Thursday, February 25, 2016


Donald Trump's takeover of the Republican Party is nearly complete -- a development that leads The New York Times to ask: But what does this mean for our dreamy boyfriend, Paul Ryan? At the Times, Ryan is still the real head of the party, even if he's temporarily in exile:
Speaker Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the Republican National Convention, recent vice-presidential candidate and the highest elected Republican in the country, has one goal for this year: to form a conservative policy agenda for the Republican presidential nominee to embrace.

If that nominee is Donald J. Trump, that may be a waste of time.

... On nearly every significant issue, Mr. Trump stands in opposition to Republican orthodoxy and his party’s policy prescriptions -- the very ideas that Mr. Ryan has done more than anyone else to form, refine or promote over the last decade.

If the billionaire New York businessman captures his party’s nomination -- which seemed increasingly possible after a decisive victory in Nevada on Tuesday night — he will become the titular head of the Republican Party, and lawmakers like Mr. Ryan will be expected to fall in line for the balance of the campaign. It is something that many in the party think may be impossible.
Paul Ryan recant? Never!
... Mr. Ryan’s positions embody the modern institutional Republican Party. He has been a crucial promoter of free trade on Capitol Hill, which Mr. Trump opposes. Mr. Ryan supports taking away money from Planned Parenthood -- a central target of Republicans for years -- while Mr. Trump has said the group provides needed care to women. Eminent domain, the right of the government to seize private property for public use? The concept is despised by Republicans. Mr. Trump, who has used eminent domain to try to demolish an older woman’s home in Atlantic City to build a parking lot, calls it “wonderful.”

There is more: Mr. Ryan is the architect of his party’s plan to rein in spending on entitlement programs, which Mr. Trump has said is the reason the party lost the White House in 2012, name-checking Mr. Ryan in his swipe. Mr. Ryan supports all forms of domestic energy development, but Mr. Trump has called for colonizing Iraq’s oil reserves through military intervention.
I'm not sure I see the area of disagreement in that last sentence -- the two positions aren't mutually exclusive. Nor are the positions of Trump and Ryan all that far apart on Planned Parenthood, now that Trump also wants the group defunded. But never mind.
... This week, as Mr. Trump is once again bashing conservative notions, Mr. Ryan’s House is holding a series of members-only ideas forums on poverty, health care and other issues. Mr. Ryan also gives speeches and conducts television and radio interviews pretty much wherever he goes these days. But for now, Mr. Trump has the bigger microphone.
Savor that last sentence: But for now, Mr. Trump has the bigger microphone. Savor the phrase for now.
Presidential candidates come, presidential candidates go, but the insider elite clique will endure, dammit!

In that clique, Ryan is as titanic a figure as Trump is to the GOP hoi polloi. The politics writers of The New York Times are as uncritical in their worship of Ryan as the mobs who hoot and holler at Trump rallies.

This, by the way, is the lead story on the front page of today's print Times. It's sending a message that Donald Trump may win the Republican presidential nomination, but he won't be allowed to leave a permanent mark on the party, because the Village will declare that the Trump moment was just a bad dream the minute it's over. We'll be told that the Republican Party is all better now, and was never inherently sick to begin with -- like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, it still has an innocent sinless soul, and it behaved badly only because it was possessed by a demon.

Ryan, the Times tells us, is the once and future leader of the GOP. Pay no attention to the man who's actually winning Republican primaries.


Kay said...

"It's sending a message that Donald Trump may win the Republican presidential nomination, but he won't be allowed to leave a permanent mark on the party, because the Village will declare that the Trump moment was just a bad dream the minute it's over."
This is the latest version of, "He came in here and he trashed the place, and it's not his place," sniffed the late David Broder" I don't mean to defend Trump in any way, just to add to the criticism and contempt for the Hunger Games-style Washington press corps.

AllieG said...

As long as most advertisers are Republicans, meaning forever, mass media journalism will always maintain that the Republicans are the more reasonable of two reasonable alternatives for voters. Trump's sin is revealing the racism, xenophobia and outright ignorance that gets the Ryans elected.

Victor said...

Trump is a stain on the bedsheets after a vigorous and sweath night of fucking everyone who's not a white male "Christian."

"Privatizin'" Ryan is the detergent that will clean those bigoted love-stains out of the sheets, and make them white and stain-free enough for making spotless white robes and hoods for the next election cycle.


Monty said...

I've always thought of Ryan as an overrated sociopath. So wonderful that the press loves him.

petrilli said...

Trump will have no problem going full wingnut on every issue that impedes his success in the general election. That includes trade. That includes choice. His populist economic message will slip down the memory hole and as long as he keeps punching hippies and brown people, the brownshirts, and malocchio horn wearing wannabe's in their leased SUV's who put him over the top on Super Tuesday won't know any better. Whether or not they can be out numbered at the polls remains to be seen. It doesn't look good so far.

petrilli said...

While I enjoyed your the Excorcist comparison, The movie analogy that came to my mind was the concluding act from Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. Two married couples whose callow newly adopted "open" lifestyle dissolves in a pathetic failed orgy attempt, shaming them back to their former bourgeois morality. But they can't look each other in the eyes the next day and their souls will never be innocent again.

Feud Turgidson said...

"Sweath" seems to have broken the atomic bonds of my Egpytian ultra weaves.

I'm liking how what preznitzel cycle and the Internet get words wiggling:

- Ryan as the GOP's Sweather boy.

- Trump in there up so tighty with his whities of the Estados Unidos Blanco loco nacionalista.

- the mystical Marconian frameworkers facing off against Rafael Canuckio and his negativistas constitucionales disolutos, in what's looming as either the First Battle of Cruzbio, or the Third Cuban Civil War.

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Ten Bears said...

I hope you're getting paid for that.