Paul Ryan leaving Congress with a tarnished reputation

“This year will be my last year as a member of the House. I have given this job everything I had, and I have no regrets.  To be clear, I am not resigning [now]. We’re going to have a great record to run on.”

If the GOP has such a great record to run on, why is he running away? The answer, of course, is that he smells blood in the water, just like the forty-plus other Republicans who have decided not to seek reelection.

But even more than that, “Paul Ryan,” the Atlantic says, “will leave Washington carrying a more tarnished legacy—as the most important enabler of Donald Trump. No one in the GOP was better equipped, by position and disposition alike, to resist Trump’s racially infused, insular nationalism, or to define a more inclusive competing vision for the party. Instead, Ryan chose to tolerate both Trump’s personal excesses and his racially polarizing words and deeds as the price worth paying to advance Ryan’s own top priorities: cutting spending; regulations; and above all, taxes. The result was that Ryan, more than any other prominent Republican, personified the devil’s bargain the GOP has signed with Trump.” Read entire article here.

Describing (Ryan) as “an avid advocate for his point of view and for the people of his district,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said“Democrats are hopeful that he joins us to work constructively to advance better futures for all Americans.”

The only declared Republican is Paul Nehlen. Paul Nehlen is a businessman, a techie and a white supremacist.  He was banned from Twitter for a series of posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic. The most likely Republican to run for Ryan’s seat is state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.   Ryan’s own choice may be his friend and backer, Bryan Steil.  The Democrats lining up to run for Ryan’s seat are more impressive.  Randy Bryce is a colorful ironworker who has cultivated an “IronStache” moniker. Bryce had nearly $2.3 million in the bank at the end of the first quarter.  I have also been receiving fund raising emails from Janesville teacher Cathy Myer.

Whether Ryan’s seat goes blue in November, or not, Ryan’s political career is over. He will be remembered as the man who sold his party’s soul and moral standing merely for a tax cut that mostly benefits billionaires.


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