A new book about the astonishing pusillanimity of the Republican Party reveals that former House speaker and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan “found himself sobbing” during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. And that’s very sad for him—it really is. It’s also sad when dog owners leave their pooches in hot cars and kill them, which is kind of what the GOP as a whole has done with our country since Donald Trump slimed onto the scene in 2015.
Ryan was seduced by the siren song of Trump—which wasn’t a “song” so much as the rutting grunts of a Boone’s Farm-besotted squirrel monkey trying to mount a comically large slab of gyro meat—when he still hoped to make his wildest Ayn Randian dreams come true. These included handing even more of our nation’s wealth to the already obscenely wealthy and ensuring that fewer Americans have lifesaving health insurance coverage.
But it’s one thing to screw over millions of vulnerable Americans while trying to shrink the federal government to the size of a Sunglass Hut—it’s quite another to watch your partner in evil take evil one step too far.
Ryan, who has criticized former President Donald Trump and his hold on the Republican Party, “found himself sobbing” during the insurrection, journalist Mark Leibovich writes in his forthcoming book, “Thank You For Your Servitude,” a copy of which was obtained by CNN.“I spent my whole adult life in that building,” Ryan, who served as a Republican congressman from Wisconsin for two decades, later told Leibovich, according to the book. “And I saw my friends, a lot of cops, some of my old security detail — I’m still friends with a bunch of those guys. It really disturbed me, foundationally.”
Leibovich writes that Ryan told him he’s not much of a crier, but “something snapped in him” as he watched the Capitol attack.
Yeah, something snapped in one of the Capitol Police officers, too—I believe it was two of their ribs. But that little crying jag sounds pretty devastating as well.
Of course, it’s fitting that Ryan—who had numerous opportunities to stand up to the patently autocratic and anti-democratic Trump back when it might have made a difference—revealed his feelings to Leibovich, whose new book is all about the extraordinary spinelessness of old-guard Republicans during and after the Trump era.
In a recent interview with Leibovich, Vanity Fair asked the author about the most “shameless examples” of GOP sycophancy when it comes to Trump:
“A lot of it sort of just involved the dance between public figures going on and off the record. On the record: Donald Trump’s the greatest man in the world! Off the record: He’s a complete moron! The whole book is [full of] specific examples of that, like when you look at what’s been revealed in the last few months of what McCarthy and Graham and so many Republicans were saying about Donald Trump [immediately] after January 6 compared to basically a few weeks later, when they all kind of waved the white flag. That’s sort of the pervasive ethic of the Republican Party now.”
In short, with a few notable exceptions, Republicans know better. They always did. But democracy, the rule of law, and having a president who didn’t make half the country want to trade their kidneys for a Canadian work visa and a six-pack of Molson Light were far less important than fattening wealthy people’s wallets.
And as a member of Fox Corp.’s board of directors since March 2019, Ryan had a chance to, you know, say something when Fox News was enthusiastically lying about the election its own political team had unequivocally acknowledged Trump lost.
But that would have required a spine, and as we all know, Republicans—with vanishingly few exceptions—are inveterate invertebrates. Why would seeing our democracy unravel ever blunt their blind ambition?
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
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