Inevitably, Paul Ryan is letting reporters know that in his heart he didn’t support Trump despite his total lack of opposition as one of the country’s top 2 legislators:
His justification for this approach is simple: The alternative could have been worse. If Ryan went after Trump every day, and the president went nuclear and pushed him out of the speakership, then who would be left to lead the House? Kevin McCarthy, a yes-man with far less inclination to tangle with Trump?
If he hadn’t been a complete lickspittle for Donald Trump, he might have been replaced by a complete lickspittle for Donald Trump, so you can see his dilemma here.
He also offers an argument about the “transformation” of the Republican Party:
“Trumpism is a moment, a populist moment we’re in, that’s going to be here after Trump is gone. And that’s something that we’re going to have to learn how to deal with,” Ryan said. “I’m a traditional conservative, and traditional conservatives are definitely not ascendant in the party right now. … We called our wing ‘the growth wing,’ and we won for a good 20 years. And now their wing is winning. But it’s cyclical. We beat the paleocons in the early ’90s; they’re beating us now.
“The Reagan Republican wing beat the Rockefeller Republican wing,” Ryan concluded. “And now the Trump wing beat the Reagan wing.”
Regan Republicans and Trump Republicans, a brief summary:
Of the many people we don’t need to hear from about Donald Trump’s perfidy ex post facto, Ryan ranks near the top of the list with James Comey.