THE BALLAD OF PAUL RYAN

  1. This is Paul Ryan today.
    Note the eyes. See what he's seen.
  2. This was Paul Ryan four years ago.
    Note the smile and "favorite teacher" energy.
  3. What happened? How did this fresh-faced VP nominee and Speaker of the House from a swing state get reduced to such abject misery?
  4. One man.
    You may have heard of him.
  5. Donald Trump has undone the Republican Party establishment.
    The bright, dynamic faces of a diverse and exciting Republican future—Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley—have crumbled into dust. But none have done so like Paul Ryan.
  6. Trump has rejected Paul Ryan for his primary challenger, Paul Nelhen
    This is a huge shakeup. Paul Ryan is the speaker of the house and the last remaining bastion of comparative respectability. Paul Nelhen, pictured here, is holding a sign that says "drugs" while standing in a river.
  7. Paul Nelhen is running on the grounds that Paul Ryan—a tea party favorite who was designed to appeal to the base in 2012—is a liberal.
    Paul Nelhen is the favorite of Ann Coulter Republicans and the people who believe Muslims are going to blow up the local Quick-N-Save in a "Black Lives Matters" t-shirt.
  8. Win or lose, Paul Ryan has lost. And with that, the Republican Party is in disarray.
    Trump is provoking more internal fights than anything else, promising vengeance on Kasich, Bush, Cruz, Haley, and now Ryan.
  9. It's a hell of a disaster for a promising politician.
    Let's dwell on the happier times.