Readers React: Paul Ryan is just about as popular with L.A. Times readers as President Trump

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan greets President Trump at the National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner in Washington on March 20.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan greets President Trump at the National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner in Washington on March 20.
(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

Almost as low in our letter writers’ esteem as President Trump — and mind you, we’re talking about a readership concentrated in deep-blue Los Angeles, writing about one of the most consistently unpopular commanders in chief since the advent of tracking polls — is the politician many consider to have served as the president’s most effective enabler, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

Since the former vice presidential candidate, nine-term member of Congress and onetime-reluctant Trump endorser announced on Wednesday his impending departure from the House, not a single letter writer has expressed support for Ryan or even wished him well. To them, his legacy is, more or less, whatever is that of the Trump presidency.

Here are some of those letters.

Marcia Goldstein of Laguna Beach warns Ryan that he will not escape history’s harsh judgment:


Nice try, Speaker Ryan, but jumping ship is not going to keep your name out of the history books.

Some historians may debate whether you and your fellow Republicans were merely Trump’s enablers or his active collaborators. The truth is that the Republican Party knowingly fobbed Trump off on this country to achieve power, regardless of the consequences.

Even at the outset, you knew you were dealing a man who was totally unfit for office, but you proceeded so that you could achieve tax cuts for your wealthy donors and continue motivating your base with disrespect for the important functions of government. Your destructive actions have harmed millions of Americans.

Alexander Astin of Los Angeles accuses Ryan of dishonesty:

Ryan also showed us all that he is, like his president, a liar.

When he was hyping his major “achievement,” the debt-busting tax bill that benefits primarily corporations and the very rich, he stated with a straight face that “the entire purpose of this tax bill is to cut middle-class taxes.”

Tom Stapleton of Glendale wants Ryan’s successor to stand up to Trump:

So Ryan finally sees the handwriting on the wall and, like many fellow GOP representatives, is stepping down from his do-nothing post.

Ryan long ago abandoned any principles he may have had, capitulating to Trump’s complete lack of principle. The speaker’s shameful inability to face up to a reprehensible president will be his dubious legacy. Sadly for America, we’ll have to abide eight more months of his lame-duck drifting in the swamp.

Let’s hope his replacement has the temerity to face up to an administration in it only for itself, and to truly represent the best interests of the constituency that put him in office.

Glendale resident Susan Straughn Harris adds some levity to the conversation:

As a died-in-the wool Democrat, I was not unhappy to learn of Ryan’s retirement from Congress. But as a former working mother, I was in admiration of his reasons, one being to spend more time with his children.

Then I read that his children are all teenagers, and now I fear he has lost his mind.

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