This is going to be a bruising election season for me. Here in Australia you can see my deeply hostile attitude to voting Labor to punish the Libs for replacing Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull. I find voting Labor at any time, but particularly now, both self-destructive and absurd. Other than in some revenge fantasy, it achieves nothing but harm. The Libs already deeply regret the change but there is nothing to be done now. We just have to get the Coalition back and then dispose of Malcolm later. If the only way we count is to allow the Labor Party to return to government, then count me out. I cannot stand Malcolm, and have been on the record for a very long time opposing him and everything he stands for – just go to the link to see my history. But at least he is constrained by his party room which still has Tony Abbott plus the other 42 amongst them, not to mention the Nationals who are the Coalition partners. It is a lot more than will ever constrain Labor.
And now this from Quadrant Online, which seems to be as anti-Trump as the Murdoch press. This is an election for the soul of Western civilisation, and there is only one good side and that side has for all practical purposes decided who will be its presidential candidate, and in my view the right person ended up as the candidate. If that hopeless loser Paul Ryan, worst VP candidate I have ever seen – charmless and unpersuasive in all he did – and who as Speaker of the House handed Obama everything he had sought on a plate – if he now wants to play funny buggers about Trump as the Republican candidate, then he needs to have every bit of authority he has in the party taken from him. His antics have set up someone to contest his House seat among the Republicans, and there is this as well: Poll: Nearly half of GOP voters disapprove of Ryan. The real way to read the data is that more Republicans disapprove of him as Speaker than approve.
Only 40 percent of GOP voters are happy with Ryan’s stint as speaker so far, while 44 percent disapprove. Those numbers worsen among all voters, with just 30 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval.
But now that Trump has won the primaries and will be the candidate unless some kind of suicidal death wish overtakes the Republicans (which is not impossible) Ryan’s job is to unite the party around its chosen candidate. That is not just a suggestion – it is his job. That is what his function requires. Anything else weakens the Republicans going into the next election, and Trump’s anger at such disgusting disloyalty is righteous. Ryan is playing a Judas role. Which brings me back to Quadrant Online.
QoL, for reasons known only to itself, has decided that the best person to cover the US election is someone by name of Michael Warren Davis who describes himself as “an assistant editor at Quadrant and poetry editor for the Quarterly Review“. He is an American studying in Sydney. And this is what he has to say about Trump v Ryan:
I have exactly zero sympathy for those who now turn around and tell Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, the National Review writers et al. that they must be paid-up, loyal, dutifully and unquestioning members to the Trump Movement. That’s complete tosh. Either you believe it is the duty of all to oppose corrupt and wrong-headed authority – which is, basically, what the American Revolution was all about – or you don’t. There’s no in-between.
Such sanctimonious ignorant crap! You, Michael Warren Davis, can do as you like, but you are not the Republican Speaker of the House. I realise that a poetry editor does not necessarily have a clue about politics as she is done in the real world, but Trump has every right to run Ryan over with a steamroller if he is going to play the coy maiden in withholding his support. Trump is trying to win the presidency on behalf of the Republicans and create as much tailwind as possible to carry others along with him. By now I imagine Ryan has little influence on the outcome of the American election, but whatever influence he does have should be directed towards electing Trump. Because otherwise, it is being directed towards Hillary. Understanding this is the equivalent of understanding iambic pentameter in Shakespeare. That is, it is understood by everyone except the most dull witted, bone headed and stupid.
AND NEWS JUST TO HAND: Trump-Ryan Meetings Begin With Nominee in No Mood for Compromise. And here’s the point:
“Mr. Trump doesn’t need to do anything,” said Representative Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who co-chairs Trump’s U.S. House Leadership Committee. “As Republicans in the House, we got used to the idea that our speaker was the de facto leader of the party. We didn’t have somebody to represent our party against President Obama’s administration. But that’s over now — it’s Trump, whether people like it or not.” . . .
Some of Ryan’s fellow Republicans, however, won’t have much patience for a long, drawn-out reconciliation. Even two of his own top lieutenants have already publicly backed the New York billionaire — McCarthy of California and Scalise of Louisiana.
“I don’t think Trump necessarily needs Paul Ryan to get elected president — he hadn’t needed him so far,” said Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, who is among those who argue it is time for all Republicans need to get behind Trump.
And this at the end of the story is as revealing as it is surprising:
In public, Trump has so far been mostly respectful toward Ryan. During a Trump campaign rally in March in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, the billionaire asked for his supporters’ thoughts on their local congressman.
“How do you like Paul Ryan? Do you like him?” Trump asked the packed conference room. The capacity crowd of about 1,000 people erupted in loud boos. “Wow,” Trump said, surprised. “I was told to be nice to Paul Ryan.
Shame they didn’t tell Ryan the same about being nice to Trump.