By now how President Trump rose to the top of American politics has moved into legend but it bears repeating in light of Paul Ryan’s recent comments.
Trump won by exposing the Democrats and the Republicans as frauds and hypocrites on nearly every subject.
He exposed them for selling out the American middle class, for allowing China to rise using theft and nefarious practices, and for being against what most American are for.
It’s that simple – our leaders were working against us every day, not for us. Who can forget when Trump ruined the GOP when he said ‘I am not like the rest of these people who want to see people die in the streets,’ who want to gut social security and medicare.
Paul Ryan’s stated life-long goal is to gut these very popular programs and in fact, Obama was very close to a deal to gut these as well.
Point is we voted to get rid of both parties and elected an outsider and from day 1, according to a new book by Politico reporter Tim Alberta, Paul Ryan fought Trump behind the scenes darn near every day. Good riddance, Paul.
Cillizza: Paul Ryan had plenty to say about Trump in your book. But he never made those critiques as speaker. Did he explain why not to you?
Alberta: In his own way, yes. His explanation boils down to the notion that President Trump is erratic, volatile and clueless about government — and that without capable people around him to help steer the ship, it might just sink. Ryan was well aware that the Republican Party — and his own reputation — would suffer by virtue of remaining silent in the face of some of the President’s indignities.
But he was convinced that the greater risk was to the country itself. He believed that for as bad as things were, they would have been even worse if it weren’t for people like him and John Kelly and James Mattis biting their tongues in order to preserve their influence over Trump, which they in turn used “to (keep) the guardrails up, to drive the car down the middle of the road, and don’t let the car go off into the ditch.’”
Cillizza: Is there a sense among the GOPers — elected officials, former elected officials, staffers — of whether the Trump era is an anomaly within the party or the new normal?
Alberta: I’d actually split that into two questions (sorry!) because there’s an important distinction to be made.
The first question: Do Republican officials believe Trump’s populist appeal is durable?
Absolutely. The GOP establishment grew laughably complacent in the post-Reagan years, essentially ignoring the plight of working-class Americans and catering to corporations and the managerial class, making policy that targeted the Wall Street Journal editorial board rather than the Main Street business owner. Trump exposed this, and although his policies have often betrayed his rhetoric, he was prescient in identifying the resentment so many blue-collar conservatives had for the GOP elite. Republicans will bear those lessons in mind long after Trump has left office, whether in the context of trade agreements or immigration or global policing.
The second question: Do Republican officials believe that Trump-style economic nationalism (and overt appeals to nativism and prejudice) is a sustainable political model? Absolutely not. One of the Shakespearean ironies of the past decade of Republican politics is the fact that Reince Priebus, as the party’s chairman, commissioned an “autopsy” after the 2012 election explicitly making the argument that Republicans could no longer rely on the overwhelming support of white voters to win presidential elections. Trump didn’t disprove that theory in 2016; he simply delayed the inevitable.