When the big endorsement happened yesterday you could smell the response coming like a dumpster fire down the block. The various forces aligned against Donald Trump’s candidacy had been waiting for just such an opportunity to spew a bit more venom against a high profile target and this was about as appetizing of a meal as they could hope for. When I tuned in to Morning Joe today, I listened to Mika Brzezinski (flying without Scarborough there as a counterweight) going on and on ad nauseam about how terrible it all was and, Oh My God, how will he explain this to his children?
The same scathing reviews were showing up in the blogosphere (see, “Pathetic Paul Ryan“) and the MSM. The editorial board of the Washington Post – always known for their heartfelt concern over the health and welfare of the GOP – was quick to pile on, bemoaning how such a principled person could sell out his admirable values and capitulate.
On Thursday Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda.
Explaining his belated endorsement of Mr. Trump in a home-state newspaper, the speaker said that conversations with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee have reassured him. Mr. Trump will help turn House GOP ideas into law, Mr. Ryan said, in a way that a President Hillary Clinton would not.
This, of course, is the same WaPo editorial board which was quick to accuse Ryan of shoving seniors off a cliff in their wheelchairs when he dared to express those same principled positions in budgetary matters. For that matter, I don’t recall Mika Brzezinski being particularly enamored of Ryan when he was Mitt’s running mate a few years ago. In reality, we’re seeing a response from pro-Democrat forces asking a question which is easily translated:
Why couldn’t Paul Ryan do something to discredit the GOP ticket and make it easier to elect Hillary Clinton so we can get the president we want?
And the remaining dead enders of the #NeverTrump movement are posing a similar query:
Why couldn’t Paul Ryan do something to make it harder for Trump to win so we can say ‘we told you so‘ in November?
Allahpundit offered his thoughts on this yesterday and captured at least part of what’s wrong with this narrative.
He was always going to endorse Trump. There’s no way a sitting Republican Speaker, tasked with presiding over the convention, would hold out on the Republican nominee through November, especially with the rest of the party rapidly congealing around him. Backing Trump was inevitable.
In the end, what did you expect Paul Ryan to do, particularly since he has to host Trump’s big party in Cleveland? He still disagrees with Trump on a number of issues, but not all of them. I’ve zero doubt that there are any number of candidates who Ryan would have rather seen as the nominee (and I’m completely onboard with that sentiment) but this is who we have to work with. And yes, as the Speaker stated in his op-ed yesterday, there are at least some bills promoting the conservative agenda which he hopes to get through Congress next year which Trump will sign. The number of conservative pieces of legislation which Hillary Clinton (or even Bernie Sanders) will sign remains firmly fixed at zero.
Get over yourselves with the high and mighty critiques of Paul Ryan doing what has to be done to prevent a Hillary Clinton presidency. If you really feel that the right thing to do for the Republican Speaker of the House was to help elect a Democrat then you need to reexamine your own priorities. Ryan is living in the real world and you might want to take a brief tour of the place before declaring what a failure he’s become.