I had a glimmer of hope that Paul Ryan could retain some semblance of sanity in the U.S. House of Representatives when he became speaker of the people’s House.
Damn, anyway! It wasn’t meant to be.
I never envisioned that Donald J. Trump would be elected president of the United States in 2016. Nor did I envision that Trump would reshape the Republican Party into an unrecognizable political unit.
So, what does the speaker of the House do? He announced today he won’t seek re-election in his Wisconsin U.S. House district. He’ll walk away from public life at the end of the year to “spend more time” with his family.
I don’t know what is in Ryan’s head and heart. I guess we should accept his public statements about seeking more face time with his children and his wife.
However, there well might be a political element to Ryan’s decision to call it a career.
Trump has managed to mangle the GOP. He has “governed” — and I use that term with great caution — with a recipe that resembles something my grandmothers used to follow. They never measured anything; they just tossed ingredients into a mixing bowl and somehow what came out tasted good!
I always considered Ryan to be a product of a more deliberate governing process. He is a product of Washington, D.C. He ran for vice president in 2012 to help bring some D.C. wisdom to the GOP ticket led by a former governor, Mitt Romney.
He’s going to leave it to the next speaker — whoever the heck that turns out to be. I guess the task will fall on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — but that presumes that Republicans will retain control of the House after this year’s midterm election.
That prospect is quite suddenly looking a good bit less likely. I suppose, then, that Ryan just couldn’t stand the notion of toiling in a legislative body led by someone such as Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
So, do you suppose that Donald Trump had anything to do with Ryan’s decision to walk away? I believe that’s looking more and more like the case, no matter the outcome of the midterm election.