Paul Ryan Takes a Shot at Ron DeSantis in No-Lessons-Learned Commentary

Paul Ryan appeared on CBS Mornings on Tuesday, and he took a veiled shot at Ron DeSantis while critiquing the current path of the Republican Party. As the last decade or so has evidenced, the former Speaker of the House isn’t a fan of fighting the culture wars, and he reiterated his opposition when pressed on the matter.

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(Also see: Paul Ryan Takes Advantage of a GOP House to Tout His Expertise in Being a Loser)

One of the hosts, Nate Burelson (a former NFL wide receiver) asked Ryan about Ron DeSantis and his anti-woke crusade. Here’s what he had to say.

RYAN: Yeah, I’m not a culture war guy. I think it’s really polarizing. Look, on some of these issues I’ll side with the anit-woke crowd, but to me, I’m worried about a debt crisis, I’m worried about, you know, the future of our country and China. There are big policy problems that we need to tackle if we want to have a great 21st century for this country.

Ryan’s commentary is the perfect illustration of what the GOP once was, and what it can never become again. In the face of Nate Burleson citing transgender issues, the former Speaker of the House dismisses it and instead pivots to the debt crisis and China. And while those are both important issues that need to be tackled, the idea that they are more important than winning the culture is foolhardy.

(Related: Conservatives Are Winning the Culture War Against Transgenderism, and the Numbers Will Surprise You)

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Ask yourself, what good is money if children are being mutilated and “transitioned” in the name of a radical ideology? What good is confronting China if we allow ourselves to devolve into a third-world, dystopian hellhole back at home? Who cares about tax rates if we can’t even protect women?

Ryan goes on to call the culture wars “really polarizing,” but then fails to explain how that’s a bad thing. How does an issue being polarizing mark it as unworthy of pursuit? Some of the most polarizing issues in history have been some of the most important. Heck, I would hope that Republicans would be polarizing when it comes to opposing child abuse under the guise of transgender ideology.

It’s simple. Before venturing to solve a nation’s fiscal issues, you need to actually have a country worth living in. At the very least, you need to fight those battles concurrently. Dismissing one as polarizing is not only self-defeating, it’s morally wrong. That’s what people like Ryan simply won’t accept, and it’s frustrating to witness.

Moving on to the elephant in the room, a lot has been said, specifically by the Trump camp (including by Donald Trump himself), about the idea that Paul Ryan is somehow secretly orchestrating Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign. In response, it’s important to note that there is zero evidence of that assertion. In fact, there’s zero evidence the two men in question have even spoken since DeSantis left the US Congress.

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It’s a baseless, ridiculous smear that asks Republican primary voters to not only disbelieve what’s staring them in the face (DeSantis’ record, especially on cultural issues) but to also ignore that Trump endorsed Paul Ryan multiple times and praised him after he left office. Don’t be the person who falls into the mold of repeating nonsense as a substitute for genuine debate. That’s all I’ll say about that angle.

In short, DeSantis and Ryan are nothing alike. The former has rightly made the culture wars the centerpiece of his political career while the latter has decried fighting the culture wars at all. Thankfully, one side of the GOP has already won that debate. Ryan can keep doing press hits. The rest of us will actually go accomplish something.

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