Craig Gilbert looks at the careers of Priebus, Ryan, and Walker:
They led the “Cheesehead Revolution,” the GOP’s audacious conquest of Wisconsin. They offered a model for bridging Republican frictions between establishment and base. They became national figures. They ran into Donald Trump. They suffered. They bent to his rise.
Now one (Priebus) has left the stage. Another (Ryan) says he’ll never run for office again. And the third, Walker, faces the headwinds of a Trump presidency with negative approval ratings.
These men came to cooperate and collaborate with Trump. Cooperation is humiliation, collaboration is degradation. Whether their assistance came from weak principles or unprincipled ambition, to draw close to Trump is to draw close to wrongdoing. Thousands of years – literally – of moral and ethical teaching make this clear.
Nationally, the focus should be on Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders.
State and local officials (no matter how proud, entitled, and presumptuous) shouldn’t be exempt from the same necessary critique of their connection to Trumpism. See A Local Problem Before It Became a National One. These scheming few, with their empty rhetoric and jargon, were part of that which paved the way.
They chose this path freely; one has no reason to be sympathetic.