Whatever Paul Ryan is doing right now, it’s not leadership.
By: Meredith Kelly
That sound you’re hearing? It’s us furiously flipping through an idiom dictionary looking for another way to say “chickens coming home to roost.” Ever the Irishman, Speaker Ryan is hoping you were already a few Guinnesses too deep yesterday to notice the plethora of stories demonstrating the ineffective and muddled results of the “bottom-up” leadership strategy he promoted in order to secure the Speakership.
(Hint: It’s not just his failure to live up to his promise to pass a budget and return to regular order in the House.)
Yesterday, Ryan’s morning press conference featured a bizarre hedge when asked if he’ll denounce Trump’s offensive, hateful candidacy: “I do not believe I’ll have to do that.” Then just hours later, when it came out that Ryan attended an elite Republican donor gathering expected to discuss “other viable avenues for stopping [Trump],” Ryan’s team fell all over themselves to clarify that the Speaker does not endorse efforts to stop Trump’s clear path to the nomination.
And let’s be clear: Ryan’s bare-minimum denouncements of Trump – who he doesn’t even call by name – regarding the KKK and violence at Trump rallies does not cut it.
The result of Ryan’s waffling and lack of leadership on Trump and willingness to be a conduit for Trump’s hateful rhetoric? “Call it the head-in-the-sand strategy,” according to POLITICO. Ryan’s flock of endangered Republicans is resorting to “uncomfortable pauses” and “hoping for the best” absent real leadership from the Speaker on Trump’s candidacy.
“If your head is spinning trying to keep up with all of Speaker Ryan’s contortions on Trump, we’ll make it real simple: Speaker Ryan has refused to truly lead the Republican conference on Trump, and now his vulnerable colleagues are struggling to deal with his harsh down-ballot impact,” said Christie Stephenson of the DCCC.