Trump’s Fallback Job

Donald Trump wants to run the country but if he loses on Tuesday, what can he do next if he doesn't want to go back to his troubled real estate empire?

Initially, at least, he will be all over cable TV bleating, "I was robbed," attacking everyone he felt didn't give him the proper respect and support and threatening to sue any and all in his pursuit of revenge.

One of those likely to come in for special attention is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who he particularly dislikes. 

Ryan has made no secret that he finds Trump insufficiently conservative, morally repugnant and too lose with the truth. Ryan months ago told House colleagues to vote their conscience and not feel bound to Trump, although Ryan – in a demonstration of hyper-partisan hypocrisy — said he would vote for the party's nominee anyway. A poll last week showed most Republican voters disapprove of Ryan's decision not to campaign for Trump.

Trump makes no secret that he's furious with Ryan for not being sufficiently sycophantic and repeatedly calls him a "loser" for the 2012 election when he was Mitt Romney's running mate.

Fox News personality Sean Hannity branded Ryan a "saboteur" and told the Washington Post he “needed to be called out and replaced.”, whose former leader is CEO of the Trump campaign, called Ryan a secret Clinton supporter. 

They may have something there.  If Trump wins, the Speaker of the House expected to do his bidding, but with a Democratic president he'll the top elected Republican in Washington.  There's just one problem with that.

The Freedom Caucus, the alt-right extremists and hard-core Trump supporters in the House GOP caucus who were responsible for deposing former Speaker John Boehner, are threatening to try to block Ryan's reelection as speaker, even though he is arguably the most conservative Speaker in history

There's some talk that rather than face a bloody revolt in his caucus to keep his job, Ryan might decide to go back to chairing the Ways and Means Committee or just quit the House and prepare for a 2020 presidential run.

The Speaker does not have to be a member of the House, although all have been so far.  Since those who most want to dump Ryan have been ardent supporters of Trump, they could nominate him for the job.

The job holds significant attractions for Trump's insatiable ego and limited attention span.  The Speaker is the constitutional equivalent of the President and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and is next in line of succession after the vice president.  Since House Republicans have shown more interest in thwarting the policies of a Democratic president than in demonstrating they can govern responsibly, he won't have to worry about any details.

He can travel all around the world on government planes (sorry, Donald, you can't paint your name on them), browbeat the IRS into dropping all audits of his own finances and those of his family, and he'll have access to the highest government secrets. He won't get to put his tiny finger on the nuclear button, thank God, but he'll have something else very potent, the power of the purse.

With control of the House he'll be able to conduct endless hearings and investigations and pass resolutions holding any and all of your critics and enemies in contempt of Congress.

Since the Congress' public approval rating is down around that of used car salesmen, North Korea and the Kardashians, this could be Trump's chance to Make Congress Great Again. For more on this see my Washington Watch column.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.