Sunday, December 03, 2023

Paul Ryan Reminds Us Why We Loathe the Republican Establishment

If it’s not sour, slothful Chris Christie sniping at Trump, or George Will writing columns encouraging Republican candidates to drop out and support Nikki Haley, it’s the RINO poster child, Paul Ryan, throwing another tantrum because he’s become entirely irrelevant.

It was a good run for the RINOs. They had a formula that worked for almost three decades. Talk tough during the primary, tell the base what it wants to hear, and then return to Washington and corroborate with their Democrat buddies to pass more legislation that ran absolutely contrary to the will of their constituents.

Thanks to RINOs, we got tax cuts, NAFTA, the destruction of America’s manufacturing base, low paying service jobs, hordes of illegal aliens flooding into the country, huge deficits, tax cuts, forever wars and the emergence of China as a significant military threat.

Oh, and did I mention tax cuts?

Ryan, if you’ll remember, originally opposed Trump, but once Trump became president, the changeling assumed his influence would help assimilate the political outsider into just another Deep State stooge.

Well, we all know how that turned out.

Not only did Trump refuse to conform, he became a huge pain in the ass for entrenched, establishment Republicans. When Ryan dragged his feet on immigration, debt and disaster legislation, Trump, the consummate pragmatist, simply went around him and cut the deals he wanted by persuading some Democrats. Ultimately, Ryan couldn’t take the humiliation and dismantling of the Republican establishment he loved so much, so he quit politics altogether in 2018.

The New Paul Ryan

So, what has Ryan been up to for the last five years? You guessed it, making money.

Besides being a polished politician, like many other members of Congress, Ryan is also an astute investor. This includes real estate investments in Wisconsin and equity investments through the Ryan Limited Partnership, where he owned a 21.37% stake. Ryan was also prescient in anticipating the bubble bursting when he invested in the Fidelity Contrafund. Money Inc. summed up Ryan’s investing skills this way:

“If nothing else, Ryan has proven that he understands money, investing, and making the right move at the right time. He’s mastered the art of investing low and letting it grow. With talent like that, it’s no wonder people are curious about his net worth!”

Funny how all those entrenched politicians in Congress, regardless of party, have one thing in common. They’re all incredibly successful investors.


Ryan’s investing prowess, coupled with his income from guest lecturing, speaking engagements and a cushy $330k as a member of the board of directors of Fox Corporation, helped him accumulate a net worth of around $8 million. Not bad for a career politician who was making a couple hundred grand as a congressman.

The New Never Trump Movement

Yet, with all his financial security, Ryan is far from satisfied. He continues to emerge from the darkness in every election cycle, spewing the same tired, obsolete establishment Republican rubbish we endured for all those years.

“The kind of populism we have right now is not rooted in principle. It’s unprincipled populism, wrapped around the cult of a personality on Donald Trump. And this populism is gripping our party in very ugly ways,” Ryan said. “And it’s manifesting itself in this ugly politics that we just saw displayed on the House floor two days ago. We have to get past this.”

You see, Ryan believes Republicans should not be engaging in “ugly” politics. The party of Bush and Kemp should maintain civility and decorum. Let the Democrats fight a guerilla war using any immoral or unethical tactic imaginable. Republicans are simply too cultured to stoop to such measures.

Of course, this is why Republicans continue to lose elections to a party whose policies are extremely unpopular. From Ryan’s point of view, let the Democrats rig elections, weaponize law enforcement, weaponize the judicial system, spy on opposition candidates and knowingly spread disinformation. Sure, Republicans may lose every important race that’s within the margin of error, but if the party maintains its dignity, nothing else really matters.

Trump is a Scourge on the Republican Party

Ryan’s bitterness over being run out of Congress is deep, and it’s reflected in his description of Trump in a recent fireside chat at the Utah Valley University as a guest of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy.

“I think he’s a scourge. I think he’s dangerous for our party and for the country. Look, I’m old school. I’m old-fashioned. I believe political leaders should strive to be honest, ethical and moral people and should try to set a standard for the rest of the country. Donald Trump doesn’t do any of that. He frankly does the opposite of that. That’s one of the reasons why I think he’s unfit for office.”

Yeah, that’s the stuff that will work when dealing with an opponent who abides by no rules. An opponent who believes the ends justify the means in its relentless pursuit of authoritarian power. What is the point of winning elections if the winner is nothing more than a less radical version of the opposition? We lived with that frustration for too many years. And while Ryan is quick to point out how Republicans lost the Senate and House under Trump (Republicans took back the House in 2022 with Trump’s support), he fails to point out that Republicans only won the presidency twice in six election cycles when the RINOs were in charge. It is the ultimate irony that Ryan talks about Republicans losing elections under Trump when he lost his own very winnable presidential election in 2012.

Still, I do have to admit that in most cases, when Republicans control Congress and the presidency, we do get tax cuts. Not much else, but those RINOs are sure big on tax cuts. Oh, and forever wars.

In the 2024 election, it seems Ryan would support any presidential candidate besides Trump, except for Vivek Ramaswamy, who he said he “wasn’t sure about.” And of course, no interview with a neocon would be complete without an endorsement for the money pit proxy war in Ukraine.

A Ryan and Romney Reunion

Because we didn’t get enough of Ryan and Mitt Romney in 2012, the two have reunited in an effort to rally their “longtime backers” at an E2 summit in Park City to raise money for Trump’s Republican primary opponents. Note that instead of working to consolidate support behind President Trump, this pair of bitter, acrimonious has beens are once again trying to undermine the Trump candidacy and ensure another Democrat win.

Ryan was especially nasty, seeming to wish death on Trump.

“A guy, he’s 77 years old — and he’s got like 91 counts, and he’s got a shelf life. … Hopefully, it’s February, but maybe it’s a little longer.”

The harsh truth is that no one really cares about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan anymore. They had their shot in a very winnable election and blew it, precisely because their Democrat-lite policies didn’t appeal to many Republicans who chose to stay home.

Any Republican who donates to the cause of these two relics might as well burn half the donation and keep the other half because they would be one half ahead of the game. President Trump will be our nominee, and we’re going to continue to fight this battle against unprincipled Democrats behind Trump and our emerging leaders like Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. RINO Republicans rooted in the past can get on board or go away because outdated and failed policies have no place in the future of the modern Republican party.