Putting on a pair of borrowed Tea Party Trumpster filters over my ears, Ryan's immigration comments this morning on the Sunday shows are appropriately orthodox as far as they go, but it's what they don't say that will inevitably peak freshly renewed suspicion in his TP detractors:
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday it would be ridiculous to work with Barack Obama on immigration reform, saying he cannot trust the president on the issue.
"I think it would be a ridiculous notion to try and work on an issue like this with a president we simply cannot trust on this issue," Ryan said in an interview aired on the CBS program Face the Nation.
"He tried to go it alone, circumventing the legislative process with his executive orders so that is not in the cards. I think if we reach consensus on how best to achieve border and interior enforcement security, I think that's fine," Ryan added....
House Republicans won’t be offering legislation on immigration reform, a policy priority Ryan had championed as a regular member of the House, he said, adding that Obama has attempted to go around Congress with executive orders, making him an unreliable partner. The House would restrict itself to passing smaller bills on border enforcement or interior security if there’s consensus among Republicans, he said.
“I don’t believe we should advance comprehensive immigration legislation with a president who has proven himself untrustworthy,” Ryan said.
Just so. No more "reaching out in the spirit of bipartisanship" to a POTUS whose middle fingers have not gone down once in the past seven years, and no more grand secret closed door "deals" to emerge at the last minute as fait accomplis to get shoved down the throats of rank & file GOP Members without debate or even knowing what the devil is cooked into them. Two overlapping stances on which all 'Pubbies should be able to agree.
But here's what every Tea Party Trumpster is going to glean from the new Speaker's words: "Will he advance 'comprehensive immigration reform' with a president he does trust?" Like, say, if any of the fifteen actual Republican presidential candidates lands in the White House a year from now, and especially if that Republican presidential candidate is Marco Rubio, whose own disavowals of any further push for CIR since the Gang of Eight debacle two years ago of which he was its designated Latino face Paul Ryan's remarks most resemble? Is the new Speaker disavowing amnesty period or just for now while it has such an overpowering stench wafting from it?
I would think that it would take a lot longer than just a couple of years for the political winds to change sufficiently for any such effort to even be floated as a trial balloon given the virulent vigilance that will be watching for the tiniest indication of same for years and years to come. But if Senator Rubio did capture the Republican nomination next year, with his recent background on the immigration issue and after all the uproar of Trumpmania, and if he went on to win next November by a substantial margin....might a President Rubio take that as a mandate for ALL of his policy wish list? And might a Speaker Ryan be much likelier to "trust" him?
Just trying to think like a Tea Partier without hyperventilating too badly. Besides, even a President Cruz would not be completely averse to a "pathway to citizenship" for illegal aliens. And I imagine that Speaker Ryan would "trust" him as well.
The bottom line is, it may just be that immigration hawks simply have no place to go. In which case, a failure to admit defeat will be simple self-delusion, and continuing to lash out at friends and allies will be pointlessly destructive AND futile.
But until that Rubicon is conclusively crossed, there's no reason not to remain hyper-vigilant.
Assuming, of course, that Speaker Ryan can trust all of you..