I think that I can taste just the faintest touch of bitterness in this article:
When Mr. Ryan returned to Capitol Hill last week, he was met with a standing ovation from his Republican colleagues, a bear hug from Mr. Boehner and the hope from conservatives that he would hold the line on taxes and other spending.
According to aides and others close to Mr. Ryan, he is as focused on doing the job before him as he was on winning the vice-presidential race. “We just sort of picked ourselves back up, and we are all back into our lives and jobs,” Tobin Ryan said. “And frankly, I see Paul doing the same thing.”
It always annoys the Left when people from our side indeed pick themselves up and dust themselves off. We never wallow enough in despair to suit them, honestly.
But, objectively speaking: why is this a surprise? Paul Ryan lost the VP election, sure. He also kept his seat without too much trouble. As did the Republican House caucus. And thus, as did John Boehner. I know that the Democrats were hoping to spoil Ryan for future political endeavors the way that they (arguably) did for Sarah Palin* – but that’s the sort of trick that you can only do once, and it’s been done. The guy’s still Budget Chair, and if anything Rep. Ryan’s power in Washington has increased; he’s now got a much larger national reputation and nobody’s going to blame him for the loss. So, gain for us to have Ryan back and involved in the discussions.
As to what will happen… good question. There’s a certain element of ‘shoot the hostage’ running through the internal debate on how to deal with the fiscal negotiations. A lot of people are arguing that the House should pass a bill making permanent the current tax rates, let the Senate ignore it, and thus let the Democrats own the resulting tax hikes**. There’s also a certain amount of argument (not as high up as I’d like, alas) about supporting specific tax hikes designed to poke various Democratic factions in the eye (an entertaining list of suggestions is here). And, of course, there’s a vein of debate that seems largely about cursing in advance the Republicans leadership’s (presumed) sudden but inevitable betrayal***.
In other words, it’s Monday.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Ask me again in four years if they did. Heck, I might even say yes.
**We will now pause while people complain that the media will simply demonize us for doing that. As if they wouldn’t demonize us anyway; and as if that made a lick of difference in, say, 2010.