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Time, October 20, 2015: Paul Ryan Outfoxes the Freedom Caucus
Paul Ryan, playing hard-to-get for the House Speakership post to replace John Boehner, met with the so called 40 or so refusniks (aka. Tea Party...aka. John Birchers) to outline what he would require to take on the job as Speaker. From the above Time article:
"Ryan had five requests. First, the next Speaker should be visionary and should use his or her post not just for fundraising and day-to-day problem solving but to communicate the party agenda. Second, he’s open to some of the rules changes they are demanding, but only if the entire conference agrees. Third, there will be no motions to vacate the chair. (This is what brought down Speaker John Boehner and he would-be heir Kevin McCarthy: when a Republican loses more than 30 votes, he loses the simple majority of 218 votes on the floor thus costing him his seat.) Fourth, family comes first, so the House will have to work on work-life balance for everyone. And fifth, everyone in the conference must vote for him—not a single member can dissent."
Ryan's list of demands puts pressure on the Freedom Caucus to either approve Ryan's demands or say 'no' as they are so accustomed to doing to President Obama. If they say yes, Ryan is in more control of the House than Boehner ever was and the Freedom Caucus has lost some of its clout. If they say 'no' "they will have to deal with 200-plus very angry colleagues, many of whom are already talking openly about doing a deal with Democrats to elect a consensus Speaker to end the turmoil. That outcome would be the exact opposite of what the Freedom Caucus hoped to achieve by deposing Boehner, whom they felt already caved too much to Democratic demands."
Has the Freedom Caucus overplayed its hand? We'll find out soon enough. Decisions are likely this week.