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Memo for Speaker Ryan.

May 25, 2016

Uh, did someone change the U.S. Constitution when none of us were looking?

Because unless they did, Paul Ryan is not the President of the United States.

This whole election is about people being dissatisfied with the country being run by a relatively select cadre of lifetime political hacks, most of whom have no interest in what the population wants.

Apparently the GOP and Speaker Ryan have yet to get that memo.

In this CNN piece, House Speaker Ryan is quoted as saying that Donald Trump needs to get on board with the GOP party’s agenda.

”  ‘This is an agenda for the next president,” Ryan said of the House Republican effort.’  ”

Normally presidential candidates already have an agenda while they are running for office. That’s kind of why they run in the first place.

The extent to which they are successful in attaining it is certainly modified by party expectations, but they are not supposed to be servants to the machine.

Speaker Ryan was once considered to be at least a potential president-in-waiting.

Much has been made of his supposed ability to get all the disparate factions in the House to work together.

Nothing that comes through in the CNN story makes him sound like that type of potential leader.

Although he has given lip service to the fact that as the nominee, Donald Trump is at least temporarily the leader of the GOP,  Ryan clearly doesn’t believe it.

Trump is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.  Far too moderate for the radical right, and far too much the rebel for the mainstream party, the prospective nominee is a square peg in either sides round hole.

In fact the only place he seems to find a fit  is with the people who consider the hidebound establishment to be the problem.

In other words, the people who vote. You know, the ones that give Congress as low as a 9% approval rating, and the ones who haven’t given anything above 20% since October 2010.

Insofar as has been made public, Trump seems to be consulting a mix of advisers, trending slightly toward the conservative side of the table.

Why then would conservatives drive a wedge between themselves and Trump?

In case no one’s noticed, this is not a man you can intimidate. Pick a fight with him, and you’re likely to get a figurative bloody nose.

On the other side of the coin,  he does have the potential to see when there’s a deal to be made. As much as people fear his volatile public personality, given the right atmosphere, he can probably be persuaded.

As a businessman, he has undoubtedly had to compromise many times to move forward, and he’s known when to cut his losses and move on.

If you are a voter, and you don’t like the man, you can just ignore him.

If you are an elected representative, you don’t have that luxury. Maybe he won’t win, although the past 10 months or so makes it dangerous to assume that.

If he gets beaten by the Democrats, that’s one thing.  If he gets beaten because of his own party’s obduracy, that’s a completely different kettle of fish.

Ahead of tonight’s meeting, it might be wise to remember one thing.

If he does win, it might be better to have him with you than against you.

From → op-ed

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