A Decent Gentleman

Paul Ryan has always been one of the nicest people in Washington and the place will be worse off without him.

I spent the other night roaming the aisles of a grocery store with a congressman who says nice things about President Trump on television while really not liking him. I have heard from a good many people who have had similar experiences. Green rooms in Washington are full of Republicans who cheer him on publicly and root against him privately. Decency and honesty seem hard to come by.

Decency and honesty will be a bit harder to come by with Paul Ryan's departure. Liberals hate him as the man who shoved granny off the cliff and many conservatives hate him as a tool or leader of the establishment. The reality is Paul Ryan is a profoundly decent and kind person who led a herd of cats as best he could. He has always been far more at home hunting or working through policy papers. But he rose to the Speaker's chair because he was the only man trusted enough by the various Republican factions to keep them together.

Ryan was and is trusted not because he is the most conservative, though he is far more so than people give him credit. Ryan is trusted because he's a nice guy. In Washington, nice guys who are successful are harder to find. More and more people think you have to be a braying jackass to be successful. Paul Ryan never did think that and never behaved like that.

We live in an age where if you don't like someone's politics then you don't like that person. It is really easy to not like people these days. It is harder to be decent and to try to like. I think Paul Ryan tried very hard to be decent and kind. I very much like him, even though we often disagreed on policy. And, to be honest, I often got the impression Paul Ryan was far more conservative on issues than he let on publicly, but knew he could only go so far right without losing Republicans in the other direction. His biggest struggle was finding the balance without his Republican coalition collapsing.

I am going to miss him on Capitol Hill, but I am happy for his family to have him home. Paul Ryan is now older than his dad was when his dad died. He's going to be able to experience a level of relationship and friendship with his kids that he never got to have with his own dad. Not being distracted by the pettiness of small things in Washington will be a positive for his family in that regard. So God speed to him and to his family.

Comments
No. 1-25
Tom1870
Tom1870

Yes Erick, nice, trusted, decent, honest, kind, etc.--but utterly ineffective at even starting to eliminate our 22 Trillion in debt, planned parenthood, or Obamacare. Those are the promises Republicans and Paul Ryan ran on. Republicans finally control the key branches of government. But the Republicans led by Paul Ryan have accomplished little of consequence. I'd rather be led by a ruthless fighter for conservative values, Newt Gingrich with whatever flaws he might have, than Paul Ryan.

SC Welch
SC Welch

Paul RINO listens to his democRAT wife more than to his republican voters or colleagues. He's very left leaning. I loved him in his debate with the silly, babbling old man, Gropin' Joe Biden wherein Ryan was serious, thoughtful, and to-the-point while Biden laughed and poo-pooed his way through. But I think he was a better VP candidate than Speaker of the House. He has bowed to the left on every issue, and while the fake president was in charge, he even started to look moslem. I have read that he attends a DC mosque almost daily. Wonder why that is???

F224
F224

A nice guy? Yes. Avery smart guy? Yes. Effective as a Speaker of the House. Not at all. Walking away from the Hastert Rule was his undoing.

PatrickM
PatrickM

I call BS on this on the Ryan - Rand connection. I sure would appreciate it if Rep Ryan were more of a libertarian, but Ryan has been far more of the true catholic compassion-conservative, and sadly his reign has simply been an extension of the Failure Theatre we saw under Boehner. the One Job the caucus had was to repeal Obamacare and they couldn't even get a wimpy 1/2 repeal to Trump's desk, while spending carries on.

Vandalii
Vandalii

Erick, I hear what you say, and an ineffective Majority Leader still remains ineffective regardless of his marvelous qualities as a human, father and friend. As you say, Washington will be poorer with out his integrity, but is is not clear the House Repubs will be poorer with different leadership. Our challenge is to be both effective and have integrity. Seems Washington sees those two attributes as "either/or" rather than "and". :-(