The Political Castration of House Speaker Paul Ryan

Before the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s distaste for Trump was no small secret. Ryan criticized Trump’s social media use (“I really believe he’s got to clean up the way his new media works”), condemned Trump’s suggestion that there could be riots at the GOP convention (“nobody should say such things in my opinion because to even address or hint at violence is unacceptable”), and denounced Trump’s statements about a Latino Federal Judge (calling it “the textbook definition of a racist comment”).

Then when Trump was recorded having a conversation about sexually assaulting women in 2005, Ryan took his strongest position yet, stating that he would no longer appear alongside or campaign for Trump. The impact on Ryan was dramatic and immediate: In the week after he stated he would no longer campaign for Trump, a YouGov/Economist poll showed Ryan’s net favorability rating dropped a precipitous 28% among Republicans and 44% among Trump supporters, unsustainable for most any politician.

The impact on Ryan was dramatic and immediate: In the week after he stated he would no longer campaign for Trump, a YouGov/Economist poll showed Ryan’s net favorability rating dropped a precipitous 28% among Republicans and 44% among Trump supporters, unsustainable for most any politician.

Ryan, the quintessential politician, learned a lesson: Cross Trump and you pay a price. And so, as only a career politician can do, Ryan quickly and dramatically “evolved” his positions on issues important to Trump in ways which will have a profound and lasting impact on our democracy.

#7. Will There Be A Fundamental Shift In the Balance of Power Over the Next Four Years?