By his brave gesture in refusing to endorse Donald Trump right away Paul Ryan has done the Republican Party a great service.
This is a Joe Mccarthy moment for the GOP, a “have you no shame” moment for the proud party of Abraham Lincoln, and Paul Ryan alone among its leadership has understood that.
Those siding with Trump are signing up with a racist bully, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, who will do anything and say anything to get elected. Ryan sees that clearly.
The Irish American speaker from Wisconsin has shown the way forward for his party to avoid armageddon with Trump at the controls .
Trump has little or no sense of how far off the balance beam he has fallen.On Thursday, Cinco De Mayo, he was pictured eating a tortilla and sent a tweet that read "Happy Cinco de Mayo! “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill,"adding, "I love Hispanics!"
After months of slamming and slandering Hispanics this is his idea of ethnic outreach?
Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! https://t.co/ufoTeQd8yA pic.twitter.com/k01Mc6CuDI— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
The distress signals from Ryan to this point have been clear but have been missed by Trump and others including the party elders.
Here is what Ryan recently told The New York Times:
“After Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, Ryan strongly disagreed. ‘This is not conservatism,’ Ryan said. ‘What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.’”
He also criticized Trump for declining to distance himself from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. “If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games,”
“They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry,” he told the Times. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln.”
“This is fundamental,” Ryan added at the time. “And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this. I hope this is the last time I need to speak out on this race.”
Banning Muslims (would that include Sadiq Khan, the human rights lawyer and MP who is the next Mayor of London?) and failing to indict the Ku Klux Klan, teeing off on immigrants, Trump has laid a dirty trail of destruction down for his party. Trump is now so far right he has practically donned a Klan hood.
On Thursday Ryan spoke out fearlessly and fiercely. "I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now," the Wisconsin Republican told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" in an interview when asked if he would endorse.
“He (Trump) also inherits something very special, that's very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln and Reagan and Jack Kemp. And we don't always nominate a Lincoln or a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln- or Reagan-esque -- that that person advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide, vast majority of Americans."
Trump struck back saying in effect he was not going to accept Paul Ryan’s agenda either but this represents a severe blow to Trump.
So many great endorsements yesterday, except for Paul Ryan! We must put America first and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 6, 2016
Neither of the Bush presidents will endorse him, now Paul Ryan the most popular GOP leader has also refused.
Trump is emerging into the light and away from the fever swamp that was the Republican primary race. Suddenly what seemed logical and real in an extreme right-wing primary race seems utterly out of step with the rest of America.
Already down 13 points in a CNN poll and shipping water, Trump even at this early stage is a desperate and dangerous politician.
We can only hope his venom and racism will not be allowed seep any further into US politics. Paul Ryan sees the contender has no clothes and is unafraid to shout it. Would it be too much to ask if other commentators and politicians would show the same gumption?