News & Politics

Paul Ryan in Another Futile Attempt to Turn the GOP Away From Trump

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Former Rep. Paul Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 2012, gave a speech at the shrine of moderate conservatism: the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi, California.

“Here’s one reality we have to face,” Ryan said during his speech. “If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere.”

Whether he’s right or wrong is immaterial. The reality is that no one on the right is listening. It’s amazing that Republicans of Paul Ryan’s temperament and beliefs still think there’s room in the party for them, or that Republicans care very much what they’re thinking.

Surely the Ryans, the Bushes, and the Romneys can all read the polls. Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe Trump is the “true president.” An astonishing 85 percent of Republicans want candidates to run for office who agree with Trump.

“The numbers fly in the face of any predictions that Donald Trump’s political future is in decline. By a substantial majority, Republicans: (1) believe the election was stolen from him, (2) want Trump to run again, and (3), if they can’t vote for Trump, prefer someone who agrees with him,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.

But Ryan, Romney, and the few other Republican apostates continue their futile quest to turn the party away from Trump.

New York Times:

Mr. Ryan said he had found it “horrifying to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and disgraceful end,” although he did not specifically refer to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 or to Mr. Trump’s repeated election falsehoods.

He added that Republican voters would “not be impressed by the sight of yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago.”

That is definitely not the way to win friends and influence Republicans.

Mr. Ryan’s political re-emergence, and his relatively gentle warning of the dangers of a party crafted in Mr. Trump’s image, came as the former president has said he plans to return to the campaign trail this summer with rallies for Republican House and Senate candidates supportive of his agenda and his election falsehoods. Mr. Trump is also still hinting at a potential presidential run in 2024.

“We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us,” Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump roused himself to swat away Ryan’s oblique criticisms.

“Paul Ryan has been a curse to the Republican Party,” Trump said. “He has no clue as to what needs to be done for our Country, was a weak and ineffective leader, and spends all of his time fighting Republicans as opposed to Democrats who are destroying our Country,” wrote Trump, who continues to bash Liz Cheney, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, and many other Republicans who have defied or crossed him.

It hardly matters. Trump is getting exactly what he wanted: a Republican Party beholden to him and enthralled by him. We’ll see what he can do with it.