One upshot of this, I suspect, is a recognition on Ryan’s part that the Republican nominee is going to be Trump or Cruz. The fantasy of an Establishment White Knight triumphantly parachuting in and taking the nomination requires, inter alia, that a party establishment that couldn’t turn a bottle of Tanqueray, a can of tonic water, sliced limes and ice into a Gin and Tonic execute an incredibly deft and complicated series of maneuvers on behalf of a hypothetical candidate who will apparently not be Paul Ryan. Anybody who thinks this is a plausible scenario really needs to explain specifically how this is going to work.
It’s also becoming increasingly apparent that if Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot the nominee will be Cruz. I would return here to the crucial distinction between having the support of the establishment and not being a politician at all. Trump has shown that it’s not literally impossible to win without a serious campaign apparatus, but it’s enormously difficult. Cruz is an actual politician with a serious organization, and the drubbing he’s giving Trump in selecting delegates at the state level would be repeated in Cleveland. Trump has no virtually no chance of beating Cruz in a contest for unbound delegates. If Cruz can deny Trump an outright majority — and that’s how to bet right now — it’s overwhelmingly likely that the nomination is his.