Speaker Ryan Puts the Republican Party Before the Country. Full Stop.
By: Meredith Kelly
By endorsing Donald Trump, and by extension his dangerous policies and hateful positions, Paul Ryan made the choice to put the Republican Party before our country. If there was any doubt that Speaker Ryan puts his party before our nation, he has doubled-, tripled- and octupled-down on his Trump endorsement, even as Trump congratulated himself in the hours after the Orlando tragedy, questioned the ability of a Mexican-American judge to do his job, and now, as new economic analysis shows that our nation would go into a major recession if Ryan is successful in his goal of putting Donald Trump in the White House.
This past weekend, when Chuck Todd asked Ryan if he was in fact putting party over country, Ryan “explicitly denied” the charge, while in the same interview feigning ignorance about Donald Trump’s hateful behavior by saying he’s a “busy guy” and can’t stay abreast of every Trumpism. Since Speaker Ryan is so busy, here’s a little light reading to catch him up on the fact that editorial boards and other Republicans across the country have forcefully weighed in and made it perfectly clear that to Speaker Ryan, the good of the Republican Party is more important than the good of the country.
- Washington Post editorial: “Then again, Mr. Ryan is making a similarly improvident bet on Mr. Trump. No policy or principle Mr. Ryan has articulated comes close to justifying the indelible stain of supporting a dangerous demagogue. Speaking up when Mr. Trump says reprehensible things is more than some Republicans have managed but insufficient. It is not reasonable for Mr. Ryan to say, as he did Tuesday, that he will not “get into the day-to-day habit of commenting” on “what our nominee says.” The speaker says he supports Mr. Trump, so he owes it to Americans to explain whether he agrees with the GOP nominee and, if not, how he can claim to be a man of principle and continue supporting him.”
- Star-Ledger Editorial: “Where is a decent, principled conservative to go? Nearly all the senior members of the party have fallen in line behind Trump — choosing partisan politics over what’s actually good for America. Those few principled souls who have stood up against Trump, including our own former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, are standing nearly alone in the political wilderness.”
- LA Times Editorial: Headline: “Party loyalty is no excuse. Trump is manifestly unqualified. Republicans need to stand up and say as much.”
- Washington Post Editorial: “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.”
- Former Rep. Mickey Edwards: “Ryan hopes his endorsement of Trump will help his club win. It’s my club, too. But it’s also my country, which means more to me than my political party.”
- Conservative columnist Michael Gerson: “All this is a particular blow to conservatives, among whom I count myself. Conservatives latched on to the GOP as an instrument to express their ideals. Now loyalty to party is causing many to abandon their ideals. Conservatism is not misogyny. Conservatism is not nativism and protectionism. Conservatism is not religious bigotry and conspiracy theories. Conservatism is not anti-intellectual and anti-science. For the sake of partisanship — for a mess of pottage — some conservatives are surrendering their identity. It is a very bad deal.”
- Meg Whitman, via NYT: “Ms. Whitman, according to one of the people present, did not stop at comparing Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. She also warned the gathering that if Republicans compromised on their principles to win an important election, they would be entering fraught territory. “What happens next time?” she asked, implying that it could lead to more compromises and more candidates like Mr. Trump.”
- Conservative columnist George Will: “The Caligulan malice with which Donald Trump administered Paul Ryan’s degradation is an object lesson in the price of abject capitulation to power. This episode should be studied as a clinical case of a particular Washington myopia — the ability of career politicians to convince themselves that they and their agendas are of supreme importance.”
- Wisconsin conservative columnist Christian Schneider: “And there will be a long-term price to pay. Any time Ryan stands before reporters detailing his positive agenda steeped in conservative principles, the podium should feature a giant asterisk — that is, House Republicans believe in the pillars of conservatism right up until the point when a puzzlingly hirsute man-baby decides to mock women, minorities and the handicapped. When Ryan espouses political civility, ask him about his endorsement of America’s most prominent Obama birther. We now know that no person exists who is so disgusting that he is below Republican appeasement.”
- Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin: “Two impressions will jell in voters’ minds as the race drags on. First, whatever principles the GOP has aren’t strong enough to override partisan solidarity, even when the essence of our democracy is at stake. Second, Republicans are supporting a bigot and justifying doing so for spurious reasons. Long after the votes are counted, Americans will remember Republicans essentially saying: What he said was bigoted. He says lots of bigoted things. But, by gosh, we’re voting for him.”