Monday, May 09, 2016

May 9, 2016--Paul Ryan's Waiting Game

The race for the Republican nomination for president in 2020, yes 2020, has already broken out and Paul Ryan is the front runner.

About this one, unlike this past year when he "reluctantly" agreed to save the GOP from itself by agreeing to become Speaker of the House and later, appearing before as many American flags as one finds at a Donald Trump rally, he made speeches of the sort that only presidential candidates utter since he was . . . running for president. Again, blushingly hoping that the Republican nomination process would break down and once again his party would appeal to him to again save them.

Well, that didn't work out so well for him, did it.

Now we have Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee and what has Paul been up to? Running again in his faux-reluctant way for president in 2020.

Too soon? He is a marathon runner, albeit as we found out four years ago when he was Mitt Romney's running mate, he lies about his times.

Here's how the boyish Speaker is hoping it will unfold--

Stealthily, he does everything he can to make sure Hillary Clinton gets elected in November, then he hopes for her to have a failed presidency (as Speaker he can assist with that). And then, come the next presidential election cycle, announces with a sigh that he is running for the 2020 nomination, again not because he really wants to be president but because the country needs to be saved from four more years of Hillary.

Note all the "saved" allusions. Consciously using religious language he represents himself that way--doing God's work as a secular savior.

Do not be fooled by his self-denying, pious-sounding concerns about the current rupture (I almost wrote Rapture) in the Republican Party--the widening divide between the Paul Ryan-style conservatives and the more atavistic, nationalistic Trump wing that has achieved a version of a coup d'etat.

His heartfelt mien is less about the state of the party than the state of his ambition.

He had a chance to grab a brass ring in 2012 and was waiting around this year to be summoned after the nomination process crashed and burned and the Republicans were plunged into the chaos of an open convention with the nation turning its lonely eyes to him.

Failing this, we now have Plan C.

Ultimately kicking and screaming, Ryan tepidly endorses and thereby contributes to Trump's losing--a pretty good bet. With Trump an electoral disaster, still enough Republicans are reelected to the House and Ryan retains his speakership. He drags his feet on President Clinton's legislative agenda, and this undermines her effectiveness, and then in 2019, again without exposing his boundless striving, declares her a failed president and announces that he is again reluctantly, once more for the sake of the Party, stepping aside as Speaker and thereby becomes the presumptive GOP nominee for 2020.

Keep an eye on what should be a fascinating piece of political theater on Thursday when Trump meets in Washington (not at the Trump Tower) with Ryan and other senior Republican leaders. They will likely miscalculate how much Trump is willing to say and do to assure them that now that he is the all-but-certain  nominee he will begin to play by their conventional rulebook.

I suspect that Trump will use the occasion to trot out some of his self-promoted dealmaking skills. These include his likely not wanting to make a premature deal. Trump's supporters would likely be disillusioned if he did. At least at this point.

His best political posture is still to play the outsider game. It got him this far and I suspect Trump feels it will continue to be his best strategy for November. Thus, we should be aware of the likelihood that Trump is as eager to run against the Republican establishment as the Democrats. Perhaps, more so.

In the meantime, I suggest everyone read The Art of the Deal where Trump talks about the importance of being willing to walk out of negotiations. And Ayn Rand's Fountainhead for insight into the radical ways in which  Paul Ryan sees the world.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home