By Scott Robertson
Let’s start by harkening back to last week’s column, in which I espoused my spouse’s idea of drafting Eric Cantor for the position of Speaker of the House in Washington. Cantor was voted out of office, but one doesn’t have to be a member of the House to be Speaker of the House, and Cantor trained for years for the top leadership post as both whip and majority leader. Let Cantor’s old district have their new representative, and let all America have the best man for the job handling the speaker’s gavel, my wife reasoned.
As a moderate Republican, I loved the idea. My wife is a liberal Democrat, whose ideology makes mine look like that of Brother John Birch. She thought it was a good idea. Monday night I found out from one of our county commissioners that none other than Rush Limbaugh, radio voice of all things conservative, had been on the air the day after my column appeared, espousing the Cantor idea.
No, I’m not saying Rush read my column. Great minds just think alike, and incredibly, so did my wife’s and Rush Limbaugh’s. In fact, I think that fact scares her more than anything else this Halloween.
Seriously, think about it. A staunch conservative, a flaming liberal and a thoughtful, well-spoken and incredibly humble moderate agreed that something was a good idea. How often does that happen? That having been said, Congress, being Congress, went in a totally different direction.
So now we’ll have Paul Ryan, who spent two weeks telling everyone who’d listen that he didn’t want to be elected speaker, be elected speaker.
Ryan put out a list of conditions that would have to me met before he’d even consider taking the post. Among those were: 1) it would have to be much harder for him to be removed from the speaker’s post than firing a speaker currently is, and 2) he would get more time off to be with his family on nights and weekends.
My wife immediately pointed out that Ryan, who has voted against family leave bills, is demanding more time off to be with family. Point taken, honey. Now go make me a sandwich and bring me a beer.*
The Internet had a field day when Ryan’s list of demands went public. Online wags started creating their own lists of “Ryan’s demands” including: twinkles being photoshopped into his eyes for all official photos, time in the gym to work on those awesomely cut abs, and selected congressmen being forced to battle each other and/or lions in a coliseum for his amusement.
Good that Ryan can be taken seriously.
So instead of Eric Cantor, a man who spent the last several years showing how badly he wants to be speaker and how committed to the position he’d be, we have Paul Ryan, a man who has been telling us how badly he doesn’t want to be speaker and how he’s against committing family time to the job. Also, he doesn’t like being held accountable if it means he might get fired.
Aside from that, he’s great. Good job, congressional Republicans. You’ve done everything we’ve come to expect from you.
*I expect I will be paying for that line for the rest of my life.