The Time of Romney-Ryan Republicanism Is Over

Paul Ryan (I know, sorry for bringing him up) delivered a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library at the end of May in which he sought to reassert himself as a leader of the Republican Party.  His shtick was the same spit wash that Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, and George Bush have tried rubbing on the Republican electorate time and again since Biden's official installation.  We're better than this reality TV outsider who hijacked the party.  Boo to populism; yay to True Conservatism, Inc.!  This is serious, people; we're at a 'crossroads' here.

I'll tell ya, he sold me.  If we act now and hand the party back to the likes of Romney, Bill Kristol, Nicolle Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Michael Steele, and all those Lincoln Project pedophile-protectors, then True Conservatism can finally be conserved most conservatively.  It will be awesome!  All that is required is a recurring hundred-dollar monthly donation and an annual vacation booking on Cruise Ship Bloviate, where D.C. "Smart People" will deign to entertain the riffraff from flyover country with their vacuous circumlocution, haughty preening, and selling of indulgences to those poor pensioners willing to buy whatever new book some intern wrote for the grifters to hock.  

Boy, just thinking about all those yahoos makes me that much more thankful that Donald Trump came around to expose the Republican Brahmin class for what it is.  To be so off-putting yet so capable of putting on airs is a tremendous talent that distinguishes the serpent-tongued Republicans of D.C. from the unkempt and unworthy horde of voters who know only how "to say what they mean and mean what they say."  Honest plain speaking is for the rubes; real sophistication requires lying to voters every two years and then mocking them for their beliefs while wine-and-cheesin' it up with Chuck Schumer's friends on the cocktail circuit in Northwest D.C.  

After all these years, Paul Ryan and his "Washington Generals" cohorts are still so blinded by their hatred for Donald Trump that they'd prefer the double-team of Mao's Cultural Revolution and Stalin's dissident purge (Where did everyone go?  I don't know; they just "disappeared.") presently napalming freedom in America to taking a hard look at why Republican voters abandoned them in the first place.  Why not?  Introspection is hard, but status quo ante is easy.  The "utopian" collectivism of Mao and Stalin killed only a hundred million people last century, but surely Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" patriotism is more evil than the Democratic Party's resurrection of those mass murderers' policies here in America.  Let's roll the dice, take back the Republican Party from the party-crasher, and see if we can compromise and find some sensible middle ground with those on the political left who have started to build guillotines for our executions on the public square right next to where the cicada-soy ice cream Antifa vendor set up shop.  Deep down, we're all Americans, right?  Right?!  What opiated denialism! 

What was Paul Ryan's biting critique of Donald Trump's policies?  He's a dreaded "populist"!  Oh, no!  He may have been one of the most conservative American presidents in U.S. history, but he tweets his thoughts contemporaneously and refuses to act "presidentially."  His behavior is coarse, appealing to coarse in kind, and all that was too much for one Christian to bear.  Forget about Trump's substantive accomplishments; it's his style over which we must obsess.  And in Paul Ryan's Republican Party, style wins over substance every time.  

While recognizing that Trump actually succeeded in expanding the party's appeal to a diverse electorate (a truth that most every other NeverTrump has buried while ignoring that President Trump won more votes in 2020 than any sitting president in history — and nearly ten million more than Obama won in re-election), Ryan concludes that voters want Republican leaders who have "independence and mettle," not mere "flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago."  That's it, Ryan.  You got it!  Republican voters who grew so disillusioned by decades of Establishment Republican betrayals that they opted to toss them all aside for a non-politician are now eager to reward true leadership and grit again by seeking a return to power of the same crippled conservatism and Republican gimpiness that led them to choose Donald Trump in the first place.  What independent thinking!  What brawny displays of virility and mettle!  When we voted for Trump the outsider, what we actually wanted was a NeverTrump insider this whole time.  Brilliant!

Deriding Trump as nothing more than a "populist" too lowly for the high principles of the Brahmins sort of reveals the whole D.C. aristocratic power palace for what it is — a hunting ground for "club members" only.  Their spoils, their rules.  If we were talking about democratic elections here, popularity might be kind of a nice arrow to have in the quiver.  Can you win a national presidential election and not be popular with the people?  Only if you're Joe Biden and a "secret cabal of wealthy and politically connected elites" conspire "to manipulate the rules and laws of an election in order to win."  Otherwise, elections run on "popularity."    

When Ryan levels the "populist" label against Trump as a pejorative, he's really crying that Donald Trump managed to succeed in 2016 (and 2020 — go ahead, Facebook, censor away) after being denied the blessings of the one percent of the one percent who hoard power in the United States and did so by loudly proclaiming his loathing and vitriol for all the corrupt Washington institutionalists who have sold out America for the last thirty years.  Trump told the permanent oligarchy to shove it where the sun don't shine, and the oligarchy said, Egads, this is a proper democracy.  Who allowed the little people a say in our choice for president?  Someone print some more money, mail out a "stimmy," and tell the NASCAR crowd to shut up.

Is it any wonder after decades of being led by a bunch of mealy-mouthed Washington neoconservatives who go out of their way to demean regular, everyday Americans, Republican voters finally said enough?  That we'll go with the most outsidiest outsider we can find, the one who most successfully proves he hates all you people in D.C. and the crony culture you represent?  And if he happens to actually want to make America great in the process, rather than China or corporate multinationals or all the foreign nationals illegally crossing the border, then hell, we'll take a double-scoop of that, too?

Michael Moore predicted that a 2016 Trump victory would be the biggest middle finger "ever recorded in human history."  I don't know about that, but I definitely think it was the biggest middle finger to the Washington ruling class since the real Washington was stacking up corpses of redcoats.

In reacting to Paul Ryan's speech, an online commenter going by the name Zendor summed it up with a clever portmanteau: "The only leadership shown by Rinosaur Ryan is leading other rinos to extinction."  I think Zendor nails the truth, and I think Ryan is still missing how massive the Trump meteor has been.  The time of Romney-Ryan Republicanism is over.  The Trump Era has only just begun.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.