Paul Ryan’s pathetic legacy

The man who once represented the future of the Republican Party leaves office a vastly diminished figure.

For someone reputed to be a deep, long-range thinker, outgoing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) showed a surprising lack of foresight in his handling of President Trump.

Imagine what will happen if special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concludes that Trump’s campaign knowingly colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and that Trump obstructed justice in an attempt to bury the evidence. That outcome is by no means certain, but it is certainly possible — and, when it comes to a finding of obstruction, probable. How will a Democrat-controlled House react? Because that prospect, too, seems increasingly likely with every Republican retirement — including now Ryan’s own.

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