It's not enough for the Republicans just to have a speaker, even a youthful and dynamic one like Paul Ryan. Don't be blinded by the love and bipartisanship for Ryan displayed and spoken by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC), and Ryan's swearing in by Dean of the House John Conyers (D-MI). Without negotiation and leadership, and despite Boehner's gift of a budget, no shutdowns, and no debt ceiling crises for two years, Ryan's Congress could come to be known more for what it left undone that could have been positive than what it achieved.
Robert Weiner is a former spokesman for the Clinton White House, and was senior staff for Reps. John Conyers Jr., Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper and Ed Koch and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Brendan Agnew is Economic Policy Analyst at Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change.