Speaker Paul Ryan “Capitulated” With Donald Trump Endorsement
There was no way to miss the impact or tone set forth in The Washington Post’s editorial about Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for president. It was one of the most frank and powerful reads from that editorial paper in a very long time.
I never thought that Ryan could fail to support the nominee. There was just no political path that allowed for Ryan to dodge the inevitable given his position. But I do know it would have been very reasonable of him to lay out his standards and expectations on the foundational issues that make up the Republican Party. He could have placed principle alongside his political duty.
But Ryan failed to do that. The paper called him out, and they were correct to do so.
While I have many policy disagreements with Ryan I find him smart, capable, and politically speaking, principled. So I had hoped for more from Ryan, and I strongly suspect many others–from both sides of the aisle–felt the same.
On Thursday Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda.
Explaining his belated endorsement of Mr. Trump in a home-state newspaper, the speaker said that conversations with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee have reassured him. Mr. Trump will help turn House GOP ideas into law, Mr. Ryan said, in a way that a President Hillary Clinton would not.
This is fanciful, as Mr. Ryan must understand. Judging by his wild swings of position over the years, Mr. Trump does not believe in much of anything. The convictions that he does hold — against free trade and U.S. leadership abroad, for dividing the nation by religion and ethnicity — are antithetical to the principles Mr. Ryan has said guide him.