Not up to the job.

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Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 9/15/17

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I have never met Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. But I’m friends with people who have and I am told that they are both true gentlemen.

As he made clear as Mitt Romney’s running mate during the 2012 presidential campaign, Ryan is a very smart guy who is knowledgeable to a very deep level on the issues, particularly issues of taxation and the economy. By all accounts he is a genuinely kind and friendly man.

Mitch McConnell is the very picture of a dignified United States senator. In stark contrast to Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, McConnell’s predecessor as leader, McConnell is measured and almost courtly in his statements. He is not given to Harry Reid-style personal attacks. McConnell very obviously reveres the institution in which he serves, particularly its tradition of collegiality.

Both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are good, decent, knowledgeable and fair men. So what’s not to like about them?

The answer is that if they are your neighbors or members of your Sunday school class or coaches of your kid’s soccer team, nothing. But as the top leaders of Congress at a particularly fraught time in our nation’s history, they both leave a lot to be desired.

Leadership comes in all styles. Gen. George Patton was gruff, abrasive and profane. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was quiet and soft spoken. Both were highly effective leaders. But for all their differences, they shared a key trait. They were both uncommonly tough.

Toughness is not an adjective that one would use to describe either of Ryan or McConnell. Yet with respect to leadership in the Congress, toughness has never been more urgently called for.

Senate Democrats under Harry Reid who might have dared to break ranks with President Obama in the way certain Republicans recently broke with President Trump would have been stripped of their committee assignments and consigned to political outer darkness. No such sanction befell any Senate Republican when the Obamacare vote failed.

Paul Ryan is the kind of guy who would be loathe to ruin the vacation plans of his colleagues. So, rather than hold the House in session until work on the debt ceiling and the budget was done, he let the House go on August recess. President Trump was thus forced to deal with the Democrats in order to quickly fund hurricane relief and avoid a government shutdown.

McConnell’s reluctance to do away with the Senate filibuster rule out of reverence for Senate tradition completely ignores the fact that his Democratic colleagues, given the chance, will  scrap the filibuster the moment it suits their purpose.

The bottom line is this. These are tough times and we need tough guys. Donald Trump is a tough guy. That’s a big reason he won. Ryan and McConnell are gentlemanly. But they will never be called tough.

That won’t do because the Democrats are not only tough, they’re ruthless.

McConnell and Ryan are therefore miscast and they should both step down.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. bullish bob bagley says:

    Agreed.

  2. J. Lester says:

    Both of these gentlemen and “leaders” need to step aside for the good of the country. They have had plenty of time to have plans in their files to get rid of Obamacare and replace it. They also have had time to have plans ready for major tax relief, plans for a proper budget, etc. etc. What the heck have they been doing??? It is a shame that they have not done their homework. Replace both of them as soon as possible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    From 2011 until 2015, the Democrats held the majority of seats in the Senate, but did not have a supermajority. Why didn’t they change the filibuster rules at that time?

  4. McConnell is the biggest problem in Washington. His smug obstructionism set the trap that Trump — desperate to put wins on the scoreboard — is wandering into.

  5. R. Eagleman says:

    At a time when we need the fiercest of street fighters to be leaders of our legislature, we have two meek establishment politicians. The dynamic duo of McConnell and Ryan have a different agenda than conservatives; in spite of their rhetoric, they are not committed to the policies that they pledged during their campaigns. This golden opportunity to actually reverse some of the damage of previous administrations is being squandered, and it may not ever present itself again. When you factor in all of the new Democrat voters being imported from Third World countries, the middle class will be destroyed, and our demographics will be forever changed. Also, let us not forget all of the cheap labor that will help increase the bottom line of employers; a goal that is shared by many of our Republican representatives. Desecration and removal of statues of our historical figures will not stop until the identity of our country is erased. The lawless behavior of anarchists will only seek new levels, as they either hate this country or have more allegiance to the one from which they emigrated. When we see this violence and disregard for our laws, there is one question that begs for an answer: where is Attorney General Sessions? It is very disappointing that he is not taking a more aggressive stance against Antifa and some of the other subversive organizations. Oh I almost forgot, he too is a career politician!

  6. Linda E Montrose says:

    You forgot one important FACT in describing these two men. They are very accomplished LIARS! They have repeatedly lied to the American people. They have NOT lived up to their pledge or oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. They have repeatedly let down the people who voted them in, yet those same people seem to either forget the lies or are too lazy to take the time to vote someone more worthy in. These are shallow and inept men who need to replaced with someone who will DO THEIR jobs and KEEP their promises. Especially in this day and time. We are just a half step away from losing what little freedom we have left. With the likes of mcconnell and ryan, we come closer each day. These men and those like them, are working against the one person who actually wants to see this Country prosper again. It isn’t only toughness we need, it is INTEGRITY and TRUTH. You know the worlds greatest CON MEN were gentlemanly. Think on that.

  7. Rich Prickitt says:

    Dear Mr. Gleiser,
    Personally, I can’t stomach either Congressman Ryan, nor Senator McConnell. However, to understand the reason for Mr. Ryan’s vacillations, all one has to do is know to whom he is married. Her name is Janna Little Ryan. Paul Ryan is a double-minded man. He is unstable in all of his ways.

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