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Assault on America, Day 196: How Trump sidestepped Paul Ryan’s lessons on government

Paul Ryan
Raise your hand if you feel sorry for Paul Ryan.

The longtime Republican congressman, failed 2012 party vice presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House of Representatives is presumably back home in Wisconsin now, idling away his hours with his wife and family, enjoying “retirement” on the taxpayers’ dime and sharing remembrances of his long days and nights in the Washington swamp with anyone who enjoys stories on sleaze, corruption and ruin.

Ryan’s also apparently been retroactively griping about having had to give the current president of the United States lessons on how to speak swamp-ese during their brief time working together. Rebecca Klar reported at The Hill, “The author of an upcoming book highlighting how Republicans have dealt with the rise of President Trump says that former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), an early critic of Trump's who ultimately fell mostly in line with the president, saw his retirement from Congress as an ‘escape hatch,’ according to excerpts obtained by The Washington Post ahead of its release ...

“’I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,’ Ryan said, according to Tim Alberta's book ‘American Carnage.’

“’Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government ... I wanted to scold him all the time.’”

No doubt the feelings were mutual between Trump and the boy wonder House GOP leader. It’s almost assured Trump hankered to scold Ryan as well, for acting as a gigantic ruling class roadblock in the way of his drive to make America great again. Unfortunately for the country, Ryan was really good at clogging the swamp drains. Trump discovered it quickly.

For what it’s worth, a spokesman for the last Speaker claims these alleged quotes are the author’s words, not Ryan’s. At the same time no denial was offered for the content or gist of the story, and based on close observations of Ryan’s arrogant and stoic resistance to Trump’s demands for immediate action on numerous agenda items during his first twenty-three months in office, Alberta’s account is entirely plausible. A plethora of news reports indicated Ryan was “frustrated” and upset by Trump’s lack of patience with Congress. What’s not to believe?

Still, there’s some truth in what Ryan uttered. Career businessman and celebrity Trump certainly did not understand how “government works” when he arrived in Washington, probably presuming, as every citizen does, that elected leaders competently grasp what’s going on in the nation’s capital. That naïve orange man -- how dare he think he could come in on day one and start doing his job and keep the promises he made on the campaign trail! Didn’t Trump know he was supposed to consult with great know-it-alls like Ryan, Nancy Pelosi (House minority leader), Mitch “the turtle” McConnell (Senate majority leader) and “Chucky” Schumer (Senate minority leader) before he did or said anything?

And those unseasoned White House advisers Trump brought with him… what a bunch of fools! How could Trump surmise that anyone but time-tested establishmentarians “received the 411” on governing? Years of experience is a definite prerequisite for anybody who works at the highest level of American politics, where they’ve ascertained through repeated bludgeoning and mental scars that there’s NO WAY to get relevant stuff accomplished. They just accept it and move on -- but not Trump!

The list of people Trump should’ve consulted doesn’t end there either. He should’ve checked with each and every member of the federal bureaucracy before setting policy for their individual departments. After all, most of them are career “civil servants” who appreciate the ins and outs of their jobs -- where to find loopholes, where to slack off and where it’s safe to bend the rules to make themselves look good. The federal register is so lengthy and convoluted no one could possibly come to terms with it all. That simpleton Trump, to think he could change things!

How many dedicated employees left the State Department when Trump took over? How many accumulated years of service walked out the door when the president started talking about “extreme vetting,” national security, sovereignty and holding other countries accountable for their own protection? America First? What the heck is that?

And lord knows the federal justice system has a mind of its own, too. Prior to being sworn in as president Trump was likely accustomed to telling his lawyers what he wanted and having them do it -- or at least try…or get fired. But being in the Oval Office is tough. Trump’s top law enforcement official (then Attorney General Jeff Sessions) decided on his own to recuse himself from a phony, deep state-initiated probe into Russian collusion. And the rest is history!

Two years and tens of millions of dollars later the special counsel admitted that neither Trump nor anyone in his campaign were good friends with Vlad Putin and his KGB-like Russkie boys. Trump swore (sometimes literally) that it was all a farce, but those “in the know” -- like Ryan, #NeverTrumpers, Democrats and the media -- didn’t take him at face value!

No wonder the former Speaker sees retirement as an “escape hatch.” Back home in The Badger State munching on cheese and probably attending local county government meetings when he’s bored… everyone must stand back in awe when the saintly Paul Ryan walks by. He was the guy on TV holding that oversized gavel who said important sounding things and got far in life despite his folksy demeanor and those colossal Dumbo elephant ears!

To Ryan, “Getting his (Trump’s) mind right” probably involved making sure Trump was conditioned to disappointment and losing, something every establishment Republican politician is well schooled to doing through years of capitulation. If Mitt Romney’d won -- and Ryan was his VP -- then the GOP would’ve completely purged those pesky conservatives who always fight to cap spending, appoint originalist judges, stay out of unnecessary wars and think it’s vital to “win” every day. To the elites, what’s wrong with “compromise” when it keeps the government open and the news media happy?

And Trump’s demeanor! He’s such a lout! He says off-the-wall things on Twitter and the DC swamp blue bloods cringe every time he steps up to a microphone, because you never know what he’s about to say -- other than it’s guaranteed he’ll never retreat or give in without a scuffle. It’s not in Trump’s DNA. Heck, Ryan and his kind were used to putting in the hours “negotiating” with the opposition, but at the end of the day, they went and had dinner together, progress be damned.

Not Trump. He’d rather win than make friends. Trump’s the most hated man in the land by millions -- and he still shows up every day ready to carry on the war. He’s General Patton reincarnated as a New Yorker first-time politician who loves golf and tall buildings.

The dwindled and ineffective #NeverTrumpers will never get it. If they’re not already fully irrelevant, they’re on their way out. They can’t even count on Democrats to accept them any longer. Rick Moran reported at PJ Media, “The odd-fellow coalition between Never-Trumpers and Democrats appears to be history. It has apparently dawned on both sides that, policy-wise, they have virtually nothing in common. And as the Democratic race for president heats up, the illusions of both sides have been shattered.

“Earth to Never-Trumpers: There is no Democratic presidential candidate that any self-respecting conservative -- or moderate for that matter -- can support...

“Never-Trumpers have been chasing their tails for two years. They have skirted the real issue of ‘If not Trump, who?’ for far too long. If you are going to vote for president in 2020 (and some of us have chosen not to), there really is only one rational choice. I think many Never-Trumpers will eventually come to that conclusion. They may have to wear hazmat suits to enter the polling booth, but there will be many who may conclude that the danger to the republic is grave enough that voting for four more years of this circus would be better than the alternative.”

That’s the common sense view. But those contrarians who’ve maintained all along that Trump is “unfit” for office (because of his background or non-traditional presidential behavior) don’t appear to be changing their minds -- at least not publicly. The Trump administration’s policy successes are evident all around us yet #NeverTrumpers continue to insist the president is one news story or investigation or misstatement away from complete political catastrophe.

#NeverTrumpers wouldn’t admit it but it seems they’re cheering for Nancy Pelosi and crew to impeach Trump, which they somehow predict will lead to a dramatic dip in the president’s support with Republicans and conservatives.

In effect if not in practice, what’s left of the #NeverTrump contingent has morphed into full-throated defenders of the establishment status quo. Some used to be reputable conservatives, others were pretenders, Bush, McCain and Romney adherents who clung to hope that Trump was a flash-in-the-pan who would eventually flame-out.

“Leaders” like Paul Ryan typified the group. These Brainiacs figured they understood government and how it works. They also figured they’d outlast Trump. Time -- and next year’s election -- will reveal who’s right.

President Trump’s battle against the Washington elites is just getting started, and if the ruling class gets its way, he’ll not only lose the fight, he’ll be shamed and drummed out of town. Paul Ryan is relieved to be away from it all -- here’s hoping more establishmentarians follow him to retirement.

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