The last of the young guns is riding to the rescue.
After declaring repeatedly that he was “not interested” in filling the void created by the decision of House Speaker John Boehner to quit—in the face of a threatened vote to remove him—Paul Ryan now says he will deign to accept the speakership.
He has asked that the job be handed to him on a silver platter. And with willing acquiescence from the mainstream conservative Tuesday Group and the more conservative Republican Study Group, as well as grudging support from the often uncompromisingly-conservative Freedom Caucus, the platter is prepared.
It is now all but certain that Ryan will be the the next Speaker of the House. Typically for Ryan, he is securing the job with regal flourishes more frequently seen in corporate suites than the Capitol. The congressman has not just demanded that the many caucuses and factions into which House Republicans group themselves agree to give him unwavering support. He has created a new set of requirements for House Republicans, and warned them not to push back. (Ryan is even asking that his fellow Republicans recognize his need for defined and respected family time, which we should all hope he gets as part of a broader Republican pivot toward support of family-and-medical-leave laws and the initiatives by trade unions to negotiate better deals for working moms and dads.)
“I hope it doesn’t sound conditional—but it is,” Ryan says of his my-way-or-no-way approach.
What makes the House Ways and Means Committee chairman so sure of the necessity of his leadership at “a very dire moment, not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country”?