump, only ever giving him tacit approval as the party’s nominee. Ultimately, Ryan cut Republicans, like those in the HFC, loose during the 2016 election to not support Trump and even said he wouldn’t defend the Republican nominee.
Since Trump’s win, Ryan has attempted to work with the Trump administration to pass legislation that Republicans have been promising to deliver for nine years. Is Paul Ryan a great House speaker? No. Is he a weasel at times when it comes to dealing with the conservatives in his caucus? Sure. But arguing Ryan should be more “non-partisan” or should step down now when there’s no clear, good replacement is absurd.