I don’t agree with Paul that Paul Ryan shouldn’t be Speaker of the House because of his—shall we call them idealistic—positions and past votes on key issues, though he’s right that Ryan’s highest and best use is probably where he is right now at Ways & Means. If nothing else, Ryan would match up much better as a point man to argue in public against Obama—tasks for which both Boehner and Mitch McConnell have been stunningly ineffective. Everyone is saying that it would likely mean the end of Ryan’s presidential ambitions, but I doubt he’s ever going to be in position to run for president anyway, chiefly because presidential candidates simply don’t emerge from the House. Full stop.
But there’s another idea that I’m told Steve Hayes floated on “Special Report” on Fox News last night (though I can’t find a clip): there is this argument floating around that the Speaker does not have to be a House member. I’ve heard this disputed and take no position on whether it is right or wrong. Newt Gingrich told someone yesterday that he’d be willing to step back into his old role, for example. But if the House wants a Speaker to bridge the gaps between its factions and serve as a more public face, Steve Hayes suggested Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn. I second the motion.
Larry has been speaking widely (including to the House conference more than once) about the need to restore Congress’s constitutional prerogatives vis-a-vis the executive branch, and he’d give the devil to Obama. And, he’d only be two impeachments away from the White House. Hmm. . .
P.S. If nothing else, you might as well take this opportunity to order Larry’s forthcoming book, Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.