Paul Ryan stands accused of complicity in the right-wing blogosphere's most recent scandal du jour: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to remove a handful of conservative members from the House Financial Services Committee and the House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs.

Those “purged” include members who have criticized Republicans for being too tepid on deficit reduction.

“RYAN STONEWALLS ON INVOLVEMENT WITH BOEHNER PURGE,” screams a headline on Breitbart.com, the eponymous website of the late Andrew Breitbart, the provocative activist who helped bring down former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

“As House Speaker John Boehner continues to hide the details of what happened and why during his conservative purge of House committees, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan is eschewing comment and instead directing all inquiries about the purge to Boehner’s office,” begins the article.

It doesn’t take a political expert to figure out why Ryan is directing comment on the decision to the man who made the decision.

But Ryan’s silence on the issue does contrast with that of the chair of the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who has told news outlets that he was “offended” to learn that two members of his committee had been removed without his notice.

Tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made clear that Ryan had better watch his back.

“I don’t know if any of these people want to run for president — maybe they’re going to have to explain why they wanted to purge people from their committees who believe in balancing the budget,” he said during an interview with conservative radio host Peter Schiff.

Conservative criticism of Ryan, who voted for many of the expensive foreign and domestic policies that defined the Bush era, is nothing new. Many tea party activists, for instance, regard him as a conservative of convenience — the guy who won the limelight by promoting conservative principles but will back off them when his political career is on the line.

“He has been out there (in Washington) too long,” Patricia Kohlman, the head of the Manitowoc County TEA Movement, told me in August, shortly after Ryan had been added to the GOP presidential ticket. “Who knows what (establishment Republicans) have talked him into?”

Indeed, although Ryan repeatedly promised voters throughout the 2012 presidential campaign that the GOP ticket would “not duck the tough issues,” he and Romney were unwilling to specify what government spending they planned to cut.

And, just this week, Ryan signed off on Boehner's commitment to President Obama to support $800 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years as part of the negotiations to prevent the U.S. from falling off the "fiscal cliff."

Jack Craver is the Capital Times political reporter, focusing on elections, candidates and campaign finance.

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(40) comments

Akklia

I almost didn't live long enough to see the fight over allowing the Bush Era tax cuts to dissolve. It is much more knock down & drag out than I ever could have anticipated...the far right booted from its chance to shut down the entire government...
So glad for modern medicine, and, not having to die giving birth because of a disease that still takes out most that get it in the third world countries...

Oh, who were we talking about?

Mr Mellow

Rabid Right Rakes Ryan! Baggers Bust Budget Boy! Rand Rates Ryan RINO!

Why it's enough to make Paulie look reasonable! Nice repositioning for his next campaign.

Amused but not distracted

Republican capitalism = Conservative cannibalism.

Northsidestu

Big surprise the far right is not pleased with Mr. Ryan and his flexible approach to voting for Medicare big money increases and war spending. Mr. Ryan’s outlook on conservative policies has been a mystery to most except Mr. Ryan and maybe Mr. Romney who picked him as his running mate. It is time we dump this guy.

tomtom33
tomtom33

The voters in his district had that chance. They chose to put him back in office.

motherlode
motherlode

Yeah!!!

Nav

Republicans, like Paul Ryan, talk very big and loudly to give the impression they have some conviction of principles. But it is all a farce. Deep down they have no abiding principles, and they do and say what others want to hear. Previously, Ryan thought his message would be popular. He was WRONG. Watch him now change a bit of his tune,

everclear

Yep, you are correct. Ryan did not even carry his home town in the election. The people of Janeville Wi know a snake when they see one.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Only Democrats have abiding principals.

Oscar
Oscar

There was a reason that paul ryan did not win his home state and did not carry romney to election victory. If this putz carried any weight, he would be fending off boehner and stopping the purge. It appears that he is protecting his own hiney. In like a lion, out like a lamb. Such too, will go walker... Maybe boehner has some actual integrity, nahhh....

tomtom33
tomtom33

That putz is one of the most respected Members of the House. Your ad hominem attack says a lot about you. VPs have not been chosen to carry States nor have they since LBJ in 1960.

Liberal123

Tomtom33, please do not accuse people on here for "ad hominem attacks" every time they describe their views about politicians. Paul Ryan is a PUBLIC figure, and they are used to being criticized by people who disagree with them. Get over it!

VPs ARE chosen, in part, so that they would carry their state. Paul Ryan and Scott Walker virtually promised people that said Wisconsin would go to Romney. It didn't...as didn't a lot of other states they were hoping to get.

Paul Ryan's star has faded quite a bit, and he is no longer the darling of the Republican party as he once was, nor is he the most respected member of the house. I know of no Democrats who respect him, and there are over 200 of them in the House.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Ryan was chosen over Rubio so he could carry Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes? Florida has 29 electoral votes.

And ad hominem is as hominem. Try arguing the issues.

kashka-kat

Yeah the comment was about the politics and Ryan's role in it. "Ad hominem" would be a personal attack - like saying Paul Ryan looks like Eddie Munster's deranged older brother.

(I just said that for illustration purposes.)

tomtom33
tomtom33

A putz who carries no weight and didn't win the election. Gee, no ad hominem there. I guess that 50% of the candidates don't win the election.

Tea Parody
Tea Parody

I can say with certainty that Paul Ryan had only moderate support among Tea Parody members. Sure, he talks a good game, but when it comes to decision time on the big issues such as ending medicare, destroying social security, and reducing taxes on job creators he just didn't convince us he was ready. Good thing he ran only as vice president. That means he can run as vice president again, this time in 2016 with the next president of the United States, Scott Walker.

Say, those of you are are predicting the demise of the Tea Parody, better think again. Recent polls showed a favorable view of the Tea Parody in exit polls (those exiting Tea Parody meetings). And unlike sickly public worker unions, we are not considering a merger with other groups to bolster our strength.

Our strength is found in the values of the founding fathers of our country. And since over 1/2 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves that's a good of a place as any to start. Let's return to the values of the founding fathers, completely, and turn back time to the days of slavery. Unpopular? Sure! But so was the war for independence, with out which we would not be a free people today.

Roundtable
Roundtable

With all the infighting between the tea party and the 'regular' Republican party, I'm surprised any of them are still working. Kind of sad, considering that party used to be strong within the ranks.But for fairness' sake, not sad at all.

Skylinerbr
Skylinerbr

If those in the TEA party had any guts they would just leave the Republicans alone and run as members of their own party. Problem solved.

Lynn4300XL

I had a feeling Paul was a closet liberal. We need strong leadership to cut taxes on the rich, crush unions, abolish environmental laws, and cut off the 47'ers. That's the only way we can bring back jobs from China.

Shake
Shake

Good god but you live in your own world.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Shake, do you see that "XL" there? This isn't the original, wacko Lynne4300, this is the imitator who mocks the original with exaggerated parodies of her positions. The thing is, the original's positions are so far off the wall that it's a challenge to exaggerate them without sounding authentic. Poe's Law in action, I fear.

Lynne4301
Lynne4301

Any party that would listen to an inbred from Manitowoc county is doomed to lose.

knittingnancy

Women are now the majority of voters and they do not vote for republicons. Pretty hartid to keep them home in the kitchen on voting days. How do statitions look at that?

Shake
Shake

"But according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth."

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-story-of-our-time.html

Good Gosh

This is hysterical! OMG, first Tommy was too liberal and now Ryan???? Keep going Tea Party, you're doing a much better job of destroying the Republicans and yourselves than the Dems could ever hope to do! (Gosh, do you think someone ought to clue Walker & Co. in to the changing times?)

calme

This post-election implosion is so much fun to watch!

motherlode
motherlode

Divide and conquer: it's the Republican way!

concerned_citizen

es tu, Brutus?

tomtom33
tomtom33

et tu

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Despite what many of us rightly decry as political polarization, we apparently live in a center right nation. So It's gotta be painful for republicans and anyone else who actually lives in that center right universe to watch the GOP be torn apart by right wing ideologues who think center right isn't right enough.

Shake
Shake

we apparently live in a center right nation

Baloney. If you poll people and ask if they are left right or center, most will say center or center right.
If you actually poll them on what they believe and what they want, most position as center left. Just look at how widely popular social programs like Social Security and Medicare are. People have been taught to be afraid to say they believe progressiveism.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Perception is reality shake though I don't disagree with you.

People do tend to publicly identify themselves as center right even though their responses to survey questions broadly paint people as generally accepting of center left social policy prescriptions.

Given the damage ideological conservatives are doing to the carefully crafted myth that they support the goals and aspirations of a center right nation it's just a matter of time before people start publicly acknowledging the pendulum has swung back center left.

But as habitual deniers of reality, the ideological right and their sycophants are sure to miss the message.

DaneCounty

The Tea Party can take credit for bringing down the Republican Party. Time to "purge" the Tea Party.

Nav

I think the tea party was a fad, and it is fading away.

Wis_BlogRider

Nav. There are a lot of media political trackers claiming that the TEA Party continues to be marketed and influenced with heavy funding from the Koch brother's machine. The TEA Party extremism is probably going to be with us until the psychopathic Koch Brothers and several other plutocrat's control is taken out of the equation.

Nav

What happened to the unity of Republicans? They seem to be self destructing. I have not seen this much chaos in the party for some time.

The Republicans just lost a national election. If they do not make meaningful changes in what they stand for, and if their internal division continues, they will also lose the House in 2014. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out!

tomtom33
tomtom33

Fortunately, both parties continue to evolve. There will always be division in both parties. And that is a good thing.

My guess is that the Democrats may have some tough sledding in 2014. Historically the President's party does poorly in mid-term elections during the President's second term.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Nate Silver has suggested that the lay of the land may not work so well for the Democrats come the mid-terms. Redistricting et all doesn't line up well. So if the Dems do well it would be a sign. Perform so so and it may not represent much at all.

Nav

Tomtom33, these are not normal times. The Republican party, much for so than the Democratic party, is increasingly getting divided. A divided party does not automatically wins elections in mid-term elections. They have to earn the trust of voters.

tomtom33
tomtom33

No times have ever been normal. And no party has a corner on being wrong. We are better off trusting neither party.

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