He could have stood up to Trump. He chose not to.
By Matt Fuller
The HuffPost (4/11/18)
WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in November, prompting the normal convulsions of Washington praise for Ryan and his “legacy.”
President Donald Trump tweeted that no one could question Ryan’s “legacy of achievement,” and Ryan himself said he was proud of all the things he had accomplished as speaker, namely the tax cuts he helped push through last year and the big increases to military spending he oversaw last month.
But aside from a failed policy agenda — which you can read about here — Paul Ryan’s real legacy will always be this: A feckless leader who oversaw Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party and of Congress.
For all the posturing Ryan did in May 2016 about how he wasn’t ready to endorse Trump, for all the light rebukes of racism or the vacillating support after the Access Hollywood tape, the speaker led reluctant Republicans right to Trump’s feet.
Paul Ryan’s real legacy will always be this: A feckless leader who oversaw Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party and of Congress.
Perhaps no person has done as much to normalize or enable Trump as Ryan, because everyone implicitly believed the speaker might stand up at some point and that it might matter. In so many ways, Ryan was supposed to be the anti-Trump. His squeaky-clean looks and talking points temperament run completely counter to a man who seemingly says and does whatever he wants.
Ryan toyed so many times with not backing Trump during the campaign: After denouncing Trump’s proposed Muslim ban; after calling Trump’s attacks on a judge of Mexican descent “textbook” racism; after saying he wouldn’t campaign for a man so proud of his ability to “grab them by the pussy.”
His name is now ‘Coward’
And yet, by the very end of the campaign, Ryan found a way to support him. And once Trump was elected, Ryan found new ways to accept the president’s abuses. He made excuses that Trump was “new at this.” He watched the House Intelligence Committee become a partisan circus amid serious questions about Russian interference in U.S. elections. And he stood by silently, ignoring the tweets ― even joking about ignoring the tweets ― as Trump has lied, attacked the media and debased the presidency on a near-daily basis.
Paul Ryan’s name is now synonymous with the cowardice of the Republican Party. …
- Shameful Legacy: Here Are 8 Of Paul Ryan’s Most Shameless Surrenders To Trumputin — WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in November, prompting the normal convulsions of Washington praise for Ryan and his “legacy.” President Donald Trump tweeted that no one could question Ryan’s “legacy of achievement,” and Ryan himself said he was proud of all the things he had accomplished as speaker, namely the tax cuts he helped push through last year and the big increases to military spending he oversaw last month. But aside from a failed policy agenda — which you can read about here — Paul Ryan’s real legacy will always be this: A feckless leader who oversaw Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party and of Congress. … Link to Story
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link toe www.thecommonercall.org )
The Only Thing That Ever Made Lyin’ Ryan’s Granny-Starving Career Possible Was Gerrymandering
By Stephen Wolf
Daily Kos (4/1/18)
House Speaker Paul Ryan is retiring after never facing a close election in Wisconsin’s 1st District, but there’s one critical reason why he’s never come close to losing before: gerrymandering. Following the 2010 census, Wisconsin Republicans gerrymandered the state’s congressional map to lock in five seats for themselves and just three for Democrats, even though Barack Obama had carried the state by a 56-42 margin two years earlier.
But what if instead Wisconsin’s map had been drawn without partisan preferences taken into account, on either side? At the top of this post you can see what one such nonpartisan map might look like. Under a plan like this, Wisconsin would instead be home to an equal number of Republican and Democratic seats, plus two districts competitive for both parties—one of which would have been Ryan’s. The actual 1st District voted for Mitt Romney by a 52-47 margin in 2012, but this nonpartisan version flipped the script and went 52-47 for Obama. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin also carried this seat that same year, meaning there’s a good chance Ryan would have lost under district lines like this.
But of course, Ryan did get to enjoy a map drawn for his benefit, rendering his continued career in Congress the product of GOP gerrymandering run amok. …
The Real Reason Paul Ryan Is Running … Away
Daily Kos (4/11/18)
While pundits across the country are picking their jaws up off the floor with Paul Ryans’ announcement that he’s not running for re-election, I’m not surprised. I’ve expected this shoe to drop for quite some time now. Like me, he sees the handwriting on the wall.
It isn’t Trump or the insane Freedom Caucus that’s responsible for his departure as the pundits are fond of saying today. He doesn’t really mind chaos. In his mind, if we’re watching chaos over there, we won’t see what he’s doing over here. And while the media is busy with Trump Tweets, Republicans are doing terrible things that pass by largely unnoticed.
He’s been shown to be a partisan extremist more supportive of millionaires and corporations at the expense of the regular folks in his district.
It’s not that I’ve got a political crystal ball in my home, but I’ve been watching the GOP Golden Boy for many years. He’s had it his way for far too long. The granny-starving extremist was able to present himself as a fresh-faced moderate in his district because compliant media portrayed him that way. Re-elected in his gerrymandered district time after time, he became complacent. He never really had to campaign — that “R” behind his name was all it took to get votes.
And then he got national attention and the gig was up. …
- Paul Ryan’s Whole Career Was About Sticking It To The Poor And Elderly — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has spent the better part of his political career trying to shred America’s social safety net, so that literally tens of millions of Americans would lose supports they use to get food, health care and pay their most basic bills. Ryan, who announced Wednesday that he won’t seek re-election this fall, mostly hasn’t succeeded in this effort. But he has left an indelible impact on the Republican Party’s identity. … Read the Rest