By this time next year the answer might be easy: Donald Trump, if you count him as a Republican. For now, Paul Ryan ranks at the top of my list.
Your answer will depend, naturally, on how you view conservatism. But when we look at Ryan’s omnibus spending bill, we see a nearly across-the-board sell out on issues that most conservatives view as fundamental.
Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, provides a run-down on the Omnibus’ main flaws:
Strong on national defense? Not according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who the Washington Examiner reports, “claimed that it will help terrorist travel and economic espionage in the United States.” This is not to mention the funding of President Obama’s Middle Eastern refugee resettlement program to the tune of over a billion dollars.
Protecting the borders? No, the Obama executive amnesty is funded and our nation is facing another wave of illegal immigrants emboldened and encouraged by a sure knowledge that they will be welcomed into the U.S. social welfare safety net.
Cutting the budget and fiscal responsibility? The omnibus appropriates a massive federal government spending splurge amounting to an additional $112 billion over the next two years, effectively destroying the Republican House’s only real accomplishment over the past five years — capping federal spending.
But that’s just the beginning:
Rein in Obama’s extreme social agenda? The GOP not only failed to defund Planned Parenthood, it failed to make even minor cuts to the taxpayer dollars the group receives.
Additionally, Office of Civil Rights Commissioner Gail Heriot said she was “baffled” by Congress’ decision to include a 7 percent raise for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in light of their “pattern of disregard for the rule of law.”
The Education Department’s Civil Rights Office has been in the news most recently when they forced an Illinois school district to allow a male student who claimed to be transgender to use the girls shower facilities, and Republicans rather than demanding a stop of this perverse extremism, instead gave them a raise in their budget.
Stop Obama’s devastating anti-energy environmental policies?
In spite of the rhetoric, GOP Senators and House members failed to use the power of the purse to rein in a single one of Obama’s economy crippling regulations. What is worse. . .they showed their threats against Obama’s Paris climate treaty are flaccid as they did not prohibit funding of the critical Global Climate Initiative that gives U.S. dollars to third world countries as a payoff so they support the deal. The funding guarantees the Obama will not submit the treaty to the Senate and will use the EPA as the hatchet man to implement it without Congress.
In defense of the Omnibus, Ryan told Chuck Todd:
The question is, are you focusing on your goals? Are you keeping your principles intact? Are you advancing ideas that make a difference in people’s lives?
If, given the criticisms cited above, the Omnibus keeps Ryan’s principles intact, then his principles are not traditional conservative ones.
Ryan told Todd that he’s all about improving the daily lives of Americans. Releasing thousands of felons convicted of drug dealing, a crime for which the recidivism rate is well in excess of 50 percent, is a very odd way to improve daily life in America.
Unlike some disillusioned conservatives, I never expected the Republican controlled Congress to rid the nation of Obamacare or, indeed, to accomplish anything monumental. But I also didn’t expect Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to be gloating at the end of the year about how successful they were in attaining their liberal goals. Nor did I expect the Republican House to be poised to push through the core Obama agenda item of leniency for drug dealers.
Because of Paul Ryan’s central role in all of this mischief, he’s my nominee for the Republican who has hurt conservatism the most.