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Paul Ryan Personifies the Devil's Bargain the GOP Struck With Trump

By The Atlantic

The outgoing House speaker, more than any other lawmaker, paved the path for congressional Republicans’ subjugation to the presidentRead full story

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  • Jeremy Gerard
    Jeremy GerardJournalist

    This is excellent, and it reminds me that while we journalists have been focused on how much the debacle that is Trump has had at least one benign aspect in forcing both the NYTimes and WaPo to up their games, the same may be said for the competition between The New Yorker and The Atlantic, already necessary and incomparable bastions of liberal thinking but kicked into high gear by this historical, entropical moment...

  • Peter Repucci
    Peter RepucciAssociate at Riverstone Holdings

    “He was one of the most committed pro-immigrant, pro-immigration libertarians I’ve encountered in my three decades in D.C. Then, after ascending to one of the most powerful positions in the nation, he talked a good game and did nothing—except front for Trump’s nativism.”

    This really captures my feelings on Paul Ryan from his ascent to the national stage prior to and during the Romney campaign to today. He started off as a young, energetic agent of change, determined to make concrete and governance-forward

    “He was one of the most committed pro-immigrant, pro-immigration libertarians I’ve encountered in my three decades in D.C. Then, after ascending to one of the most powerful positions in the nation, he talked a good game and did nothing—except front for Trump’s nativism.”

    This really captures my feelings on Paul Ryan from his ascent to the national stage prior to and during the Romney campaign to today. He started off as a young, energetic agent of change, determined to make concrete and governance-forward changes to the way we do things. He was inspiring - I saw him as the future face of the Republican party. When he ascended to the Speakership, albeit unwillingly, I thought I saw shades of the humility that George Washington embodied - an unwilling ruler independent of the day-to-day garbage and able to rise above.

    And then.... what happened. Even before Trump we began to see signs that Ryan was not the game changing innovator some hoped he'd be in the Republican party. He struggled to find consensus and when he did, it often seemed to come at the expense of the ideology he became famous for. Then Trump happened, and we saw Paul Ryan debase himself in defense of someone who everyone recognizes is a terrible governor, who goes off message and off track as a hobby, and who repeatedly spits in the face of all the best parts of conservative / libertarian ideology. Paul Ryan didn't just sit there and take it - he willingly and at times aggressively participated. Now he resigns a shell of the aspirational leader he once hoped to be. Some may suggest that he's doing this to prep for his own presidential run in 2020, but honestly, does he have ANY credibility left?

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