Republicans, whether they’re voters or politicians, clearly do not get it. And by “it,” I mean this:
The overwhelming majority of Americans do not want a Republican president.
Apparently, the new Hail Mary establishment Republicans are hoping to toss to avoid a Donald Trump nomination is none other than Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. As reported by Politico, several insider Republicans are now pushing for Ryan to be the nominee coming out of a contested Republican convention. Yes, the very same Paul Ryan who got his proverbial clock cleaned in a debate with Vice-President Joe Biden is the guy that Republicans think can beat Hillary Clinton or even Bernie Sanders.
One of the nation’s best-wired Republicans, with an enviable prediction record for this cycle, sees a 60 percent chance of a convention deadlock and a 90 percent chance that delegates turn to Ryan — ergo, a 54 percent chance that Ryan, who’ll start the third week of July as chairman of the Republican National Convention, will end it as the nominee. (source)
Get a clue, Republicans. Do you really think Paul Ryan will put California in play? New York? Washington? Hell, do you really think Ryan will carry Minnesota, his home state’s next door neighbor? Take a look at the map below, and you tell me which of these states that Ryan could not win as a Veep candidate he’ll take as a presidential one.
Just look at that final score. 332-206. It’s a relatively good assumption to make that the electoral map will look really similar to 2012, and if you think Paul Ryan is going to help you win enough states when he his budget was so toxic politically that Mitt Romney’s campaign ran away from it, you’re on a drug you need to share with the rest of the class.
Paul Ryan doesn’t magically become more moderate just because he made a platitude laden speech about realizing how wrong he’d been to characterize poor people as “takers.” He’s just a cynical politician changing up his rhetoric, perhaps or even very probably because he wants to be the general election guy. But the problem for Ryan is the same problem Romney had, and that Ted Cruz and pretty much every other Republican have — the Internet.
Google “Paul Ryan personhood bill” and marvel at the results. Google “Paul Ryan privatize medicare.” Next, Google “Paul Ryan marriage equality.” If you don’t have the time or inclination to do so, let me give you the synopsis: Paul Ryan’s career would lead one to believe he feels undeveloped human embryos deserve more care and protection than the elderly, the poor, and the LGBT+ communities. He’s a moral crusader, and he will be pummeled by either Clinton or Sanders as such.
The simple truth is that Ryan’s stated position on a whole host of issues put him at direct odds with the prevailing winds of change in America today. This is what ultimately has doomed the last two Republican presidential nominees as well. John McCain couldn’t figure out the country hated the Iraq War and the Bush Administration and Romney couldn’t figure out he was the literal epitome of the metastasized cancer of Reaganomics, and that no matter how shaky the economic recovery has been the last eight years, he was never going to over come his reputation. Not releasing more than a couple of years’ worth of tax returns sealed his fate as an oligarch.
And Ryan was there next to Romney the whole time. There is no more direct evidence of the GOP’s collective delusion that to think Paul Ryan is the savior of their party. Then again, they thought Marco “Let’s just dispel the myth” Rubio was their party’s savior and he’s not even going to be in any office come November.
All of this of course could be used to rub in my face if Ryan gets the nomination, runs and defeats the Democrat in a few months. I’m a comedian, not a soothsayer, and if this country can elect an authoritarian criminal in Richard Nixon, and a B-grade celebrity in Ronald Reagan, then it can elect anyone…Trump or Ryan included. But I think most people would look at the 2012 map and find a way that Republicans could overtake enough of the bigger states no matter who they nominate, so I feel fairly safe in predicting that barring a turnout disaster for the Dems, they should coast to victory.
Ultimately, what really revs my engine about Ryan speculation is it shows just how desperate the GOP is now. They created Trump. Spending decades fomenting outrage against any and all government officials will eventually make the angry villagers turn their pitchforks on anyone they think fits that description, regardless of party. When Republicans got in bed with evangelical Christians they sealed their fate. The long arc of history bends toward progress, not religious dogma and codified bigotry. It was 30-plus years in the making but Donald Trump is their harbinger of death, and they have no idea how to get out of his grip.
One thing is for sure, Paul Ryan is not the guy who will lead them to victory. Not against Clinton. Not against Sanders. Not against a wet paper bag. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But at the end of it all, Ryan’s still a representative of the party that virtually no thinking adult wants running the country, not with a Supreme Court seat hanging in the balance. So have it, Republicans, nominate the ghost of Abe Lincoln if you want; it’s not going to work. Your brand is tarnished, and was tarnished long before Trump entered the picture.
…and all the convention floor dealing won’t change that fact, no matter which polished turd you put in Trump’s place.