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Paul Ryan Proves Why Acting Weak Helps Donald Trump

February 21, 2016

Over and over we have witnessed during this campaign season how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been allowed to increase his standing in the polls. Using bluster and bombast he has attacked anyone who dares question his positions or demand of him deeper answers concerning the issues of the day.

There are many Americans of all political stripes who are truly worried about the possibility of Trump gaining the nomination. But it also appears to me that a growing segment of the nation is wondering just when the leaders within the GOP will stand up and not wilt from fear while taking on the New York businessman.

After all, who has the most to lose than the Republican Party itself from the reckless candidacy of Trump?   Why are there not more brave men and women who stand up and make their voices heard about the direction Trump is taking the GOP?

I mention this as a reaction to the tepid comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan when questioned about Trump. What Ryan said is so frustrating on the one hand, but also a clear insight into why Trump is ahead in the polls. With weakness in the party such as Ryan displayed why should Trump worry about his political future?

By now we have all heard or read that Trump stated Ryan is the reason why Mitt Romney didn’t win the 2012 presidential election.    There is just no way to rationalize how Trump could come to such an illogical conclusion.   Now I understand there are a whole raft of statements from Trump that bewilder any sensible person.  But in this instance Trump was attacking a vice-presidential candidate and the current house speaker.

So one might assume the response from Ryan might be filled with spine and political push-back.  But no, it was not.

“I found it entertaining.  I think he says things like this all the time.”

Ryan thought the besmirching of his name and reputation was entertaining?

Trump said Ryan represented cutting entitlements, which hurt the GOP 2012 election prospects. In the interview Ryan refuted that claim but added  “I’m not going to get into a tit-for-tat with Donald Trump”.

Therein lies one of the biggest problems facing Republicans.

Trump’s nasty personality combined with this nation’s attraction for entertainers has allowed for a long series of twisted reasoning and outright lies to become accepted facts by too many people.  Over and over Trump has simply made up things and spewed them about on the campaign trail.  (All those applauding in New Jersey after the Twin Towers fell is just one pathetic example.)   Therefore it is not enough for someone like the house speaker to say there is no need for a back-and-forth about the facts.

The fact is there needs to be a relentless assault from Republicans who hold power and understand government in response to the antics from Trump.  Some will say that only plays into Trump’s hand.  But I would counter in saying it only works for Trump if those who attack him buckle from his blow-back and stop.  The key is to put the pressure on Trump  and not stop.

We all know by now too many in the GOP have a fear of the blow-back that will result from Trump should he be stood up to.    But most of us also recall how we all appreciated that kid in our childhood who made a stand on the playground and let the bully know his antics were no longer acceptable.

It is not just the GOP who is searching for a leader to tangle with and then tackle Trump.  Rather it is the whole country who is most unsettled by the very idea that Trump might be the standard-bearer for a major party this November.

What is even more galling is the partisanship from some within the GOP that trumps (no pun intended?) a real regard for the country.  When Ryan was asked if he could support Trump should he be the nominee the answer was simply wrong.

“I’m going to support whoever our nominee is.”

That response is an unacceptable cop-out coming from one of our nation’s top leaders.

Ryan knows full well the type of responsibility that comes with possibly sitting in the Oval Office.   He knows who is made of presidential timber, and who is not.  By not speaking frankly to the question Ryan looks almost like the person Trump is trying to paint him as being.

And that is mighty sad to see play out.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2016 1:36 PM

    tom — I may be typical, but I was having so much fun until you came along and TOTALLY bummed my high, man.

  2. tom permalink
    February 24, 2016 10:26 AM

    Peter: This may seem hard for you to believe, but I’ve read many articles about the Koch brothers and Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and other Republicans. Have you read the articles about their donations to the Smithsonian or the 100 million they donated to a Washington hospital?

    Do they get special access because of their donations? I imagine so. The difference between you and I is that I am concerned (but not overly so) by the special access large money donations grant to individuals or interest groups. The reasons they have to petition the government are much more significant than the reasons I might have. On the other hand, you do not give a rip about it. You only care about cheap political gotcha games. You claim that Walker or Ryan has “sold his soul” because of these connections, but you won’t criticize it when it comes to your own party. How weak!

    I’ve noticed that liberals are unable to make even the slightest concessions. This is a great sign of general intellectual weakness. Instead, they just ignore and deflect and change the subject. You are just typical.

  3. February 23, 2016 9:51 AM

    My Dad was another example of someone who left the Republican Party. Like Peter. Dad had supported throughout his life people like Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and Dole but then two things happened. One was Bush (43) and the tax cuts that were aimed for the rich in this nation and the second was the invasion of Iraq. After having served in WWII, raised a family, owned his home and 100 acres, served in town government for over 40 years he too came to the conclusion that the rich were getting richer and the rest was losing economic power in this land. He was most concerned about the large agri-business interests in our area. I will never forget the phone call when he asked if I could political lawn signs for the family home. Could I get lawn signs! There is no way to argue that the economic divide that is so great in this nation–and which in part drove my Dad from the GOP–is not a most real issue. Peter is correct to note that with both Trump and Sanders this theme and angst is most pronounced. Those candidates come at it from different ends of the divided but have tapped into the same pool of public resentment about how things are happening in the nation. It is not that people are jealous of others who have money. Instead what people desire is a level playing field for the way policy is created and how it then impacts folks. How is it, as an example, that large banks and other such institutions were able to get a tax exemption for ATM machines? Why are dog grooming business given a tax break? I could go on with an endless list and also know there are perhaps sound reasons for such exemptions. But too often it is these types of exemptions up and down the line (state and federal) that benefit a certain strata of society at the same time schools have too few dollars and senior citizens have too few home visits so to keep them independent. I have given very small examples but that type of thinking is what drives, in part, the rancor this election season. As to ALEC they are the most reprehensible operation and in large part is what creates needless policy fights across the land. I can not see the folks I once worked with at the statehouse allowing themselves to be used in this way. But now we have too many Young Turks with no institutional memory or knowledge of history or civics who have taken over the legislature. I do not support Trump or Sanders but at a real level it is not all that hard to fathom why they are making such an impression on the electorate.

  4. February 23, 2016 9:50 AM

    tom–I am in no way conceding your point. I am saying that you are intellectually lazy if you can’t even Google “Ryan Koch brothers” and see what you find.

  5. tom permalink
    February 23, 2016 8:22 AM

    Peter: You have a problem with the “uber rich” taking what you have worked hard for? LOL! The government takes away at least half of what you’ve worked hard for your whole life and you are falling for the “blame the rich” argument. How have the rich ever taken anything from you?

    By telling me to “do my homework” regarding ALec and the Koch brothers, what you are doing is conceding my point. Billionaires like Paul Singer, for example, give to Liberals at more than 2 to 1 margin. Interesting that the Koch brothers are the only billionaires you seem to be aware of. I’ve listened to ALEC and the Koch brothers for years and years from tired liberals who apply that mostly hypocritical meme because they have no real arguments, facts, details, or evidence of any sort to suggest that anything unusual or illegal is going on or has ever gone on. But don’t worry–no liberals do any better on the question than you have.

    I guess you are a new “convert” to the religion. Good luck with that. Just try not to surrender all your critical thinking as you embrace the latest meme.

  6. February 22, 2016 7:59 PM

    And BTW tom… I have absolutely no desire to be rich. All the rich people I’ve known have way too many problems. OTOH I do have a problem with the uber-rich taking away what I’ve worked hard for.

  7. February 22, 2016 7:53 PM

    tom–maybe what the country needs is a little less Citizens United and a little more “one person, one vote.” And don’t ask me to do your homework for you. Any reasonably facile adult can find all kinds of links between Ryan and Walker and the Koch brothers. And if you are truly unaware that Wisconsin’s legislative agenda since 2011 has been largely driven by ALEC, you are truly beyond help. And yes, until 2011 I called myself a Republican. Read my blog.

  8. tom permalink
    February 22, 2016 6:07 PM

    Peter, what evidence do you have for claims that Ryan has sold his soul to these people? I imagine that they are just as captivated by special interests as anyone on the democrat or “independent” side (I’m sure you’ll note Sanders opposition to defense spending except in his own district, of course).

    But you have said these things before (and claimed you are a republican, lol!) without ever presenting any evidence. As such, they are just empty memes. The reader can only interpret that these men have “sold their souls” only because they have listened to or acted upon ideas you don’t like. Do politicians who act on behalf of the Sierra Club, Green Peace, or any of the LGBT groups “sell their souls,” too?

    As far as being pawns of the extremely wealthy, does that mean anyone with more than 11 million dollars (Sanders’ net worth [apparently being a socialist blowhard pays well]).

    Why are liberals so concerned with other people’s money anyway? How jealous can you be? Perhaps what America needs is a little less envy and a little more industry.

  9. February 21, 2016 9:36 PM

    I know I have said this before… but Paul Ryan is one of the “mainstream” Republicans who has sold his soul to the Koch/ALEC/Wall Street axis (see also Marco Rubio, Scott Walker). There is a groundswell of Republicans who want more than to be pawns of the extremely wealthy. That goes a long way toward explaining Trump (and, if you’re a Democrat, Sanders).

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