All three of the remaining presidential candidates got the prime speaking slots Monday night at the annual AIPAC policy conference, to which we were not invited, alas, although that seems to have been somewhat epidemic. But any chance we get to hear Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, talk about foreign policy, the area in which Joe Biden literally laughed him out of the campaign in 2012, is one that we never should pass up. (Remember when Ryan explained to us that, in Afghanistan, it snows during the winter? Gravitas!) Of all the barefaced pandering that went on yesterday, and Hillary Rodham Clinton was singing in tuneMonday afternoon, the face of Ryan's pandering was the barest of all, and not just because he's lost the scruff he was cultivating a few months back. This was a guy doing more than rattling the saber. He was swinging it around his head until the air whistled. And, yes, this was a guy who's still thinking about being president, no matter how many non-facts he burbles out on the topic to various interviewers.
There are two outcomes from the GOP Convention in Cleveland: the party knuckles under for Trump and goes on to get crushed in November, or the party tries to steal it from Trump and gets crushed in November. The latter requires somebody young, telegenic, utterly under the control of Republican orthodoxy, ideally already in the GOP leadership and from a swing state and ambitious to the point of near psychopathy.
Paul Ryan, in other words. In his words, actually:
"The threats are very different now. North Korea thumbs its nose at the world as it plays with its nuclear weapons. Iran openly backs tyrants and funds terrorist groups as it jockeys for dominance in the Middle East. An emboldened Russia is only too happy to try to reclaim its neighbors as client states. And with the rise of ISIS, an even deadlier strain of Islamist extremism has taken hold. Once again we face an aggressive militant ideology—with an assist from a gang of rogue states. And why is our relationship with Israel so important? Because in the fight against terrorism and proliferation, our interests are one and the same. For the terrorists, Israel is the first target, and we are the ultimate one. That's because we share the same values."
Yeah, he's running.
I'd say so, yes. He's so eager to shiv Trump right now he's practically vibrating.