Thursday Evening Open Thread: Collateral Damage

File under “Could not happen to a more deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver”…

Apart from more delicious schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Serves the Man Right

trump has ryan in fetal position luckovich

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
.

Universally respected commentor LAMH, last night:

Well, the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver won his primary last night, for all the joy it’ll bring him:

JANESVILLE, Wis. — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) reveled in the aftermath of his commanding and expected primary victory Tuesday against Paul Nehlen, a Donald Trump-inspired opponent, by ordering cheese curds and beer for his supporters.

But Ryan’s celebration will be brief, with the skirmish only the latest in this tempest of a year for a Republican Party churning between Ryan’s traditional conservatism and Trump’s flaring populism…

A self-described “movement conservative” whose politics are rooted in the tax-cutting platforms of Republicans past, Ryan has been uneasy from the start about parts of Trump’s candidacy and especially its tenets on trade and immigration.

Nonetheless, the GOP’s 2012 vice-presidential nominee has swallowed hard and endorsed Trump, intent on stitching together his party where possible as he labors to get voters to notice “A Better Way,” the six-pronged policy outline he crafted and unveiled earlier this year, which has proposals to reform poverty programs and cut federal spending…

Deadbeat Donald is spoiling Pauly’s Ayn Rand wet dreams of slashing social services for Those People while providing additional tax relief to America’s Makers. And the godsdamned circus barker isn’t even gonna win!…

Apart from another tasty schadenfreude breakfast, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Open Thread: Cravens Cowed by A Revenant

The mainstream GOP goes in fear of the angry, shambling corpse of resentments past, and Paul Ryan is… well, not their leader, but the most visible media figure. Word in the media is that he timed his tepid endorsement of Donald Trump to coincide with Clinton’s big speech yesterday — whether to bigfoot the speech or to take advantage of a distracted media remains a question — but enough people took notice in any case:

Mr. Charles P. Pierce, on the man he calls the “Biggest. Fake. Ever.“…

… Moody and morose, Paul Ryan has stalked the parapets of his own ego ever since it became clear that He, Trump would be the nominee of the Republican party for president of the United States. (It’s helpful to write it out that way a couple of times a day just to make sure you haven’t subconsciously blotted the reality out of your memory.) He invited several of his more prominent acolytes in the elite political press to join him in his lengthy walks along the fogbound ramparts of his carefully cultivated public persona. What is a policy wonk, public intellectual, numbers guru, sympathetic friend of the working poor to do?

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous charlatan, and take arms against a sea of playground insults and, by opposing them, end them…

…or you can just take to the pages of The Janesville Gazette and surrender so abjectly that you ought to be hanging on the wall in the game room at Mar-A-Lago…


Read more



Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Another Repub Whiner Winner

Am I a bad person if I hope his kids grow up to deny their relationship to casual acquaintances? (Speaker Ryan? Nah, it’s a very common last name, y’know… “)

Meanwhile, from the grown-up side of the aisle, shot fired:

***********
Apart from the vast difference in political capabilities, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Sunday Evening Open Thread: Could Be Worse…

Lest we fall into the media trap of thinking it’s only us Democrats who must contend with nutballs, narcissists, and fanatical deadenders. Lyin’ Paul Ryan attempts to protect his own 2020 chances while not getting into the short-fingered vulgarian’s cross-hairs…

“When people go to the polls in November, they are not just picking a person … they’re also picking a path,” said Ryan, who spoke repeatedly of unity with the front-runner — while refusing to bet on a Trump victory this fall.

“I think this is a ‘we,’ not just one person,” he added. “I very much believe in a type and style of politics that may not be in vogue today but, I still think, nevertheless, is the right kind of politics.”

It was that core belief, he says, more than any rank political calculation, that led Ryan to say he was “just not ready” to back Trump in a shocker of a CNN interview on May 6. Standing in front of an idyllic waterfall, Ryan said he wanted to see “a standard-bearer that bears our standards” and called on Trump to rein in his worst impulses if he wanted Ryan’s support…

“You should ask him those questions,” said Ryan. “I’m not the person to be giving you the breakdown of Donald Trump. That’s not my job and responsibility.”…

Shorter Ryan: Hey, if Trump wins, I’ll be his biggest cheerleader. And if Trump loses, I’m young enough to wait out a Hillary Clinton presidency…
***********
Apart from more healthful exercise rolling our eyes, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Late Night B-Movie Open Thread: Giant Albino Amphibian vs. Zombie-Eyed Grannie Starver

Jim Newell, at Slate, on “the perfect running mate for Donald Trump”:

… Gingrich, in his trademark way of exuding unsubtlety in the execution of what he believes to be a stealth operation, is angling for the vice presidency even more aggressively than Trump is angling for the presidency. When Gingrich responded to a question about the inexperience of Trump’s foreign policy advisers by instructing Slate’s Isaac Chotiner to read both The Art of the Deal and The Art of the Comeback, such a shameless non sequitur could only be read as that day’s canned talking point in his campaign for the vice presidency. Gingrich was among the earliest bold-name political figures to liaise between Trump and official Republican Washington. Like Chris Christie, Gingrich may have realized that taking the plunge early with the party’s incoming standard-bearer was the best way to position himself for a sweet gig down the road—and perhaps persuade Trump to help retire lingering campaign debt.

Trump basks in what normals might consider uncomfortable levels of flattery, and so, by several accounts—including Trump’s own mouth—Gingrich has successfully implanted himself on his new master’s veep shortlist. Though Gingrich has said Trump would need “psychiatric help” if the presumptive nominee were to select him as his running mate, he definitely will not rule himself out. The former speaker of the House is now a ubiquitous force in the Trump effort, selling him in the media and advising him on policy and politics…

For all of his put-on suck-uppery, Gingrich is one of the few people on Earth who can understand what it’s like to be in Trump’s shoes. Gingrich, over a more gradual period of time and climaxing in the 1994 elections, blew up an existing political era—that of the Democrats’ supposedly permanent House majority. He knows what it is to have the world looking in horror at you for shattering their reality, much as they’re looking at Trump now. He can brief Trump about how to weather this and, should Gingrich cave to the sort of introspection that neither he nor his tutee are known for but which may exist somewhere deep inside, teach him from his own mistakes….

I’m old enough to remember The Rain Reign of Speaker Newt, and this is good news for Democrats. The Newt’s thin skin and enormous ego are indeed very reminiscent of a certain short-fingered vulgarian, and Gingrich’s inability to keep his eye on the prize (or his pecker in his pants) were largely responsible for the implosion of the GOP’s ‘new permanent majority’ twenty years ago. Putting him under the lights with Deadbeat Donald over the next five months would mean taking bets on which of the two would throw a total pants-soiling hissy-fit first… and whether it would be directed at the other half of the ticket. Read more



Lyin’ Paul Ryan Has A Big Public Sad

… 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.