News broke today that the speaker of the House Paul Ryan categorically won't be running for President. Responding to calls to be a potential party savior in the case of a contested convention where no candidate could receive a majority, Ryan held a press conference on Capitol Hill and told the audience of reporters that: “I do not want nor will I accept the nomination for our party.”
“Let me speak directly to the delegates on this," he continued. "If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only choose a person who actually participated in the primary. Count me out.”
“I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee – to be the president – you should actually run for it. I chose not to. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period.”
Ryan's seemingly noble decision isn't actually quite so noble when you take into account what jumping in and defying the will of the Republican electorate might look like in this increasingly bizarre election cycle. The fact is, the major supporters of both major candidates -- Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, are for lack of a better term, complete lunatics. The former's supporters are made up of the racist dregs of Las Vegas casinos, while the latter are raving religious fanatics convinced End Times are approaching. It doesn't take much to imagine how they would react to a someone who looks like he just got wedgied by his fraternity jumping in and leading the party against the Democratic nominee.
Not only would Ryan be faced with the herculean task of trying to mobilize both warring factions of half baked morons left without their leaders, he would also have to try and reach out to the people who matter most in general elections: the center.
There isn't much left of what sane people would regard as the rational wing of the Republican Party, but anyone running for president is going to have to dig them up wherever they are hiding and get them to the voting booth. How one does this while catering to people who want to arm unborn fetuses and dismantle the Federal Reserve is anyone's guess -- the most rational one being that there is no fucking way possible.
Although Ryan isn't anywhere near as crazy as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, he is by any rational definition an extremist himself. Ryan is a far right economic ideologue who grew up masturbating to Ayn Rand novels, then spent his adulthood finding creative ways to punish the poor and enrich privileged white men like himself under the guise of militant free market economics. But while Ryan might be considered a radical and somewhat intellectually challenged by most political systems around the industrialized world, within the Republican Party he is regarded as a bit of a thought leader and a moderate. This is a real rarity and Ryan needs to protect this brand. He is also politically shrewd and extremely ambitious, and recognizes that there is about as much chance of a Republican reaching the White House in 2016 as there is a black Muslim becoming the GOP chairman.
In other words, it ain't gonna happen, and Ryan is smart to stay as far away from the Godawful mess as possible.