Ryan’s Grope

Paul Ryan missed his moment, a seminal moment, a “come-to-Jesus” moment. It could’ve been a Reagan moment: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

As the leader of the House and his party, Ryan should’ve called Trump out, by name, as a misogynist, bully, bigot, demagogue, inciter of violence.

paul-ryan-cbs-news

Instead, the man whose name was raised as a possible presidential candidate at the upcoming Republican convention; Paul Ryan, known for his intellectual, and rational approach to issues from the budget to the Tea Party; instead Paul Ryan – to borrow an old high school expression – wimped out.

Listening to Ryan deliver his speech on The State of American Politics (Mar. 23), he stands, hands open, reaching, almost preaching about everything most Americans abhor in politics… groped for the elephant in the room and missed, big time!

“…when people distrust politics, they come to distrust institutions. They lose faith in their government, and the future too. We can acknowledge this. But we don’t have to accept it. And we cannot enable it either.

“My dad used to say, if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.”

 And then

“Instead of talking about what politics is today, I want to talk about what politics can be.”

Ooooooh, Paul!

That’s the speech you could’ve given weeks ago, months ago, not now. Not when things have devolved into Trump’s vulgar insults about a rival’s wife and his endless extremist drumbeat on how he’s going to deal with terrorists like ISIS.

“You don’t want to know what I’m going to do.”

Or his rivals …

“Little Marco,” “Lyin’ Ted,” Carly Fiorina… “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”

Shame doesn’t exist for Donald Trump. As for an apology? Well, that’s assuming he thinks he’s said or done something to apologize for, and as we’ve all learned, Trump never admits to any mistakes because he’s wrapped himself in a cocoon of denial. He sees what he wants to see; hears what he wants to hear.

“There’s no violence at my rallies. It’s a love fest.”

In the Catechism of Trump, (genuflect, Trumpers): “What I say is what I say. [Wow, that one’s headed for Brainy Quote!] And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”

Except that he has done that.

“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness.”

Trump consistently equates political correctness with some exaggerated form of esteem. It’s not. It’s just respect.

And it’s stunning to watch how fast he flips on issues like money in politics:

“I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”

So, according to the Trump bylaws, it’s okay for the system to be corrupt as long as Trump gets something out of it.

As for Trump supporters? They love it all, but more importantly, they love Him. (Oops, did I just capitalize His name? Whoa, I did it, again!)

The negative effect of Donald Trump’s hate-filled, extremist rhetoric is about as clear and indisputable as looking at a picture of George Wallace or Joe McCarthy, but Ryan can’t bring himself to call out a “fellow” Republican for who and what he is or for what he represents!?

I understand that Speaker Ryan is trying to stay above the fray, nobly avoiding adding to the insult-fest. The only problem, Paul, is unless you call out a demagogue – even one from your own party – you ARE part of the problem.

In a speech he was scheduled to deliver in Dallas on November 22, 1963, President Kennedy, despite his own feet of clay, spoke in clear and unambiguous language about the threats we faced during those uncertain times. Examining Kennedy’s words again, it’s easy to see how he is talking about people like Donald Trump and the billionaire’s hare-brained notion of foreign policy.

“Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country’s security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality, and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.

“There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

“But today other voices are heard in the land – voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality… that vituperation [criticism] is as good as victory…

“We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will ‘talk sense to the American people.’ But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. …

“We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’ ”

My hope for Paul Ryan is that he quickly understands that, as someone in a leadership position, he has a duty to speak out against anyone who lacks the intelligence, respect and character demanded of someone wishing to serve in the highest office of the land, and that Trump’s inciting violence and hateful rhetoric is not political incorrectness, it’s a grotesque arrogance, grown all the more insufferable with a media that abets his every contemptible tweet and gives him far more coverage beyond Andy Warhol’s allotted fifteen minutes.

Stick a fork in him, Paul, he’s done!

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: