Paul Ryan acknowledges the deep chasm splitting the GOP

 

Ryan:CNN

Good for Paul Ryan.

While other Republicans are embracing Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of their party or trying to find some morally dubious neutral ground on which to cower, Ryan is taking a different course. Asked by CNN Thursday whether he will endorse or support Trump, Ryan declined.

“I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” the speaker said.

That’s quite a statement, pitting the Republican Party’s most powerful elected official against its presidential nominee. And while those words imply a possibility that Ryan might change his mind at some point, the conditions that he announced make it unlikely.

“I hope to, and I want to (back Trump),” Ryan said. “But I think what is required is to unify this party. And I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.” Ryan then went on to explain his price for that unity. He wants Trump to alter the tone, tenor and content of his campaign. He wants Trump to run “a principled campaign that Republicans can be proud about,” a campaign worthy of “the party of Lincoln, Reagan and Jack Kemp” that honors traditional conservative principles.

“It’s time to set aside bullying, to set aside belittlement and appeal to higher aspirations, appeal to what is good in us,” Ryan said.

Put another way, I guess, Ryan wants Trump to change into John Kasich. That’s not going to happen.

Over the course of this campaign, over the course of his entire life, Trump has made it crystal clear to all of us who and what he is. He has made it clear that he sees himself as the great man, and the great man does not bend to the demands of the party that he just conquered. Instead, the party and its members must now bend to him.

Ryan, for his part, recognizes the profound danger of the moment. He knows that a party defines itself by the nominee it chooses. He has watched how Trump has quietly insinuated himself into the GOP, welcomed at each stage by people who believed they were smarter than Trump, that they could leverage Trump’s money, popularity or celebrity without understanding the Faustian price that Trump would exact in return.

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Think back to 2012, to the day when Mitt Romney met with Trump in Las Vegas to seek his endorsement. I never understood what Romney had hoped to get out of that meeting with the birther-obsessed Trump, but Trump’s gain was obvious. He won validation. He won stature as a legitimate party power, someone to whom the party nominee must come for a blessing. Romney had let Trump inside the party gates, and four years later, when Romney finally blasted Trump as a pathologically dishonest bully and a fraud, it came too late.

Think back to last September, when Ted Cruz invited “my friend Donald” to appear beside him at a Washington rally against the Iran nuclear deal. “I like Donald Trump,” Cruz said at the time. “And I’m glad that he’s energized and excited a lot of people. I also think Donald Trump has been tremendously beneficial to our campaign.”

“Donald has an incredible ability to attract attention, 24 million Americans watched that first debate. Millions of eyeballs watched that debate. Our national support doubled,” Cruz said.

Cruz thought he was outsmarting Trump, that he could get what he wanted from the political neophyte at little risk to himself. “You know, I am a big fan of Sun Tzu’s dictum, that every battle is won before it is fought,” the Texas senator bragged to a reporter that day. “It’s won by choosing the terrain on which the battle would be fought, framing the argument.”

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Cruz thought he had seized the favorable ground as the Washington outsider. He did not realize that Trump was stealing it out from under him even as he spoke, along with the votes that he had worked so hard to cultivate. He was right: The battle had been won before it even began.

Ryan has watched all this, and he sees it happening again on a much larger scale. Those Republicans who believe that they can “support the nominee” without surrendering to the entire Trump package are once again fooling themselves. He understands that Trump takes much more in any deal than he gives, and he fears, quite correctly, that Trump is in the process of transforming the GOP from a party that gives voice to conservative concerns into a cult of personality that is focused on the aggrandizement of Trump.

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Ryan further understands that those who choose collaboration in hopes of avoiding conflict or who embrace Trump in hopes of professional advancement are making the same sort of miscalculation that has given Trump control of the party. Unlike them, he isn’t willing to surrender the party’s future to Trump in the infinitesimal hope that this false unity could somehow produce a Republican victory in the fall.

In fact, let me take this one step further. Ryan probably recognizes that the worst thing that could happen to the Republicans isn’t a Goldwater-scale defeat in the fall, along with the loss of the House and Senate. That would be a disaster, but the party could recover from it.

The worst possible outcome for the Republicans long-term would be if Trump were to somehow pull off a victory. A Trump victory would complete the party’s transformation into a cult of personality. It would kill it as a champion of traditional conservatism, and it would turn Trump into the role model for future Republican politicians just as Ronald Reagan served as a role model for subsequent generations.  It might still be known as the Republican Party, but it would never again have any claim to being “the party of Lincoln, Reagan and Jack Kemp.”

Ryan can’t save the entire party from the Trump taint; it’s much too far along for that. He is creating a “GOP-in-exile” in hopes of preserving enough of it to serve as the foundation upon which to rebuild.

 

 

Reader Comments 1

865 comments
Russell Childress
Russell Childress

Notice he said "right now". That leaves the possibility open for later. He just needs to discuss some terms and cut some back room deals then in a few months he'll be supporting Donald.

Mary Gibson
Mary Gibson

Paul Ryan stop frontin u know u the some trump going to vote y'all nominated keep losing Satan Never know he losing straight crazy Donald Trump is that spirit of craziness and that do not go far

Chuck Jackson
Chuck Jackson

Paul Ryan needs to resign. Mr 1.3 trillion dollar budget.

Harold Broome
Harold Broome

It is your job and the olive branch is in your power and your responsibility!

Clifton Goodwin
Clifton Goodwin

So being the Republican candidate makes him the leader of the party so maybe they need to get in line with him

Tim Halloran
Tim Halloran

Maybe the Ryan/Kasich wing of the GOP should break off and create their own party - no psycho right wingers allowed.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

The answer is simple. They just need to come to some agreement on which group of people to focus their hatred on.

Anthony Beron
Anthony Beron

So many people have personalized the race to focus on Trump. Can he win the general? The bigger question is whether any person, animal, or machine can win the GOP primary and then pivot from that position to score with voters that are nauseated by the sheer volume and intensity of the arguments that win with the right.

Glenese Rogers
Glenese Rogers

I think Paul Ryan is in for a rude awakening. That is Donald Trump's reason for running so he can stop these stupid politicians. We the people are tired of their antics.

Chamelio Salamander
Chamelio Salamander

Their rhetoric against Obama has produced a nightmare that is Trump and now they cant even support him LOLOL this is just too funny...

Dawn Keels
Dawn Keels

Still waiting "Teabaggers for Trump" stickers to appear. LOL

Larry Yawn
Larry Yawn

All of the freeloading leaches are about to have to do something for themselves. I know it sounds terrible and it's gonna hurt your poor soft hands to actually have to do something beside sit on your buts!! This country cannot continue to just sit back and watch a bunch of people who do nothing to contribute to society and insist on receiving the same profit as those who do.

Rhonda Chambers
Rhonda Chambers

Where are people doing that at? You need to surround yourself with better company!

Larry Yawn
Larry Yawn

Oh it's not my people lol. It's the people you see in Kroger pushing 2 full carts around full of steak and coco puffs then paying with their EBT\U0001f595

Michael Hibbard
Michael Hibbard

Ryan you better wake up to the grass-roots Revolution in this country. What have you stood up for since taking your new job? You just approved the Budget without a fight...I was very disappointed in your lack of conviction. You need to lead...you need to show some unity and help fix the rift.

James Bell
James Bell

Ah, but when Trump quits trying to get media attention and gets serious, we may have a John Kasich or maybe someone even more liberal. Remember Trump did grow up and live in New York all his life.

Cal Stevens
Cal Stevens

Getting ready to load up on popcorn... this is going to fun to watch!!!

Ken Smith
Ken Smith

He looks like Timothy Omundson from the Disney move the luck of the Irish.

Bob Hunt
Bob Hunt

maybe Ryan should step down or quit all together

Randy D Adler
Randy D Adler

#Hypocrite Can't wait to you to be replaced ..you elitist racist Paul Ryan.

Andre Webb
Andre Webb

Without the support of the GOP, he wont accomplish anything he said he was going to basically turning him into a liar! We'll be looking at another scenario like with President Obama where they wont agree with Trump and will shut the government down again!

Ronnie Wheeler
Ronnie Wheeler

In an interview Thursday on CNBC, Donald Trump broke with tired clichés about the evils of federal debt accumulation. "I am the king of debt," he said. "I love debt. I love playing with it." But he replaced fearmongering about debt with an even more alarming notion — a bankruptcy of the United States federal government that would incinerate the world economy. "I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal," Trump said. "And if the economy was good, it was good. So therefore, you can't lose." With his statement, Trump not only revealed a dangerous ignorance about the operation of the national monetary system and the global economic order, but also offered a brilliant case study in the profound risks of attempting to apply the logic of a private business enterprise to the task of running the United States of America. Trump's business logic makes sense Trump is a businessman, and in terms of thinking like a businessman his idea makes sense. The interest rate that investors currently charge the United States in order to borrow money is very low. A smart business strategy under those circumstances would be to borrow a bunch of money and undertake a bunch of big investment projects that are somewhat risky but judged to possibly have a huge payoff. You now have two possible scenarios. In one scenario, the investments work out and you make a ton of money. In that case, you can easily pay back the loan and everyone wins. In another scenario, the investments don't work out and you don't make much money. In that case, you objectively can't pay back the loan. You either work out a deal with the people you owe money to in which they accept less than 100 percent of what you owe them (this is called a "haircut") or else you go to bankruptcy court and a judge will force them to accept less than 100 percent. This is how businesspeople think — especially those who work in capital-intensive industries like real estate. And for good reason. This is the right way to run a real estate company. Applying this idea to the United States would destroy the economy The United States of America, however, is not a real estate development company. If a real estate company defaults on its debts and its creditors lose money, that's their problem. If a bank fails as a result, then it's the FDIC's responsibility to clean it up. The government doesn't work like that. Right now, people and companies all around the world treat US government bonds as the least risky financial asset in the universe. If the government defaults and banks fail as a result, the government needs to clean up the mess. And if risk-free federal bonds turn out to be risky, then every other financial asset becomes riskier. The interest rate charged on state and local government debt, on corporate debt, and on home loans will spike. Savings will evaporate, and liquidity will vanish as everyone tries to hold on to their cash until they can figure out what's going on. Every assessment of risk in the financial system is based on the idea that the least risky thing is lending money to the federal government. If that turns out to be much riskier than previously thought, then everything else becomes much riskier too. Business investment will collapse, state and local finances will be crushed, and shockwaves will emanate to a whole range of foreign countries that borrow dollars. Remember 2008, when the markets went from thinking housing debt was low-risk to thinking it was high-risk, and a global financial crisis was the result? This would be like that, but much worse — US government debt is the very foundation of low-risk investments. What's especially troubling about Trump's proposal is that there is genuinely no conceivable circumstance under which this kind of default would be necessary. The debt of the federal government consists entirely of obligations to pay US dollars to various individuals and institutions. US dollars are, conveniently, something the US government can create instantly and in infinite quantities at any time. Of course, it might be undesirable to finance debts by printing money rather than raising taxes or cutting spending. In particular, that kind of money printing could lead to inflation, and even though inflation is very low right now there's no guarantee that it will always be low. But a little bit of inflation is always going to be strictly preferable to destroying the whole American economy, especially because a debt default would cause a crash in the value of the dollar and spark inflation anyway. Trump doesn't know what he's talking about This is the second time this week that Trump has revealed a profound ignorance of an issue related to government debts. The early instance in which he kept proposing that Puerto Rico declare bankruptcy even though doing so is illegal was on a question that's very important to Puerto Ricans but not so important to everyone else. It is, however, important to pay attention to how presidential candidates approach issues across the board — and what we saw with Puerto Rico is that Trump approached the issue by simplistically applying business logic without bothering to check whether it applies to the actual situation. Now in the CNBC interview he's done the exact same thing on a matter of more consequence —not the debts of Puerto Rico but the debts of the United States of America. It's understandable that a real estate developer might assume that what works in real estate would work in economic policy, but it's not true. And Trump hasn't bothered to check or ask anyone about it.

Dawn Keels
Dawn Keels

Ronnie: why are you trying to discuss macroeconomics with Trump supporters? Makes perfect sense to those of us utilizing critical thinking skills.

Johnny McLaurin
Johnny McLaurin

Ronnie Wheeler how many millions of dollars have you made enough said

Georgia Bailey
Georgia Bailey

What Ryan is really saying is that Trump has to get in line with the rest of them. I guess Ryan doesn't understand that people probably voted for Trump because he wasn't like the rest of the party.

Barry Pendry
Barry Pendry

Yes but Trump can’t win without the established Republicans....and mark my words there is going to be a 3 party person in this race and my bet is he will come from the Republican party....after all all of the main line Republicans have already said they are skipping the convention.

Victor Cornetto
Victor Cornetto

He will cave and they will be buddy-buddy by the end of next week.

Al Effendi
Al Effendi

So he wants him to go from being a lying, loudmouth, bigoted, spoiled trustafarian to being a lying bigot.

Andre Webb
Andre Webb

True but without the support of the GOP, he wont accomplish anything he said he was going to basically turning him into a liar!

RantNRave
RantNRave

CNN Reports FBI Has Found ‘No Criminal Wrongdoing’ in Hillary Clinton Email ‘Investigation’


For all those Hillary Clinton OPPONENTS who have been hoping against hope that the likely Democratic presidential nominee will be indicted as a result of the FBI review of Hillary’s email server, CNN has some bad news. According to CNN correspondent Pamela Brown, the FBI is close to wrapping up the “investigation,” and thus far have found “no criminal wrongdoing”

YouLibs
YouLibs

@DownInAlbany @RantNRave


Don't get distraught, Al. 


She is such a lying, dishonest, unlikable, hawkish, Wall Street-loving, heavy-cankled, feminazi, bleeding from who-knows-where, uppity woman, the next investigation will SURELY get her.


Stay on the case, Brownie.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Hillary Clinton supporters are racists!!!  According to the exit polls, West Virginia's voters revealed that they are the most racist in the country so far in the Democratic primaries. Fully 21% of the voter consisted of whites who reported that race was a factor, and they voted for Clinton 84-9 over Obama. That's a total racist vote of 19%, exceeding the racist vote in all of the previous primaries with exit polls, and going far above the 13.7% in Arkansas, the most racist state before now in this election.

honested
honested

Now that London has elected a Muslim mayor, will chump advocate ending trade with Britain and excluding Britains from entering the US?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@honested I think he's focusing on banishing all of Bookman's parrots from the country, first.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Visual_Cortex Serious question...several of you refer to the Times as "Moonie" Times.  Where does that come from?

stefpe
stefpe

@DownInAlbany @Visual_Cortex The Washington Times was founded by a guy named Sun Myung Moon who claimed to be the Messiah.His followers were commonly called 'Moonies'.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I posted the following analysis of the substantive differences in seeing intellectual truths via “The Forest” vs. “The Trees,” on Jay Bookman’s blog, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on the morning of May 6, 2016: (Link: http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/05/05/paul-ryan-acknowledges-the-deep-chasm-splitting-the-gop/ […]