… and the NYTimes wants us to know about his noble stand for True Conservative Principles. Per the article:
… Although party leaders furiously brokered a meeting between the two men at the Capitol next Thursday, it is likely that only substantial changes in Mr. Trump’s language and tenor, not just minor calibrations on policy positions, will be needed to bring Mr. Ryan to his camp.
Mr. Ryan has become increasingly depressed about the tone of the race within the Republican Party, several people who have talked to him in recent weeks said. He could not bring himself to give even nominal support to Mr. Trump, despite pressure from more conservative House Republicans, after the candidate disparaged various ethnic groups and accused Senator Ted Cruz’s father of conspiring with Lee Harvey Oswald, among other inflammatory comments. Those remarks determined Mr. Ryan’s course far more than the considerable differences on policy between the men.
Mr. Ryan’s stance may lead to the remarkable scenario of a convention chairman presiding over the nomination of a man he does not support, but it basically comes down to three things.
First, and most important: he can do it. Unlike former Speaker John A. Boehner, who had to fight to cling to his gavel almost from the moment he took it in 2011, Mr. Ryan was drafted into his job by the majority of his conference. And unlike Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, who says he supports Mr. Trump, Mr. Ryan is largely impervious to criticism from the right. Agree or disagree with Mr. Ryan, at this point his members need him more than he needs them, at least to prevent unmitigated chaos in their ranks.
It is notable that House conservatives often derided Mr. Boehner for not “sticking to conservative principles” in negotiating with Democrats on legislation, but now are chafing that Mr. Ryan, whose conservative principles have in many ways been rejected by Mr. Trump, is not getting behind the presumptive nominee…
Second, Mr. Ryan sees the value in protecting Republican House members up for re-election in swing districts where Mr. Trump may well be a drag on the rest of the ticket…
The third reason is that nothing Mr. Ryan has said compels him to change his current course as speaker, which is largely focused on developing an alternative Republican policy agenda and shoring up vulnerable members with money and help campaigning. He plans to develop that agenda with House members, even if election politics may well prevent any of it from becoming actual legislation.
This is perhaps the weakest reason for withholding support from Mr. Trump, since without a Republican in the White House, there will probably be no Ryan agenda. But for Mr. Ryan, Mr. Trump’s conduct appears to loom larger than the speaker’s policy dreams. So even if the candidate shows up at the Capitol next week and says “I fully support this agenda,” it would almost certainly not be enough, Ryan aides say….
The Washington Post adds:
… Asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper whether he backs Trump, Ryan responded: “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now. And I hope to, though, and I want to. But I think what is required is that we unify the party. And I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.”
“This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp. And we don’t always nominate a Lincoln and a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln- and Reagan-esque,” Ryan said, adding that he hopes the candidate “advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide, vast majority of Americans.”…
Translated from the Punditese (Punditease?); Paul Ryan, whose theatrical reluctance to ‘compromise his principles’ allowed him to crawfish backwards into his current position as The Second Most Important Republican Officeholder, finds Deadbeat Donald Trump’s brutish campaigning as distasteful as does the NYTimes. Since nobody who might want the Speakership is capable of taking it away from him, Ryan is free to stand upon his principles — mainly his principle that nothing is more important than ensuring Paul Ryan’s bright future — and spend the next six months publicly deploring the tone of the presidential race, while quietly ratfvcking downballot races for whichever minor Republicans the big money donors prefer.
When Trump self-destructs, before or after November, Ryan will be happy to point out for the cameras all the many ways in which it was not his fault, because he has principles. And the Media Village Idiots — led by Jake Tapper — will fulsomely proclaim him the Only Honest Politician in Washington (so unlike that vile harpy Hillary Clinton, who will be anointed 110% responsible for Trump, for reasons).
Fads in GOP leadership will come and go, but Paul Ryan will always be Vicar of Bray.