Think McCain ’08, or Romney ’12… only, bigger.
YUGE, as a matter of fact.
We’re talking about the massive, gaping hole of suck that is this election cycle, by the way.
This is the message that Speaker Paul Ryan is relaying to top donors. Get ready for a bloodbath.
During a conference call, Ryan said he believed that House Republicans had taken a serious hit amid Donald Trump’s freefall following release of the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” video, according to a person who was on the call. Ryan noted that Republicans lost more than 20 seats in 2008, when John McCain lost to Barack Obama by seven percentage points. By comparison, Ryan pointed out grimly, Trump is trailing by around 10 percent nationally.
That’s pretty much what happens when you allow an obvious Trojan horse candidate to stain and spoil the entire party. The other side rallies and the down ballot suffers.
Trump is furious that Ryan told his House GOP colleagues in a Monday call that he will no longer defend the Republican presidential nominee or campaign with Trump. During that discussion, Ryan — who is still endorsing Trump — added that members should worry about their own races, not the presidential battle.
And this is smart. It’s a level of smart that comes about three months too late. Trump could have been blocked during the convention, but the party apparatus worked overtime to stop efforts to oust the Manhattan lothario, and here we are.
Trump has consistently attacked Republicans, and only in recent weeks turned his attention to Democrats. Even then, he reverts back to attacks against the party he represents (no matter how poorly), and seems intent on shooting himself in the foot.
But Ryan also had tough words for Trump. The speaker said that the media was set on driving a wedge between Trump the congressional wing of the party, but that Trump — whom Ryan described as lacking political discipline — had failed to understand that dynamic.
It’s not that he failed to understand the dynamic. It’s that, as a lifelong liberal, who still holds views that are left of center, he has nothing in common with the Republican party, at least, not based on the stated platforms of the party.
He has found the party an ill-fit, so rather than step aside and allow an actual Republican to take over, or to at least try and protect the down ballot races, he and his cult members want to burn the entire party to ashes.
As it now stands, Democrats need 30 seats in the House to take over the majority. It’s hard to say just how much damage a Trump candidacy has done, as those representatives seeking reelection will be painted with the same broad, ugly brush as Trump at the polls, all by virtue of the “R” beside their names.
Ryan is pushing on, trying to salvage what he can in the final weeks of the campaign. He’s given up on making a legitimate candidate out of Trump.
While Trump rages, tweets, and suggests that there is a “conspiracy” to bring him down, Ryan faces pressure from some of his colleagues to tow the party line and back the candidate, no matter how loathsome he is.
The problem with that is, Ryan never pulled his endorsement, but he feels that more attention needs to be paid to the down ballot, at this point, rather than waste another minute babysitting a petulant man-child, with no apparently ability or desire to become a better candidate.
While some GOP lawmakers have called Trump directly to ask him to lay off Ryan, the speaker has also faced a backlash from some of his own members who back Trump. Oklahoma GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Wednesday that he wouldn’t back Ryan for speaker. “Given the stakes of this election, if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan,” Bridenstine said.
Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) has also complained about Ryan’s position, saying it could backfire on the House GOP Conference. Long has called top Republicans to vent his displeasure with Ryan.
Ryan is doing the absolute right thing in recognizing that Trump is a dead horse, at this point. He is a cancer eating away at the entire party and infecting every Republican politician in the down ballot.
How virulent that infection is remains to be seen.
It’s a shame. This was the Republicans’ election to win, and some really good representatives are at risk of losing their seats, all because of the massive fraud that was pulled on voters during this cycle.