The USS Republican and the USS Democrat are on shore leave this week after months of floundering aimlessly at sea. How the crews spend their time ashore will depend to a large extent on which insignia they wear on their sleeve.
The crew of the USS Democrat will spend their time focusing on tomorrow night’s first Democratic Presidential Debate and the orderly selection of a new captain. At the same time the officers of the USS Republican will be trying to quell a mutiny while desperately searching for someone…anyone…to captain their rudderless ship.
You see, life at sea aboard the USS Republican has been anything but ship shape. Things are in such disarray that Captain Boehner attempted to abandon ship and his Executive Officer, Kevin McCarthy, was pressured by the mutineers to refuse the helm.
If you read the media reports about the mutiny on board the USS Republican you are led to believe that it is all hands on deck for crewmember Paul Ryan to replace Captain Boehner. But if you listen to the voices of the crew, particularly the members of the Freedom Caucus, Ryan’s promotion to captain is no sure thing.
The Freedom Caucus consists of 35-40 crew members that toil deep below the waterline in the belly of beast. They have grown so agitated over the course that Captain Boehner has chosen that they have threatened to run the good ship Republican aground if a radical change of course is not executed. In past months this small but aggressive crew’s reckless behavior has accomplished little more than to waste millions in provisions while forcing the vessel further and further from its intended arrival at the Port of Governance.
Boehner became so frustrated with the crews’ insubordination that he attempted to abandon ship; only to be pulled back from the rail when his first officer was forced to walk the plank. Boehner continues to reluctantly man the helm but only until the next captain is selected or his commission ends…whichever comes first.
The majority of the Republican crew is behind Ryan. But the Freedom Caucus is the tail that wags the GOP dog. The Freedom Caucus will only stand behind Ryan if he agrees to substantively change the course the USS Republican follows as it navigates the stormy seas of politics. Smaller government, less spending, defund Planned Parenthood, no increase in the debt ceiling…these are just a few of the ports of call the Freedom Caucus intends to visit. Agree and its smooth sailing for Ryan. Disagree, or commit the heinous crime of seeking help from the crew of the USS Democrat and the Freedom Caucus will run the good ship Republican aground…and take the entire navy with them.
Thus far Ryan has declined the promotion.
Who can blame him?
Would you leave your family to captain the Titanic knowing full well what lies just over the horizon?