Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Trump's 'Breaking' of Speaker Ryan Provides Clinical Case of D.C. Myopia

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Trump's 'Breaking' of Speaker Ryan Provides Clinical Case of D.C. Myopia

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The Caligulan malice with which Donald Trump administered Paul Ryan's degradation is an object lesson in the abject price of capitulation to power. This episode should be studied as a clinical case of a particular Washington myopia -- the ability of career politicians to convince themselves that they and their agendas are of supreme importance.

The pornographic politics of Trump's presidential campaign, which was preceded by decades of ignorant bile (about Barack Obama's birth certificate and much else), have not exhausted Trump's eagerness to plumb new depths of destructiveness. Herewith the remarkably brief timeline of the breaking of Ryan to Trump's saddle.

On May 3, Trump won the Indiana primary, ending competition for the Republican nomination. On May 5, Ryan said he still was not prepared to endorse Trump. That day Trump responded that he was not ready to endorse Ryan's agenda. This was not news, considering that Trump has campaigned against every significant element of this agenda -- entitlement reform, the rule of law, revival of Congress as a counter to the executive overreach that Barack Obama has practiced and that Trump promises to enlarge upon.

On May 12, a Trump meeting with Ryan resulted in a cringeworthy joint statement that had to be read to be properly disbelieved. The two spoke about the "great conversation" they had about "our shared principles." They celebrated their "many important areas of common ground" while offhandedly mentioning "our few differences." Those who know, or thought they knew, Ryan doubted that he could name a single shared principle, and he did not do so.

In spite of, and in conspicuous dissonance with, the May 12 happy talk, Ryan continued to withhold his endorsement. Perhaps he hoped that Trump, at age 69, was going to mend his manners. …

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