While there is no photographic evidence, Paul Ryan continues to suffer the results of his deal with the devil.
Once the House Speaker walked onto the stage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, his fate was sealed.
“Democracy is a series of choices,” Ryan told the GOP faithful. “We Republicans have made our choice. Have we had our arguments this year? Sure, we have.”
That was back in the good ol’ days of July, before Donald Trump invented a whole new way of campaigning by insulting everyone outside and inside his own party, including Paul Ryan: “does zilch!,” “doesn’t know how to win,” “always fighting the Republican nominee!,” “very weak and ineffective leader.”
Prior to the convention, it took Ryan a month just to utter the words his colleagues were pushing him to say. Here’s how the speaker framed his support on Meet the Press (June 19):
“I feel like I have certain responsibilities, as not just Congressman Paul Ryan from the 1st District of Wisconsin, but as speaker of the House, and imagine the speaker of the House not supporting the duly elected nominee of our party, therefore creating a chasm in our party to split us in half, which basically helps deny us the White House and strong majorities in Congress.”
Just days later, Ryan is put on the hot-seat to defend his nominee’s comments about the heritage of a Federal judge:
“I disavow these comments,” Ryan said. “Claiming a person can’t do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Despite a “textbook definition” and “absolutely unacceptable,” the honorable Ryan threw caution to the wind – along with his principles – and supported a man who is a shameless bully, racist, misogynist and demagogue.
Ryan believes that the Republican agenda is far more important than the principles he so highly values.
“Democracy without morality is impossible.”
That’s Republican icon Jack Kemp, Ryan’s role model. That’s gone, out the window, doesn’t exist in the Ryan-sphere anymore.
Sadly, Paul Ryan concluded, long ago, that it is better to roll the dice and take your chances with an individual who has the most onerous track record of being “of Trump, by Trump and for Trump,” than “to do what we know is morally right,” as Ronald Reagan said. In the process, Ryan has squandered his reputation and compromised his integrity.
It was only sheer luck that Ryan avoided being on the same stage as Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood video in which Trump brags of his prowess with forcing himself on women. Once he learned of the tape, Ryan quickly cancelled Trump’s appearance with him on stage in Wisconsin where Ryan is running for re-election.
Sadly, history records that even President Dwight Eisenhower refused to publicly brand Senator Joseph McCarthy as the blatant demagogue that he was. It wasn’t until McCarthy planned to reveal communists within the Army that Eisenhower ordered his staff to present information that would discredit the junior senator from Wisconsin.
What is left for Speaker Ryan?
The New York Times reports (Oct. 26), “Some in the deeply factionalized Republican Party, including Mr. Trump and some of his senior aides, are already fanning the flames for a revolt against the House speaker… once Congress reconvenes after the election. Mr. Trump, who has lashed out at the speaker for being critical of him, has privately said that Mr. Ryan should pay a price for his disloyalty…”
After the election, when they look for the how and why Republicans lost a chance at the White House, Ryan and the GOP need only look to the Bible for an answer:
“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind…”