House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a brief television address this morning to congratulate Donald Trump, a man who’s already pledged to unseat him. “This is the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime,” Ryan said, referring to the victory of the guy he couldn’t bear to tell Republicans to support.
Ryan had warm and specific thoughts for Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a person he actually likes: “Mike Pence is a good man, a principled conservative and he will make a great vice president,” he said, before congratulating a long list of other white men.
He closed with a completely straight-faced call for unity.
“There is no doubt our democracy can be very messy,” he said. “And we do remain a sharply divided country. But now as we do every four years, we have to work to heal the divisions of a long campaign. I think President-elect Donald Trump set the perfect tone last night for doing just this. And I know President Obama and Secretary Clinton are committed to bringing the country together. This needs to be time of redemption, not recrimination. We all need to rededicate ourselves to making America great again and making it a more perfect union.”
Ryan took ages to announce he would vote for Trump, but never formally endorsed him. One month ago, he released a statement declaring himself “sickened” by Trump’s stated fondness for grabbing women by the pussy. But all that takes a backseat now to craven, hollow statements strategically designed to save one’s own ass, we suppose.