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Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.

Reblogged:Paul Ryan: Just as Hollow as the Rest of Them

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I find it borderline hilarious that integrity-lacking phonies like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refuse to endorse Donald Trump for not being a “conservative.”

What is a “conservative”? According to Paul Ryan and others, it’s someone who wants to cut taxes and cut spending. But Paul Ryan gave Obama absolutely everything he wanted in the last budget. He didn’t even put up a fight. Ryan and most of his fellow Republicans would no sooner propose a tax cut, or a spending cut, than they would turn down a campaign donation.

Principles are important. They matter. But the way you show they matter is by actually standing up for them, at least sometimes – or even one time – while you’re in office, particularly when you’re the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Remember that the President cannot spend a penny without the authorization of the Congress. Even with a President like Obama, who cares little about the Constitution, there’s not a whole lot he can do if Congress refuses to authorize some, or even any, of his demands. For the last two years, Congress has been totally controlled by Republicans. This is an awful lot of clout, not just political clout but real, Constitutional clout. Yet Ryan would never use it, not in a million years.

None of this is to suggest the Donald Trump is principled. Trump has gone back and forth on everything. He is both for and against socialized medicine (he said he wants to cover everyone); he was originally against the minimum wage, but now might be for it; and he has implied that he might want to raise taxes on the rich, even though the rich are the ones who invest in the private economy, and Trump knows this. We will not know Trump’s principles until or unless he’s in office. Even then, we might not know them, because based on how he has talked throughout this campaign, those principles can change several times in a week, or even the same day.

The fact that Donald Trump has no principles does not mean that the political hacks running the Republican Party, such as Paul Ryan, have any principles, either. The difference is that people like Paul Ryan claim to uphold a set of principles while running for office, and then proceed to violate every single one of them once in office.

Which is worse? Someone like Paul Ryan, who articulates principles, and then violates them, pretending that he never did? Or Donald Trump, who doesn’t claim to have any principles, and who takes wildly opposite stands throughout the day and the week? I will leave it to people who like to fight over such things to debate which is worse. The end result is the same.

Principles are practical. They are the means by which we put ideas into action. No, not all principles are rational, or humane. Collectivism and socialism are not rational and humane. Individualism, liberty and private property are. The problem is that we have plenty of office-seekers ready to uphold collectivism and socialism, or make compromises with them (i.e., let them win). We don’t have a single office-seeker, at present, willing to uphold individualism and liberty.

The idea that hollow men such as Paul Ryan, or any other these other career political hacks who have made money pretending to advocate things they clearly do not believe, have anything to say that we should listen to is an absurdity.

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Remember that the President cannot spend a penny without the authorization of the Congress.

A better description of the system would be that the federal budget is negotiated between Congress and the White House. The purpose of this system is to prevent ANY single person from having the power to decide the budget by himself. Including Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan doesn't even have the political mandate to refuse to negotiate...the US is a representative Republic, and the American people elected both Obama and Ryan. Neither of them has the right to go against the will of the people and refuse to negotiate with the other.

So it's unreasonable to expect Ryan to bend the entire US government to his will, or hold him responsible for the outcome of the negotiations he has no choice but be a part of. All you can do is look at his role in those negotiations. What was he pushing for, and what did he prioritize? If he got enough of the things he promised in there relative to his level of power (which is far below Obama's...at most, he shares Congress' side of the table with Senate Leaders...but it's far more likely that he shares it with quite a few other House power brokers as well), that's the most one should reasonably expect of him.

His only other option, aside from taking his seat at the table, would've been to refuse the position he's in. Just remain a simple representative, who casts a meaningless No on every bill...like Ron Paul did for 40 years. But, look at the long list of terrible bills that were passed on Ron Paul's watch, with him powerless to do anything about it. Paul Ryan is almost as powerless, because his mandate is limited as well. But not AS powerless. Paul Ryan has already done more to lower taxes and limit regulations, in his few years in Congress, than Ron Paul did in his stay of several decades.

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Paul Ryan makes another principled stand:

“ “The speaker does not agree with the decision. Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”

...statement released by his office, on the subject of Trump pardoning Joe Arpaio (a pardon Trump, cowardly, issued as a hurricane was descending on Texas).

Edited by Nicky

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