It’s been said that all good things must come to an end, but it would appear that’s also true for terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things as well. I say this because news broke yesterday that My Man Paul Ryan is hanging up his human suit and retiring from Congress next January.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district since 1999 and House Speaker since 2015 said, “I like to think I’ve done my part, my little part in history to set us on a better course.”
A better course, indeed! After all, it’s not like he rammed through wildly unpopular tax cuts that amount to little more than a giant corporate handout. My Man Paul would never do anything like that, no sir. And even if he did, they certainly wouldn’t permanently drive the federal deficit up to a gargantuan one trillion dollars.
But in all seriousness, he did, and they did. In fact, it’s likely these tax cuts will come to define My Man Paul’s legacy, and that’s totally cool with him. In his nearly 20 years on Capitol Hill, Ryan has postured himself as a financial policy wonk, low-key promoting Ayn Rand-ian wealth fetishism under the guise of fiscal responsibility. Because what’s more fiscally responsible than siphoning health care funding away from the elderly?
And while we’re talking about My Man Paul’s legacy, we can’t forget to mention the complete spinelessness he’s shown in the past year-plus by not standing up to a transparently corrupt White House. There have been dozens of times when Ryan could have used his position to stand up to President Stable Genius when Trump did any of the literally dozens of embarrassing, stupid, vile things he’s done since the primaries.
Instead, My Man Paul was content to just keep his mouth shut to get those sweet, sweet tax cuts. And that’s who he’s always been — a guy with all the smarts, influence and occasional bouts of decency to actually make a significant change in the world but who instead just sits on it and panders to the campaign donors. No wonder this dude loves Atlas Shrugged (which, for the record, is a trash book) so much.
In his remarks to reporters, Ryan said that he didn’t want his kids to only see him as “only a weekend dad,” which is kind of heartbreaking. But it’s also a fitting elegy for My Man Paul, who’s kind of like America’s weekend dad — there if he feels like it, but never when we need him to be.