While top House Republicans are trying to push a reluctant [Paul] Ryan into the job, on the grounds that he alone can unify the conference, conservative lawmakers gave a decidedly cool response Friday when asked if they want him to be their new leader.
What, for instance, was Rep. Tim Huelskamp's coolness all about? He "criticized one of Ryan’s major legislative achievements in Congress, the two-year budget agreement he hammered out with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in 2013." In sum, anything that smacks of even rudimentary governance.
The "conservatives" mean to have their way — every last bit of it — beginning with a smear-hall putsch. They'll abide no pragmatist. This morning Jonathan Chait declared that Paul Ryan is "perfectly suited to bridge" the Republican divide because "he perfectly combines ideological extremism with methodological pragmatism." And that makes him anything but perfect.
Ryan would have to be nuts to take this job. So, I suppose he will.