Reflecting on his interview with former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) who left politics and quickly accepted a position as a board member of the Fox Corporation, conservative Charlie Sykes admitted that he is bothered by Ryan's belief that he is, and has been, doing important work behind the scenes to tamp down the worst excesses of Fox News personalities.
In a column for the Bulwark, Sykes stated that Ryan is inordinately proud of the work done when he was still in office and Trump was running wild -- even though Sykes stated he could have done so much more by going public.
According to the columnist, that has been the go-to position of conservatives who have opposed Trump while avoiding the former president's wrath.
As Sykes notes, Ryan was continuing his cowardly ways while Fox News hosts were spewing 2020 election conspiracy lies that they -- and he -- knew were not true.
Writing that Ryan's thinking, "reflects a mindset that has come to dominate our politics, especially in the GOP," he added, "Some of this is just simple moral cowardice; a lot of it is grift, but it’s not just Paul Ryan. In-the-roomism is a deeply internalized ethos — or perhaps anti-ethos — that has shaped the Republican party’s serial compromises, capitulations, and sellouts."
In that vein he continued, "... this is the problem with being a thought leader. Sometimes you have to lead. In Ryan’s case that would have meant getting up from the table and telling the folks outside the room that Fox was lying and endangering democracy. But once again he decided to stay silent; and he regarded his reticence as savvy and virtuous."
"By staying on the board, Ryan seems to be telling himself, he will be able to steer the network away from the craziness, and from bats--t crazy lies about the election. But here’s the thing: He didn’t," Sykes accused.
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