Over the last month, right up to today, House Speaker Paul Ryan has, through word and action, demonstrated repeatedly, that  keeping Republicans in power is more important that doing what is best for the country. Consider the following items demonstrative or where his first allegiance resides.

ITEM:  As soon as Primadonald became the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Ryan engaged in a series of feints designed to create the impression that he was not going to endorse the candidate without some clear signals that the latter was on board with the Republican themes of trickle-down economics with lower taxes for the rich, cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and less regulation; you know, all the hits from conservatives’ songbook.

Smart folks saw this for what it was; i.e. an act. Accordingly, without Primadonald ever going on the record as specifically, supporting any of the foregoing, Ryan came to the  public conclusion that he was now sure that the candidate had fallen in line.

Of course,  Ryan did have another option.  Like so many other Republicans, he could have joined the “Never Trump” movement.Instead, he chose to throw his weight behind perhaps the most unprepared, inexperienced, sexist, xenophobic individual to every seek our presidency.  But, Primadonald is running with an R after his name and that, to Ryan, is what matters most.

ITEM:  Having endorsed Primadonald, Ryan then announced that he was giving his House Republican colleagues the freedom to decide for themselves who they would support. The Speaker placed this decision within the context of a “matter of conscience”; how could he dare to tell his colleagues what to do?

A more plausible politically-based explanation for this gambit by Ryan is to see it as a directive to his conservative associates to do what gives them the best chance at being re-elected; i.e. if your constituents are, in the main, supportive of Trump, then follow suit. If they aren’t, then throw the candidate under the bus and save your own House seat.

Again, we see here, the importance of party over country.

ITEM:  The latest in the Speaker’s efforts to keep his party in power is directly related to his refusal to bring to the House floor for debate and a vote, any of the four common sense/gun control proposals that Democrats had put forward and introduced in committee. Ryan simply froze them there so that none of his colleagues would have to answer for how they voted on those measures. No Republican wants to admit to an NRA-driven “No” vote when 85 – 90% of poll respondents want those kinds of measures put in place. There is a name for this – “party protectionism”.

To conclude, the foregoing items are reflective of the horrible bind that the Republican party finds itself in; all of their own making:  It sat by, disbelieving as Primadonald was allowed to run away with the nomination in spite of all the negatives that are such glaring parts of his resume’ and style. Now, stuck with defending him, the party faces a backlash from millions of people who could easily vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, flipping the Senate majority and costing conservatives seats in the House.That couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch and they brought it all on themselves.