Without Paul Ryan, all is lost, Republicans elites fear.
After Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced yesterday that he wouldn’t accept a nomination for president, Republican elites like Senator John McCain (R-AZ) fell apart.
“We’ve got so many problems—there are a myriad of problems. None of this is going to turn out well for the Republican Party,” a dismayed McCain told reporters.
“I am at a loss. OK? I do not know what’s going to happen. I just don’t see that a lot of it’s going to turn out well. Because there are too many divisions within our party.”
It’s ironic that it’s John McCain bemoaning the divisions within the Republican Party, because the VP nominee he tapped, Sarah Palin, is the person who incited and cheered on the Tea Party defiance of the establishment Republicans.
When Paul Ryan announced he would not accept his party’s nomination, it signaled one thing for sure — and that is not that he wouldn’t actually accept it and is not actually campaigning for it as he did for the Speakership he inherited from John Boehner, who got tired of wrestling with Tea Party extremists and wanted to go home to Ohio.
No, the sure thing is that the Republican Party is not going to let Donald Trump be their nominee. Bye-bye any semblance of “democracy” and letting the people choose.
Ryan said, “I believe that you should only choose from a person who has actually participated in the primary.”
As Jason Easley pointed out in the pages of Politicus, “Ryan didn’t say that the nominee should be the person who got the most delegates, or candidate that had participated in all of the primaries.”
It doesn’t get more establishment elite than John McCain, except for any Bush still running around (another inner party sore spot but I digress).
John McCain is not a fool. He is one of the few Republicans left who understands that this current trajectory is one of Epic Fail. McCain says some crazy things and he’s eaten up by Obama hate, but he is not blind. McCain is not one to bury his head in the sand and pretend all is well when it is not. He knows all too well that things can go terribly wrong and it can cost more than a person could imagine.
But let us parse the Paul Ryan faith. Paul Ryan lost the 2012 campaign as VP and it wasn’t all Mitt Romney’s fault. Paul Ryan wasn’t ready for primetime and he hasn’t shown that anything has changed. Paul Ryan parrots talking points well, but he can’t do interviews. Ryan can’t answer questions about policy and math. He hasn’t managed to pass a budget in the House. He is in the exact same boat as his predecessor John Boehner, although Boehner was a better politician than Ryan.
If Paul Ryan is your big hope, you’ve got big problems. Where are the so called intellectual Republicans? The only one they have is Governor John Kasich (R-OH), but Kasich proves that even when a Republican can actually discuss policy, the problems don’t go away. The underlying problem behind all of this mess is the Republican platform. It is built on appeasing a winnowing base of angry white people in order to cover big giveaways to the top 2%. Even John Kasich can’t make that okay, and John Kasich has no momentum, no love from the base, and very little charisma, although he can handle interviews and debates better than any other Republican in the ring as a 2016 hopeful.
McCain is right, the Republican Party is in big trouble and none of this is going to end well for them.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.