From The Guardian
The speaker of the House poses as a moderate in comparison to Trump. In reality, he's paving the way for the president's cruelest policies
Nearly all the oxygen and outrage in DC is being sucked up by Donald Trump and his outrageous executive orders. But let's not forget about the man without whom Trump could not accomplish his larger agenda: the spineless speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, Trump's mainstream defender and apologist at every turn.
Ryan, who has cultivated a sham image as the "reasonable" Republican for years, has backed virtually all of Trump's most controversial and cruel policies. Ryan manages to never buck Trump on anything of significance, while getting publicity for meaningless, quasi-critical statements. He is the biggest fraud in
American politics.That much was clear yet again over the weekend, as the New York Times' Jim Rotenberg reported that Ryan's office "declined to engage" with him on any questions about Trump's despicable war on the press, which even Republicans who haven't dared to break with Trump on much of anything decried as a move befitting a dictator. Instead, Rotenberg wrote, Ryan's office said it "disputed the premise of the question."
It's just one in a long line of cowardly and slimy moves by Ryan, who is really just Trump in a more aesthetically appealing wrapper.
Commentators fell over themselves to heap praise on him back in May 2016 when he hesitated for a few days to endorse Trump after it became clear the controversial Republican candidate would become the party's nominee. Ryan was portrayed as brave and courageous, when it was blindingly obvious at the time that he would quickly find an excuse to back Trump, which he did only a few days later.
After his endorsement, Ryan received more plaudits by calling Trump's comments about a judge of Mexican heritage overseeing the lawsuit against Trump University "racist." Of course Trump being racist didn't change any of Ryan's actual actions, and in his next breath explained he continued to support Trump's candidacy over that of Hillary Clinton. Then, when Trump attacked the legitimacy of another judge after he assumed office -- this time over her ruling against the Muslim ban -- guess who came to his defense? Paul Ryan.
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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to The (more...)