The Republican mainstream

The Republican mainstream

by digby

A questioner at Paul Ryan's CNN infomercial last night: I cannot and will not support Donald Trump, and it concerns me when the Republican leadership is supporting somebody who is openly racist and has said Islamophobic statements, wants to shut down our borders. Can you tell me, how can you morally justify your support for this kind of candidate, somebody who could be very destructive for our nation.

Paul Ryan: Well first of all that basically means that you're going to help elect Hillary Clinton. And I don't think Hillary Clinton is going to support any of the things that you stand for if you are a Republican.

What he's saying is that racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and all the other nutty things Trump says aren't deal breakers. So what would be one? Trump's said he won't take nuclear war with Europe off the table. He's said he wants to steal the oil of sovereign countries. He's for much more brutal torture even than what we've done in the past and has strongly implied that the USA should behead ISIS terrorists because we "have to fight fire with fire." He wants to change the libel laws so that he can stop publishers and others from saying critical things about him. With all the sophistication of an 8 year old he fatuously declares that he will build the military so big that no one will ever mess with us. He said he will retire the national debt in 8 years.Those are just off the top of my head.

Apparently none of that is a deal breaker for Mr Reasonable Paul Ryan. Indeed, it evidently pales in comparison to someone who promises to raise the minimum wage and cap child care expenses at 10% of any parent's income. The menace of the Democratic platform to restore voting rights and offer free college tuition at state schools is so great that Trump's torture thing is a compromise he's willing to make.

He did say that he was worried that Clinton wouldn't enact the Republican agenda and  he's probably right about that. Clinton isn't going to privatize social security, one of Ryan's most important agenda items. Oh wait, Trump isn't for that either. She's come out against he TPP which Ryan believes is vital. And Trump isn't for that either. She's unlikely to enact a big tax cut or get rid of the Department of Education which Trump might actually do. But other than that, it's really unclear just how many of the things Ryan wants to do are at the top of Trump's agenda either.  He's buildin' a wall and abrogating treaties and banning Muslims and rousting undocumented families and telling the police to take the gloves off  and "bombing the shit out of 'em" long before he gets to any boring stuff like that.

So really, it's obvious there is literally nothing Trump could do that would make him worse for America than Hillary Clinton. That's your reasonable mainstream Republican position in 2016.