Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Winds Down

The Scene from Whitewater, Wisconsin

Over these eighteen months, Paul Ryan’s gone from opposition, to appeasement, to support of Trump’s key aims. Perhaps Ryan would have done better with Clinton as president, where he might have been a counterweight to a fundamentally rational chief executive. As it is, Ryan is a lightweight in the face of a fundamentally autocratic, ignorant, and bigoted chief executive. Ryan’s a weak man in a time when a more resolute man or woman is needed.

Speculation about his departure doesn’t upset, it reassures – toadying to Trumpism makes a man or woman unfit for federal service, just as Trump, himself, is unfit. Ryan’s crawled, hopped, croaked, and squatted in the mud long enough.

In Politico, Tim Alberta and Rachel Bade report Paul Ryan Sees His Wild Washington Journey Coming to An End:

….Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.

Here’s how Ryan’s spokeswoman, former Walker aide AshLee Strong, phrased her denial:

“This is pure speculation,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement. “As the speaker himself said today, he’s not going anywhere any time soon.”

That’s a flimsy denial.

No doubt, there are local influencers, movers-and-shakers, dignitaries – whatever – who will miss Paul Ryan when he does depart. They’ve probably enjoyed the illusion that they were that much more important for their exaggerated closeness to a Very Important Person.

Among reasonable men & woman, Ryan won’t be missed: A man or woman who can’t stand up to Trump is overdue for sitting down.