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I applaud Paul Ryan’s speech today, where he pledges to “put together a complete alternative to the left’s agenda” over the coming year.

Ok, I admit it, I really want to see what the Republican agenda is. For too long, their agenda has been to oppose everything Obama favors (even when it is something the GOP came up with in the first place, like healthcare reform). But Ryan agrees with that, saying:

And I don’t mean just undo what the president has done — as if we could time-travel back to 2009. I mean, show what we would do, what our ideal policy would be — looking forward to 2017 and beyond. We owe it to the country to offer a bold, pro-growth agenda. And that is what we are going to do.

But that’s not the only reason. I sincerely believe that the GOP has an important role to play in this country. I consider myself a moderate, and that means that I should be somewhere in the middle between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives have done many great things in this country, just not many of them lately. For example, I admire William F. Buckley’s oft stated opinion that conservatism needs to be more than just a “negative response to liberalism”.

And finally, I believe in competition. I don’t want our country to be dominated by a single political party. I want lively debate between multiple parties (as many as reasonable), and someone to hold those in power in check.

Is Ryan serious, or is this just a cynical political exercise to get people to vote for a Republican president so they can control all three branches of our government? We’ll see.

UPDATE: On the other hand, the other big GOP news today is the vote in the Senate to repeal Obamacare, including Medicaid expansion. The same bill also defunds Planned Parenthood. Some things never change. The bill will be vetoed by Obama.



  1. David Freeman wrote:

    I’d be interested in why you admire William F Buckley. I remember him as a rather odious racist and red baiter – sort of Jessie Helms with a larger vocabulary and more subtlety in his mendacity.

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ok, maybe “admire” is too strong. I don’t know much about him as a person. Maybe it would have been better to say that I respect his opinions about conservatism. [I edited what I say about him slightly.]

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  3. William F. Buckley? Jr.? That racist motherf***er?

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  4. rk wrote:

    I don’t think we would survive with only one party. I consider myself liberal and have consistently voted Democrat for a long time. But I don’t consider that good. I feel like I don’t have a choice, that the Republicans just aren’t offering something I can believe in.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  5. Michael wrote:

    This whole notion of not being the anti-X party seems oddly cyclical. GWBush in 2000 by promising to be the anti-Clinton, restoring “dignity” to the White House. Dems seized control in 2006 and Obama won in 2008 by standing up to Bush and promising change. The GOP has ridden the Tea Party anti-Obama wave for 5 years now.

    I’m skeptical that any politician ever truly has an original “I’m for Y” thought. It seems more like they just take “I’m against X” positions but rephrase them as “I’m for the opposite of X.” Plus ça change…

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  6. redjon wrote:

    IK – That whole post was very ironic. Nice job!

    Monday, December 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink