Brad DeLong: Interview: The Politics Guys

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Let the record show that Paul Ryan has as little contact with reality as Donald Trump:

Jordan Weissman: Let us now appreciate Paul Ryan’s utter failure as a political leader: "The AHCA... somehow achieved the distinction of being panned by policy experts from the left, right, and center...

...without actually attracting the support that a normal, if unsatisfying, political compromise might. Ryan... took Obamacare’s basic structure... defunded the things that made it work in order to pay for massive tax cuts.... became more preposterous and unworkable as Ryan and the White House bargained away necessary regulations for support from hardliners... attempted to bring it to a floor vote Friday without any kind of score... pushed legislation with little to no clue as to what it would actually do to the country. Generally speaking, wonks care about that sort of thing. So Paul Ryan’s reputation as a policy mastermind has finally been shown to be a myth.

What about his leadership skills? They appear to be nonexistent.... Pursuing health care as an early, quick win for Republicans never made much sense.... Prep[ping] the runway for tax reform... allowing it to pass as a permanent bill rather than one that expires after 10 years... was entirely predicated on the idea that health reform was actually doable. Back on planet earth... the American Health Care Act was a disaster in waiting.... A man who had any sense of his own caucus’s limitations might have actually accepted that reality.

It’s also crystal clear that Ryan no longer has sway as an intellectual leader among conservatives. This was his chief qualification... a star of the mainstream GOP who had the ideological credibility to bring along recalcitrant hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus.... In Ryan’s first truly serious legislative test, the Freedom Caucus has killed his bill.... Grover Norquist summed up the prevailing sentiment among professional conservatives.... “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it.”... Well, we know Donald Trump can sign stuff. It’s apparently Paul Ryan who can’t deliver on his end of the deal.