In the four months since he formally endorsed his party’s nominee for president, Ryan -- the esteemed speaker of the House, the sterling guardian of conservatism, the intellectual leader of the Republican Party -- has been reduced to a miserable Trump flunky sheepishly counting down the hours until the election is over. Each day he spends tethered to the Donald seems to bring some fresh humiliation; each role he inhabits in the entourage proves more undignified than the last. Adviser, apologist, hype man, scold -- none brings redemption, or even reprieve. And so he trudges on toward November, a stench of sadness clinging to him as he goes.What a con. These folks have persuaded Coppins that Ryan's endorsement of Trump is the principled act of a moral man. They get Coppins to agree that it's only fair to grade Ryan's conscience on a curve:
Friends and allies, disappointed though many of them are, have tried to show Ryan support in this difficult time. They labor to give him the benefit of the doubt, to rationalize his endorsement -- and when they’re defending his honor on the record, they might even find themselves slipping into messianic metaphors.
“I feel so sorry for Paul,” said Bob Woodson, the veteran civil rights activist who mentors Ryan on issues of poverty and race. “He wishes someone else could take the cup from him. … I’d say ‘weary martyr’ is a good way to describe him.”
“I think he endorsed Trump because he tries to see the best in people, and he hoped that his endorsement would be a down payment on a new and improved Trump,” said Katie Packer, a friend of Ryan’s who served as Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012.
People close to Ryan said there is an art to crafting the perfect rhetorical response to one of Trump’s eruptions: They must be strongly worded enough for the speaker of the House’s condemnation to be taken seriously -- but not so strongly worded that he’s left with no choice but to withdraw his endorsement.Oh yes, we all know how seriously Ryan's occasional tut-tutting is taken by Team Trump, and we all know that it's simply unthinkable that Ryan would reject a bigoted, misogynistic narcissistic sociopath with an emotional age of eleven.
The tears are so copious in this article that they're even shed for a Ryan aide:
Capitol Hill staffers have expressed pity for Ryan’s well-regarded press secretary, AshLee Strong, who is often tasked with drafting and disseminating these statements.Oh, please. Ryan and his crew decided early on that this was how the sausage would get made. They're used to the stench of rotting meat.
“I can’t imagine having to do that,” said one GOP communications adviser on the Hill. “It would just be soul-sucking.”
Ryan knows what he wants: the Koch brothers' dream budget, with 99.6% of its tax cuts going to the 1%. Ryan knows that a President Trump would sign that budget without even reading a summary of it, and he knows a Trump win would ensure GOP majorities in both houses of Congress and bring that budget a step closer to reality. Even keeping Trump close makes GOP congressional wins more likely, and since Ryan is a young man, that Koch dream might seem just four years away under those circumstances.
So he's not suffering at all. But stories that claim he's suffering will serve as his alibi if the GOP is widely denounced for backing Trump after November. He was just trying to bring out Trump's best! He had no choice!
Ryan always bamboozles the press. This is just more of the same.