2016 is a year dedicated to the diminishing of the GOP establishment. For decades, the Party has appeared infinitely more concerned with promoting moderate, down-the-middle candidates wherever possible who seem more concerned with staying power than doing a serviceable job in Washington.
In 2014, America witnessed firsthand the early rumblings of what would become 2016’s “anti-establishment” sentiment that is so well represented in this year’s GOP election. Then-House Majority Leader, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, likely thought that he was untouchable when he discovered that he would face a primary opponent. Like Casey at the Bat, Cantor scoffed at the notion that he would be defeated.
And like Casey at the Bat, he was humbled by a devastating loss. Cantor, the ranking number two in the House, was voted out of office in favor of Tea Party challenger Dave Brat. It sent a reverberating message that we can, and should, oust turncoat Republicans in leadership.
Now, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is reportedly facing a primary challenger. Conservative groups have been searching for months to find a viable challenger for Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and according to a Washington Times report, they have found one that is better than could be expected: a wealthy Wisconsin businessman who the report has not yet named.
There is a process to declaring a candidacy and it is not uncommon for a candidate to be “considering” a run before the official election filings are submitted.
According to a political consultant close to the process, this businessman will “shake up the establishment in a profound way.”
Eric Odom, a conservative activist and political consultant in Wisconsin, promised with “100% certainty” that this businessman would be running to oust Ryan and also noted,
“I’ve had the privilege of attending multiple meetings with this individual, during which he has expressed his sense of betrayal by Speaker Ryan. He has a strong desire to see real representation for the people of the district versus a congressman who represents special interests in Washington.”
Odom also admitted that it would not be easy to oust the well-financed and connected politician, but also maintained that the businessman would be willing to put-up his own money to oust him.
“He was pushed to the edge and betrayed,” he said.
Conservative groups have been looking for a method of ousting Ryan after he betrayed conservatives by approving a $2 trillion spending package last year over the vocal protests of conservative leaders. The spending package increased the federal deficit at a time when America is $19 trillion in debt. It also funded Planned Parenthood after videos emerged showing that the abortion-providing organization was selling baby parts for profit and also funded sanctuary cities- cities that willing harbors illegal immigrants to shelter them from the consequences of their illegal acts.
Ryan maintained that he “fought” for conservative principles, saying, “In divided government you don’t get everything you want. So we fought for as much as we could get. We advanced our priorities and principles. Not every single one of them, but many of them.”
In reality, Ryan’s first real act as Speaker was just yet another surrender without a fight. Continually, the Republican-controlled House and Senate refuses to utilize the power of the purse to curb a radical leftist agenda and runaway spending. They maintain a strong resolve publicly for only a moment before incurring a few days of bad press for their supposed obstructionism and then promptly cave.
This pattern was the hallmark of Ryan’s predecessor, John Boehner, and appears to be Ryan’s style of “leadership” as well.
Some conservatives have been wary of a Republican challenger, positing that there are worse choices for Speaker that could arise if Ryan is ousted. However, such positions are dishonest as Ryan may give proper lip service to conservative issues, but operates in a manner not unlike Boehner or even Democrat Nancy Pelosi before him.
In this view, whoever this businessman is, it’s clear that this is terrific news as the GOP cannot sustain political relevancy so long as it is dominated by weaklings, cowards and entrenched establishment compromisers.