Paul Ryan likes being Speaker of the House. Don’t let that boyish grin, the pecs, the “aw-shucks” Wisconsin-like attitude fool you. Let the $300 bottles of wine tell the story (the amount spent on one bottle at a dinner with a lobbyist last year). Paul Ryan is also able to add, and had the ability to ascertain his kids’ ages as of his last election, and the ages at which they would be during the next election. I do not for a second doubt Paul Ryan loves his children, it is just that their ages did not sneak-up on him. I am positive that the sophisticated readers here are not fooled, you don’t believe Paul Ryan woke up this morning and figured out that his kids were taller than he remembered, and thus he best get out of Congress now, while they are still kids. No.
I do not doubt that Paul Ryan wants to spend more time with his family, let me get that out of the way. I have a daughter, I love spending time with her. And I would especially love spending time with her if the alternative activity involved me being the House Minority Leader, and minority leader as the House of Representatives began real investigations into what all has gone on with Trump and his presidency, investigations that make the House Benghazi investigation look like a Scooby-Doo show.
I might be assuming too much, even there. Paul Ryan faced a very real challenge from a strong Democratic steel worker in his district, and Paul Ryan’s ego did not want to announce that he was leaving to spend more time with his family because he really had no other choice, since he just lost the election. The possibility of a loss also explains why Ryan didn’t do what a respectable two-decade House “man” is supposed to do, run for election in order to “win the seat” and then retire, so a Republican is appointed. Ryan mentioned that to do so would be “dishonest,” and yes, it is dishonest. But, I suspect it also bothered him that that he was at least as likely to lose as he was to win, so why run?
Why run when you can hide? Paul Ryan has chosen to stay on as Speaker through November, but he is the ultimate lame duck, and thus he will not be asked nearly as many pesky questions about Trump, and whether he supports Trump. Because, actually, no one cares whether Paul Ryan supports Trump. People care whether the Speaker of the House supported Trump, and the possible implications. Now, the focus will be much more upon who assumes leadership of the Republicans, whether it is McCarthy or Scalise, or a dark-horse, and what he thinks of Trump.
The real takeaway is that Ryan could deal with being a weekend dad while he was busy “winning.” But, the thought of being a “weekend dad” while being the Minority Leader in a very rough 2018-2020 session, getting his ass kicked over and over, protecting a man he clearly detests, that is the issue that put Paul Ryan over the top.
Oh, one last thing. No one has established – yet – just how deep the Russians penetrated the Republican party. We know the Russians involved themselves with the President and is people, (whether it constituted illegal collusion or not, we know the Russians were involved with Trump), we know that significant Russian money found its way into the NRA, and from there the trail grows cold. I could easily see wanting to spend more time with my family if I knew that Russian money had infused Republican politics for some time, and that questions would soon rise as to who knew what. When those questions get asked, it is best to nave already decided to “spend time with my family.” It is also best to work as a highly paid lobbyist in a D.C. law firm, so the legal bills don’t get too high.
Hugh Hewitt is on my TV right now saying that this is one of the few times that when someone who says they are leaving to spend more time with their family, actually means it. That cinches it for me. I have not heard Hugh Hewitt say an intellectually honest thing since he went all-in for Trump. Case closed. I do wish your family well, Speaker Ryan. I am a Democrat, and I hope it is a special time for all of you. We Democrats don’t hate other Americans for being in another party.