WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2016 — GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan has a Donald Trump problem.
Ryan, who will serve as chairman of the Republican Party National Convention in July, will head a three-day retreat to craft a party platform that the Republican presidential nominee is expected to endorse.
“Trump is not a Republican,” former GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham told the New York Times. “I have no idea how we reconcile a Donald Trump agenda with a Republican agenda. How do we write a platform?”
Here’s a little reminder for Sen. Graham:
We are unalterably opposed to unwarranted growth of centralized Federal power. We shall carry forward the worthy effort … to clarify Federal relationships and strengthen State and local government … We shall continue to dispense with Federal activities wrongfully competing with private enterprise, and take other sound measures to reduce the cost of Government.
That is an excerpt from the Republican Party platform of 1956, the year Dwight David Eisenhower sought a second term as president.
When Eisenhower was supreme allied commander in Europe, it took him four short years to reduce Germany’s major cities to brick dust and reduce Hitler’s war machine to a sputtering heap. The humble American from Abilene, Kansas, out-soldiered the ranting, self-proclaimed superman in Berlin.
But the five-star general turned president and his Republican foot soldiers more than met their match fighting a long war against their own, expansionist, extra-constitutional government.
The Republican track record on curtailing the grip of the federal octopus over the states and eliminating the burdensome cost of government regulations and taxes on free-market job-creators has been dismal at best.
A case in point: Last December, Speaker Ryan presided over the passage of a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill. That budget funds President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrant “DREAMers” and provides grants to immigration-law-defying “Sanctuary Cities.”
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Ryan “empowered Democrats to win significant concessions throughout.”
And the nation’s debt rockets ahead to $20 trillion.
So, does it really matter that the GOP has entrusted the crafting of another meaningless party platform to a man who, like most of his congressional conference, talks the talk but never walks the walk?
Rank-and-file Republican voters have lost faith in men like Ryan and in frustration are turning to Trump, hoping he can accomplish what Eisenhower could not.
“The most dangerous man to any government,” said H.L. Mencken, “is the man who is able to think things out … without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”
Paul Ryan is deluded if he thinks his only problem is figuring out how to “reconcile a Donald Trump agenda with a Republican agenda.”
The bigger question is, how do you reconcile an agenda that GOP voters, disgusted by Republican leaders, see as “dishonest, insane, intolerable”?