Amazing but true: Paul Ryan is now in danger of being booted from the Republican tree house for being insufficiently “conservative.”
Ryan, a long-time Ayn Rand enthusiast who has horrified Democrats with his proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher program, has nonetheless been too accommodating for the tastes of conservative firebrands in the House who are plotting to humiliate him with a coup early next year.
The Huffington Post reports that anti-Ryan conservatives believe they have enough votes to deny Ryan reelection to his position as House Speaker on the first ballot next year, which would be a humiliating blow that would weaken his leadership.
Although it’s highly unlikely that the rebel Republicans would be able to indefinitely block Ryan’s bid for a new term as Speaker, they could use leverage over him to get desired rule changes that would cement their hold on power.
“Their ideas include increasing caucus representation on committees, bulking up subcommittee staff with hard-liners who could be groomed for election, allowing the GOP House campaign arm to collect contributions for the Freedom Caucus that could be directed to conservative candidates, and clarifying rules-suspension votes,” the Huffington Post explains.
It seems that some House conservatives are upset at the GOP establishment for trying to oust particularly troublesome Tea Party candidates by backing more moderate candidates — and they’re planning to take it out on Ryan.
“How can you have a gang, and have one in your gang get stabbed, and do nothing?” one member told the Huffington Post. “You got to stab somebody, or else what’s the point of having a gang?”
The mere fact that these Republicans are leaking their coup plans to the press shows that Ryan’s hold on his position is already more tenuous than many believed — and he’s still only been House Speaker for less than a year.