Anew book by Politico’s Tim Alberta — American Carnage — depicts former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, now out of office, snarking as follows about President Trump. The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey wrote it this way:
[T]he former speaker could not stand the idea of another two years with the president and saw retirement as an “escape hatch,” in Alberta’s words.
“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan says. “Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.”
Ryan depicts Trump as uneducated about the government.
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan recalls. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government. … I wanted to scold him all the time.”
Ryan says he sees the presidency getting worse, with Trump determined to govern and campaign on his terms, rejecting calls from other Republicans to moderate his message in 2020.
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan says. “We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”
Ryan, once a rising conservative star, has become a class-A example of the Old Order — as I call it in my own book Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and the New American Populism vs. The Old Order. I defined the Old Order as
… a club of self-selected elitists who see themselves as intellectually and decidedly morally superior to their fellow Americans — particularly today Donald Trump and Trump-supporting Americans.
Amazingly enough, even The New York Times now gets this, with a front page, above-the-fold article by Peter Baker this past Sunday headlined:
Parties Face ‘Crackup’ as Outsiders Wield Social Media Against the Establishment.
In which the Times describes Ryan and his successor, Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as “the beleaguered defenders of the old order.” As, indeed, Ryan’s remarks to Alberta indicate exactly.
Take a look at those Ryan comments again. They are bristling with the trademark Old Order sense of intellectual and moral superiority. There is Ryan snarking that Trump “didn’t know anything about government. … I wanted to scold him all the time.” Ryan had to be there at the president’s side, you see, “to stop him from making bad decisions.” It never occurs that maybe, just maybe, it is Washington’s Old Order — in which he had now become a central player — that routinely made bad decisions. Which in turn is exactly why millions of Americans voted for Trump in the first place.