Some discussion, mostly negative, of Paul Ryan on the DT thread:http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2551.msg96811#msg96811
'Conservative Review rates him at 55%', not very good.
The American Conservative Union rates Paul Ryan at 90%, lifetime score:https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26344/paul-ryan#.V2h6LLsrLIU
In the age of Obama elected twice and Bernie Sanders being possible, we might consider ourselves a little bit lucky to have the most conservative Speaker in our lifetime, even though his record is far from pure.
Heritage is more pure than ACU, rates him at 63%; that's not great either, but only one Democrat in the House scores over 30%, Obamacare dissenter, Collin Peterson, representing western MN at 34%.http://www.heritageactionscorecard.com/members/member/r000570http://www.heritageactionscorecard.com/members
Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, link below:
"Ryan has taken a pragmatic tack in voting to keep the government going and avert shutdowns and crippling standoffs over the vast policy gulf between the parties. That approach puts him at odds with some more militant Republicans."
Another point would be that Ryan represents divided district that voted for Obama 2008 by 4 points. The alternative to a stay elected stance by a Republican is to have a leftist in that seat. Also, no more conservative member either wanted the Speakership or had the votes. We perhaps need to move the voters to the right first before expecting purists to win national elections.
(written just before Ryan became speaker)
"Despite his critics on the right, Paul Ryan would rank as most conservative speaker in decades"
By Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel
Paul Ryan would be the most conservative House speaker in generations, as measured by a congressional rating system widely used by political scientists.
But he's not conservative enough for some activists on the right, who are voicing qualms about a Ryan speakership.
That development probably says less about Ryan's own politics — which have changed little over the years — than it does about the growing militancy of the GOP's right wing.
The Janesville Republican is being lobbied to succeed John Boehner as speaker in the midst of a party leadership crisis. Ryan says he doesn't want the job, but many colleagues are trying to change his mind.
The opposition to Ryan — or, at the very least, the tepid reception to him — isn't widespread and may not be powerful enough to derail a "draft Ryan" effort. But the fact that questions are being raised about his House conservatism is striking considering the nine-term congressman's longtime popularity with the right and his own political history.
Ryan's House budgets and his "road map" for the future (a controversial manifesto of conservative change) were hailed on the right as trailblazing blueprints for limited government.
Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012 was embraced by conservatives who wanted to draw a sharper ideological contrast with President Barack Obama.
And Ryan's voting record has consistently placed him in the right half of the Republican caucus in the House.
The number of policy issues on which Ryan parts company with the GOP's conservative base is quite small.
But the biggest fault lines in the party these days are over tone and tactics.
Ryan has taken a pragmatic tack in voting to keep the government going and avert shutdowns and crippling standoffs over the vast policy gulf between the parties. That approach puts him at odds with some more militant Republicans.
Nevertheless, his voting history in the U.S. House places him to the right of current Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to the leading academic ratings of congressional voting pioneered by political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal.
That history also puts Ryan to the right of the three previous GOP speakers of the postwar era: Dennis Hastert (speaker from 1999 to 2007), Newt Gingrich (1995-'99) and Joseph Martin (1953-'55).
The notion that Ryan isn't conservative is "absolutely insane," says Keith Poole, the University of Georgia professor and a creator of the rankings. His data suggests that if anything, Ryan has grown a bit more conservative during his 17 years in the House.
But because House Republicans have shifted so much to the right during his career, Ryan's conservative ranking in his caucus is a little lower than it used to be. In Ryan's first two years in office, he ranked as the 18th most conservative member of the House, according to the ratings. But he ranked as the 51st most conservative Republican in the last Congress (2013-'14).
Poole has a separate set of ratings that measure a lawmaker's entire career and are comparable across time periods.
Ryan's career score places him to right of 84% of the House Republicans he served with in his first term (1999-2000). It puts him to the right of only 65% of today's House Republicans, due to the changing political makeup of the GOP caucus.
The Poole-Rosenthal ratings are based on a broad cross-section of roll call votes.
Ryan's roll call ratings from conservative organizations are based on a much more selective pool of votes, and vary from group to group.
Ryan has a 90% lifetime rating from the 51-year-old American Conservative Union. But he has a much lower lifetime rating — 63% — from Heritage Action for America, a tea party-style group that takes a more purist and confrontational line on legislation.
Complaints about Ryan from his critics on the right typically fall into a few categories:
■ Ryan's support for spending bills and legislative compromises designed to keep the government running and avert a crisis. One example: the deal Ryan cut with Senate Democrat Patty Murray in 2013, passed overwhelmingly by the House, to temporarily lift some spending caps to resolve a budget standoff.
■ Immigration. Ryan supports a lengthy "probation" for illegal immigrants and conditional path to legal status. He is among the more liberal House Republicans on this issue. But Ryan has also been careful not to drift too far from his caucus, agreeing with most Republicans that enforcement and security should come first. On arguably the biggest immigration vote in the House in the past decade, Ryan voted for the hard-line, conservative 2005 immigration bill authored by Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and decried by Latino groups and immigration advocates.
■ A series of votes that Ryan cast during George W. Bush's presidency for the No Child Left Behind education law, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and the auto and bank bailouts in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. These votes were in support of a GOP president, but have drawn sharp criticism from some on the right. Beyond these items, there aren't that many issues where Ryan has split from conservatives. He has opposed efforts to end Davis-Bacon, the prevailing wage requirement on federally funded public works projects. He has opposed efforts to end Trade Adjustment Assistance, the program that aids workers displaced by foreign trade. He supported renewal in 2013 of the Violence Against Women Act, opposed by a majority of Republicans, to cite a few examples.
On the vast majority of contested issues before Congress, however, Ryan has cast conservative votes. And he has spent much of his career pushing the GOP in a more conservative direction on the role of government and urging his party to be bolder in drawing contrasts with Democrats.
If Ryan ends up as House Speaker, the GOP will be getting a leader who has been more conservative over his career than the average Republican, and more conservative than his predecessors in party leadership.
- Craig Gilbert is the Journal Sentinel's Washington Bureau Chief and writes the Wisconsin Voter blog about politics and elections.