Trump to Ryan: Don't quit, Paul!

Good lord. It’s one thing for him to whiff on building the wall, but practically begging America’s foremost “globalist” not to give up his grip on the House? I knew the Alabama results would sour Trump on Bannon but bear-hugging Paul Ryan is unexpected.

Eh. Look at it from Trump’s perspective: Why roll the dice on a new Speaker? Ryan hasn’t caused any problems for him. Whenever he’s asked to condemn whatever weird thing POTUS just said or tweeted, he shrugs it off and gets back to chattering about taxes. He’s done his part to give Trump legislative victories too. He and McConnell are on the brink of passing tax reform and the House, unlike the Senate, managed to muster a majority to repeal ObamaCare. Anyone who replaces Ryan is apt to be more divisive within the House caucus, which will create a new headache for the GOP in getting things done. Plus Ryan’s a terrific fundraiser, which the party badly needs this year. He hasn’t even pushed hard for amnesty. (Although stay tuned on DACA.) His big sin is that he’s emphatically not a populist, which grieves Steve Bannon but which Trump doesn’t seem to mind much at all. He’ll sign anything Congress hands him in the name of having big-ticket victories to boast about. Why would he want to see a guy with whom he’s reached a certain comfort level leave?

And hey, a public pat on the back for Ryan right now can only help the party unify as tax reform enters crunch time. It’ll pass the House whether or not Trump says something nice about Ryan but maybe a few kind words for the Speaker, against the wishes of his base, will convince Trump’s critics in the Senate to be a bit more conciliatory towards him too. At least long enough to get the damned bill passed.

Exit question: How did we end up with such a (relatively) slow news day today? Right, right, Net Neutrality was repealed, which is the end of democracy as we know it according to raging liberals on social media, but it was a slow Trump news day. And American news junkies are all Trump news junkies now. The one ironclad guarantee of his presidency is “never a dull moment” and he almost always keeps that promise. Almost. But not today.