Is Paul Ryan Toast? Donald Trump’s Campaign Should Make House Speaker Worry About His Future
So one of the big questions is what happens to the House if the GOP hangs on to a slim majority that’s even more conservative than it was in 2016. After all, those are the safest seats. And this raises the question: Will Paul Ryan remain speaker?
If you ask any member of the Beltway establishment, including most representatives of the media, Paul Ryan is the leader of the Republican Party of their dreams. He’s young, telegenic and conservative in that familiar sense that he wants to cut government to the bone but “for our own good.” They look at him as the savior of the political system — the man who can bring everyone together like former president Ronald Reagan so we’ll all go back to pretending that normal people are all Republicans.
Unfortunately, that Paul Ryan doesn’t exist. The man whom Esquire’s Charlie Pierce has described as the “zombie-eyed granny starver” and The New York Times’ Paul Krugman has called a “con-man” isn’t actually a very good policy wonk, which is what supposedly set him apart from all the yahoos. As Ian Millhiser of Think Progress memorably put it in this masterful dissection of Ryan’s many flaws:
Paul Ryan’s ambition … is matched only by his innumeracy. He builds cathedrals to dyscalculia, and fills them with a worshipful press corps. But his is a false faith, resting upon ideas that do not withstand scrutiny.