John Spratt (D-SC) has long been considered a decent moderate and a budget hawk. Unlike the Republican party-line rubber stamps, he believes the emergency our economy is experiencing now-- after 8 years of GOP governance and bankster looting-- means that he'll have to loosen up on the hawkishness. The ranking Republican on Spratt's committee is Wisconsin wingnut Paul Ryan. Ryan is also a budget hawk-- or at least he has turned into one now that Bush is no longer handing out tax cuts for billionaires and promulgating the most catastrophic economic and financial policies since the 3 Bush-like presidents of the 1920s. The difference between Ryan and a sane-- and consistent--legislator can be summed up by a statement from California Republican, state Senator Abel Maldonado who told the Santa Barbara Independent that his fellow Republicans "urged him to withhold his vote so that the stalemate would bankrupt California... It was 'Abel-- let it go into bankruptcy, let it go off a cliff, we need to prove a point, that it's the majority's fault.'"
Maldonado has been excoriated for his vote on the budget by doctrinaire, anti-tax Republicans [Ryan type Republicans] because it includes $15 billion in higher taxes. Although a right-wing recall effort against him fizzled, the California Republican Party voted formally to deny him financial or any other political support. And most other Sacramento Republicans are giving him the cold shoulder.
Last month's GOP convention was nasty, he said. "It wasn't pretty," he added. "There was a lot of shouting and a lot of insults. People were yelling at me, calling me a sell-out and stuff like that. I took my wife and maybe I shouldn't have."
..."I regret signing" the pledge, he said. "I regret not having a couple of words added-- 'unless there's an emergency.' We have a fiscal emergency in our state. People want ideas and solutions, not political positions."
Ahhh... "ideas and solutions, not positions." He's in the wrong party. Paul Ryan speaks for Republican obstructionism on all matters budgetary. And he's all about the hackneyed old right-wing nostrums that have laid our country low. That and... political positions. Yesterday at the Budget Committee markup of Obama's spending plans-- in effect his policy agenda-- Ryan reached out, quite eloquently, albeit disingenuously, to Blue Dogs and asked them to join him sabotaging President Obama's rescue plans and staying with Bush-Cheney economics. Even the Blue Dogs aren't-- well, most of them; I'm not counting the congenitally stoopid ones like Bobby Bright (AL) or the hopelessly reactionary ones like Walt Minnick (ID) and Heath Shuler (NC)-- lame enough to buy into Ryan's sophomoric and transparent partisanship. While you watch Ryan spreading his smooth GOP venom below, please consider making a contribution to StopPaulRyan.
Tuesday night Condoleezza Rice said something to the American people that knee-jerk obstructionists like Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan should have listened to carefully:
"My view is we got to do it our way; we did our best. We did some things well, some things not so well. Now, they get their chance. And I agree with the president [Bush]. We owe them our loyalty and our silence while they do it. Because I know what it's like to have people chirping at you when they perhaps don't know what's going on inside. These are quality people. I know them. They love the country. And they won't make the same decisions, perhaps, that we did. But I believe they'll do what they think is best for the country..."
Despite Ryan's dramatics, the House Budget Committee voted to send the president's budget to the full House, all 24 Democrats voting yes, including Blue Dogs Allen Boyd (FL), Dennis Moore (KS), Marion Berry (AR), and even Jim Cooper (TN), and every single Republican, led by Ryan, voting to obstruct. Ryan tried disparaging it by likening it to the New Deal, something dittoheads and extreme right partisans hate but almost all Americans love and admire. In voting "yes," Marion Berry, a lifelong budget hawk, said "We hadn't heard a president in 8 years say the word 'infrastructure.' It is such a relief to have a president that understands that if you don't make the necessary investments in education and infrastructure, no matter what else happens you have absolutely no reason to expect that anything is going to get any better."
GOP House Chief Obstructionist Boehner popped out of his tanning booth long enough to fellate some lobbyists and slam the door on the paws of the very Blue Dogs the hapless Ryan was trying to woo. "To chuckles from the assembled lobbyists, Boehner called the Blue Dogs 'lap dogs' and said they refuse 'to get off people's laps and actually do something.'"
UPDATE: Ryan Admits He's A Clown
Last week he did something he had never ever, ever thought he would do-- he voted against the rich, corrupt banksters who have completely financed his disgraceful political career. In a move that shocked everyone who knows what a sleazebag Ryan is (R-WI- $1,555,321) he joined most House members, including half the Republicans, to vote for a tax to get back the hundreds of millions of dollars in government funds allocated as bonuses for AIG and other bankrupt companies on the dole. Now he's telling the rich banksters who make it possible for such a worthless shill to prosper as a politician that he"s sorry... and he'll never do it again. He's says he was confused and blame sit on the Democrats, but that the banksters were naughty boys for handing out the bonuses which he termed "completely ridiculous. They rewarded failure." But if he had it to do all over again he wouldn't vote for it. In other words, he wants his cake and to eat it too, except it isn't cake; it's hundreds of thousands of dollars in legalized bribes from banksters per election cycle.
Ryan and party Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) voted for the legislation while Republican Leader John A. Boehner and the bulk of the party's conservative wing voted against it.
Ryan said he "wanted to send a message" to the companies that received bailout money.
But that vote last week stands in stark contrast to one late last fall when Ryan, Cantor, Boehner and others granted the administration approval to spend $700 billion to buy troubled mortgage-related securities. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson quickly retooled the program to directly inject money into banks and other struggling financial institutions -- an audible that caused heartburn for members on both sides of the aisle.
"I voted for TARP initially because I thought we were on the brink of a crisis," Ryan said.