Speaker Paul D. Ryan endorsed Donald J. Trump for president on Thursday, finally giving his backing after weeks of reluctance to the man who ran against the party’s establishment, of which Mr. Ryan is the titular leader.Members of the liberal commentariat are already expressing concern for Ryan's welfare (and the welfare of other former Trump opponents who've emerged from the reeducation camps):
Does Paul Ryan realize he'll still be a "supporter of Donald Trump" 3 yrs from now? Just checking.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 2, 2016
Trump is poisoning not just GOP prospects this year but destroying future prospects of entire generation of GOP pols: Ryan, Rubio, etc.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) June 2, 2016
What are they worried about? The political establishment is so invested in the notion of Both Sides Do It that nothing Trump can possibly say or do between now and November will define him as truly beyond the pale, assuming he doesn't actually don a sheet and burn a cross. (Hey, Hillary Clinton is unpopular too! And she's had scandals, so that's precisely equal to Trump's flirtations with fascism and white nationalism, his utter ignorance of policy, his embrace of torture ...!)
What's more, even if Trump just plunges further and further into the gutter, remember that the GOP never suffers long-term consequences and always gets a do-over at the earliest possible opportunity. Two years after Newt Gingrich crashed and burned, George W. Bush made it into the White House after running as the media favorite in the presidential race; two years after Bush's presidency ended in utter ignominy and Democrats seemingly took over D.C., the Tea Party rebranded the GOP and the GOP gained the House back. The same thing is going to happen to the GOP post-Trump -- rebranding will happen and the slate will be wiped clean.
And if I'm wrong and some Republicans do see their careers suffer because of Trump, rest assured that media darling Ryan will be spared. Hey, he did this with his fingers crossed behind his back!
I'm pretty sure that Paul Ryan endorsing Trump means Ryan is 99.999% sure Trump is gonna lose.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) June 2, 2016
If Ryan actually thought he might have to deal with a President Trump, I don't think he would have endorsed him.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) June 2, 2016
And what did Ryan say about Trump, really?
Paul Ryan endorses Donald Trump https://t.co/6sqe6eJvVS the key here is that he does NOT "endorse"— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) June 2, 2016
Yes, it's true that Ryan said he'd vote for
In a column on GazetteXtra.com, Mr. Ryan made clear he believed that Mr. Trump was the best candidate to help establish the agenda that he himself wants to get through Congress. A spokesman for Mr. Ryan, Brendan Buck, wrote on Twitter that the column constituted an endorsement.But it will be remembered that Ryan squirmed briefly before endorsing, and avoided the E-word -- so we'll be told that he really didn't mean it. He'll emerge from this smelling like a rose. The Establishment will never stop rooting for him.