When all is said and done, Paul Ryan’s legacy will not be defined by his unsuccessful run for Vice President on the Mitt Romney ticket (in fact, I barely ever remember that). Nor will it be defined by what was once thought to be wonkishness. Ryan will be remembered as a Speaker who acquiesced to a President that he hated in order to pass tax cuts that largely benefitted only the wealthiest Americans.
Fortunately, it will also be defined by his inability to kill Obamacare and his unsuccessful efforts to gut Medicaid and Medicare and privatize Social Security. In fact, the tax cuts give the next Democratic presidential candidate the perfect agenda upon which to run: Roll back Paul Ryan’s tax cuts on the top 1 percent (which is where most of the money went) in order to fund social welfare programs that benefit many of the very people who voted for Trump.
At any rate, Ryan will be remembered as a spineless, weak-willed politician who handed the Republican party to an ideologue. Thanks in large part to Ryan, there’s almost nothing left of the party he once led. There is no longer a Republican agenda; there is no policy. The Republican party is now defined by one man, Donald Trump, and its agenda is determined by the whims and tweets of the President.
It may take years for the Republican party to bounce back, because once Donald Trump is gone — by impeachment, by election, or by death — there will be no one left to carry the party but the very “cucks” and “RINOs” that most of the base now hates. You think the party is going to rally around Mitch McConnell? Or Ted Cruz? Or Devin Nunes? No, a guy like Steve King — the Iowa representative who is basically a white nationalist — is going to become the face of the party, and that base will get smaller and smaller.
Whatever. Good riddance (eventually).
Anyway, one more thing Ryan can add to horrible legacy is this: He forced the House Chaplain, Father Conroy, to resign. Why? Did Father Conroy make unwanted sexual advances to someone? Was he skimming money? Did he kill a kid and hide the body?
No, from what we know, Father Conroy did two things that pissed off Paul Ryan: He delivered a sermon before the tax cut that angered the Republicans. This is what he said:
“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are no winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
The Republicans thought that Father Conroy was being too “political.” They thought that a sermon praying for the “common good” made them look bad, because they knew that their tax cut was not for the “common good.” Defensive much?
On top of that, Father Conroy also invited a Muslim cleric to deliver an opening prayer.
In other words, Paul Ryan fired a religious leader because he prayed that poor people wouldn’t get shafted by the tax cuts, and because he deigned to invite someone of another religion to deliver a prayer in the United States of America, where it is “unlawful to discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability.”
Good job, Paul Ryan! Now, besides being remembered for your hatred of the poor, you’ll also be remembered for your religious bigotry. Father Conroy, by the way, becomes the first House Chaplain to ever be fired.