Paul Ryan at RNC: Only with Trump and Pence do the changes we want have a chance

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday July 20th, 2016

Can't wait for that first Trump State of the Union address, eh?

Sometimes I feel like I'm a therapist trying to bring about peace between Paul Ryan and conservative activists. Actually Ryan is more than willing, and you might recall a time when his Pathway to Prosperity made him a rising star in the eyes of the very people who now think he's an amnesty shill or whatever.

Here he is at the RNC last night. Are you sure he's not on our side?

I understand some of the frustration over the House's strategies vis-a-vis Obama - strategies put in place by John Boehner and consistently favoring a surrender impulse for fear of media criticism. By the time Ryan took over as Speaker there was scarcely enough time left in the Obama presidency to change it much, although I have seen some reasonable arguments that he's more effective at restraining overall federal spending than people realize.

The real question with Ryan, though, is what would he be like during a Republican presidency? I believe the role of Speaker - along with key House committee chairmen - becomes more crucial than ever if Trump is elected because major policy changes in the realms of spending, taxation, health care and energy will have to start with leadership from the House. The presence of Pence at vice president would provide a smooth connection to the White House, and the end result you're looking for is that Ryan can shepherd through real conservative changes that Trump would be willing to sign.

The people who think Ryan is not a real conservative, yet want Trump as president . . . yeah, I'm not sure what to say. I'm willing to believe that Trump will sign conservative legislation if presented to him, but it needs to come from a real conservative with real knowledge of policy and the legislative process. If you can think of a better combination of Ryan in the House working with Pence as liaison to Congress, let's hear it.

I'd like to stick with the team we've got if it's OK with you.

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