Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has reportedly set up a series of phone calls with each of the remaining Republican presidential candidates with whom he has discussed the "bold" election-year agenda he hopes they will pursue alongside him.
There are several reasons why this is hilarious, but let's get to it.
Despite the harsh exchanges, Ryan vowed last week to set up calls with all four candidates to fill them in on House GOP efforts to develop a positive 2016 agenda, even as the nasty presidential contest has devolved into name calling and personal attacks.
Focused on things such as national security, jobs and anti-poverty measures, the agenda is designed to present a contrast with Democrats and lay out a positive vision for what Republicans might accomplish if they win the White House in November.
If you can read that last bit with a straight face, you have a more significant personal constitution than I do.
One can hardly expect the Republican candidates to adopt an agenda that Speaker Ryan and his flock haven't even adopted. Congressional Republicans haven't done a damn thing since the start of the year and they have no immediate plans to do a damn thing. They've already decided completing the appropriations process to properly fund the federal government is a lost cause so they aren't even going to try.
And speaking of national security and jobs, Congressional Republicans have no immediate plans to do their job. Congressional Republicans have refused to pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to fight new threats and they've made it abundantly clear that they will not confirm President Obama's nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia whoever that nominee may be.
All of the Republican presidential candidates have debuted policy proposals that would swell the ranks of the impoverished just as Paul Ryan's serial failure of a budget would. Republicans are still campaigning on Ryan's Path to Poverty budget blueprint 5 years after he originally unveiled it and 4 years after voters rejected it in a general election.
Amusingly, sometimes-senator Marco Rubio is considered to be the GOP establishment's choice for president, but Rubio has called for the most reckless fiscal policy of any candidate, far surpassing even Donald Trump's wildest dreams. Rubio has called for completely eliminating taxes on capitals gains and that alongside his other proposals would annihilate the federal budget.
This is at least one reason why Donald Trump is winning and Marco Rubio is collapsing. The idea that we're going to have a firesale on tax cuts for the rich and wipe out government just isn't as appealing to angry, white, working class people as much as it used to be. Trump has devoted a significant amount of his speeches to decrying corporations that move their headquarters overseas so they can benefit from lower taxes in what's known as an inversion.
These people, the kind of who support Donald Trump, are more interested in an exclusionary, protectionist big government that serves them and not those people. It's a white nationalist movement.
Paul Ryan and his establishment agenda represent everything Republican voters have rejected in this election. Scott Walker? Out. Jeb Bush? Out. Marco Rubio? Soon to be out. John Kasich? Very little appeal.
Paul Ryan was chosen to serve as Speaker of the House out of convenience, not because Republican voters love him. Even those who do soon won't.