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Title: Paul Ryan’s Impotent Appeal
Source: American Greatness
URL Source: https://amgreatness.com/2021/05/29/paul-ryans-impotent-appeal/
Published: Jun 1, 2021
Author: Roger Kimball
Post Date: 2021-06-01 20:08:42 by tankumo
Keywords: None
Views: 73
Comments: 4

Of all the reactions to Paul Ryan’s speech Thursday at the Reagan Library in California, I thought the funniest was the one titled “Paul Ryan Begins to Re-emerge.” I found that idea funny because the speech I heard signaled the opposite: not burgeoning “re-emergence” on to the political stage but, on the contrary, an almost comical confirmation of obscurity.

Ryan is a careful man, well-pressed, armed with all the best clichés, and utterly feckless. He salted his talk with plenty of gems calculated to appeal to conservatives. He appealed early and often to the ghost of Ronald Reagan—understandable given the auspices of his talk. And his speechwriters dropped all the right phrases about keeping government off the people’s backs, the evils of identity politics and political correctness, the desirability of low taxes, and economic prosperity.

He was also careful to rehearse some of the achievements of the last four years, the years when his nemesis Donald Trump ran the roost. He was happy to associate himself with those triumphs.

Nevertheless, sounding like an obbligato throughout Ryan’s talk was a warning that Republicans must not tether their fortunes to the wagon of Trumpism. He had a few nice words for populism, but then warned:

If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality or of second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence in mettle. They will not be impressed by the sight of yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago. We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us.

A skeptical observer might wonder what Paul Ryan knows about how to “win majorities.” A skeptical observer who was also uncharitable might utter the name “Mitt Romney” at this point. I would not stoop so low.

I think there are two takeaways from the former Republican House speaker’s emetic performance on Thursday. One concerns the species of conservatism for which he is a—well, I was going to say “spokesman,” but that is not quite right since he speaks for no one, really, except for himself. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say “for which is an embodiment.”

What is that brand of conservatism? It is more an attitude than a definable philosophy. It is understated, well-polished, and clubbable. It is comfortable uttering nostrums that sound conservative while actually achieving nothing. It is what we might call “window-dressing conservatism.” Safe. Pampered. Epicene. Above all, it is adept at losing while covering those losses with a glaze marked “dignity.” “We lost, my fellow Americans, but at least we did it with our heads held high.”

Ryan’s sort of “conservatism”—I know that the scare quotes seem snide—is impervious to the hard wisdom of Horace Walpole. “No country was ever saved by good men,” Walpole once observed, “because good men will not go to the length that may be necessary.” Does that mean that successful politicians are not good men? No—at least not necessarily. It does mean that they are about actions more than words.

And it means they care about winning. Winston Churchill allegedly allowed Coventry to remain unevacuated before it was bombed by the Nazis. He did this because he knew that evacuating the city would alert the Germans to the fact that their Enigma codes had been broken. Paul Ryan, I note, is hosting a fundraising event for—drum roll!—Liz Cheney.

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#1. To: tankumo (#0)

Ryan’s sort of “conservatism”—I know that the scare quotes seem snide —is impervious to the hard wisdom of Horace Walpole.

Gatlin  posted on  2021-06-01   23:44:59 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: tankumo, and Everyone (#0)

Republicans Fear Trump May Wreck Their
Chances to Fulfill His Darkest Fantasies

By Alex Shephard

Republicans are “fretting” about the former president’s political return. But they’re mostly worried about him undermining their ongoing anti-democratic efforts.

If you were to read the headlines—and the headlines alone—about former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Thursday speech at the Reagan Library, you could only come away with one conclusion: His remarks were a broadside aimed squarely at Donald Trump. The speech “slammed” the former president for the “horrifying” end of his presidency and “urged” the GOP to “shake” its “obsession” with him and instead focus on “principles.”

And yet two words were conspicuously missing from Ryan’s speech, aside from a couple of positive mentions: “Donald Trump.” It was, of course, never really in doubt who the 2012 vice presidential nominee was referring to when he denounced the “yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago.” But his odd reluctance to name Trump—and his insistence on adopting a kind of smarmy passive aggression—only underscores a larger problem: Even the handful of Republicans who do denounce Trump will only go so far.

Ryan nevertheless went much further than several Republicans who spoke to Politico last week. These Republicans fretted about Trump’s planned return to public events and the effect it would have on their efforts to retake Congress. “If we win the majority back in 17 months, it’s going to be in spite of Trump—not because of Trump,” an anonymous senior House Republican aide told Politico. “He will totally take credit if we win the House back—but it won’t be because of him. This guy is a disaster.”

[…]

https://newrepublic.com/article/162565/paul-ryan-trumpism- voter-suppression

Gatlin  posted on  2021-06-01   23:57:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: tankumo, and Everyone (#0)

Trump fires back at Paul Ryan:

By MAX GREENWOOD

Former President Trump on Friday fired back at former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) after a speech in which Ryan criticized Trump’s continued grip on the Republican Party.

In a statement issued through his leadership political action committee Save America, Trump hammered Ryan as a “RINO” — Republican in name only — and blamed him and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, for costing Republicans the White House nearly a decade ago.

Ryan was Romney's vice presidential nominee.

“Paul Ryan has been a curse to the Republican Party,” Trump said. “He has no clue as to what needs to be done for our Country, was a weak and ineffective leader, and spends all of his time fighting Republicans as opposed to Democrats who are destroying our Country.”

Trump returned fire a day after Ryan delivered a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., warning of the political perils facing the Republican Party if it continues on its current trajectory.

[…]

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/555926-trump-fires-back-at- paul-ryan-curse-to-the-republican-party

Gatlin  posted on  2021-06-02   0:06:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Gatlin (#3)

Here in Canada the media thinks Trump will destroy GOP if he returns, they think he is too far right.

tankumo  posted on  2021-06-02   19:37:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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