Trump, Ryan, the Campaign and Leadership

Mr. Trump has been on the attack since last Friday. Largely, it has worked for him but there are limits and it needs to end as to the Congressional Rs.

The debate was a roaring success.  It energized a demoralized base and has all but eliminated the sex talk tape from the equation of his candidacy.  The debate triumph was largely the product of an aggressive Donald Trump – well-versed and practiced on the issues and full-bore against the Clintons.  Good news!!

For his part, Speaker Ryan has walked away from the ticket because of the audio tape.  

Unlike the uneasy peace that has been brokered and built on past occasions, this rift is open and bleeding.  Mr. Trump is tweeting internecine jihad and Speaker Ryan remains obstinate and against the ticket.  

Now, both Mr. Trump and Speaker Ryan are in danger of over-playing their respective hands and need to dial back to issues, issues and more issues and to start getting along.
 
I know I am a wet-blanket and the Clinton/Establishment/media bashing is cathartic and fun for the Trump base but now, it is enough.  Clearly, the base loves it (and in many ways I love it too) but to win next month, we need more votes than the base has to offer and ‘outreach’ has to be our watchword to the end.
 
Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment was, “Never attack a fellow Republican.”  Speaker Ryan, Republicans in Congress and Mr. Trump have been in violation and it has to stop – right now.  It is unhelpful up and down the ticket.  We need leadership, not spiteful behavior if we are to take the Presidency and keep Congress.  The Party Chairman needs to step in and become a bridge.  

For his part, Mr. Trump needs to return to campaigning and let the party dirty laundry go to the wash.  He needs to start making every single sentence he speaks begin with ‘the wall’ and end with ‘jobs.’  To wit:  

    Q. “How are you feeling today, Mr. Trump?”  A. “Well, I will be feeling better when we have a wall and more jobs.”  

    Q. What did you have for dinner, Mr. Trump?”  A. “I had delicious enchiladas that look like bricks in the wall we are going to build made by guys who have good jobs like the chef who made my dinner.”  

    Q.  How is the campaign going?  A. “Great! Solid! like the wall will be with all of the new jobs that we will be creating!”  

Get it?  Get on the issues and off of Ryan.  

Speaker Ryan should not have made an announcement about not campaigning with the ticket.  It was self-indulgent and stupid.  Yeah, I know he is getting twenty calls a day from the #NeverTrump-ers egging him on and telling him lies about his golden future but that excuse is not good enough.
 
Let me say a few things directly to Paul:

Speaker Ryan, you are a leader – you are THE elected leader.  You do not get to abdicate your responsibilities by simply saying so.  It does not work that way.  If you cut and run from something as lame as a ten year old audio tape, what on earth can we expect from you if you are the only bulwark against a President Hillary?  Not much, I am afraid.  

Speaker Ryan, you need to support the ticket – get over it and get on with it.  It is you who is damaging the ticket.  Your rally on Saturday was the start of these troubles – not the tape.  Had you excoriated the tape and then insisted (not disinvited) Mr. Trump come and apologize and to explain himself, we would all be in a good place now.  Instead, we have the makings of civil war and you are largely to blame.  

Speaker Ryan, your own House Republican Conference is calling you a coward and feckless.  You have a problem and you need to fix this – quick.
 
Here are a few tips which I urgently offer:

1) Tell Mitt, Jeb and the Washingtonians who are having a giggling, selfish fit through you and at your expense to stop calling.  They are doing you no good.  They represent a tiny, bitter minority that will NEVER, EVER, NEVER be in power again – full stop;  
 
2) Get Reince Priebus to hold another Republican Unity Rally and show-up – enthusiastically; and,
 
3) Stop talking like your support mattered – in reality; it only matters as to form (not substance) unless you can bring others with you and, after your conference call with the House Rs, that’s apparently not happening.  Trump can do more for you than the reverse – and the House needs him (and you too!).  

At that unity rally, Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan have to pledge to support each other and move forward together.  A hug would be nice but probably a bridge too far.  Forgiveness and sacrifice are watchwords of mature men and real leaders.  We all need to see it – SOON!!  If you all can get this done and show real leadership, I guarantee that . . .  

. . . we are soooo gonna win!!! 

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