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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Timing of Paul Ryan’s rebuff of Donald Trump worth pondering

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigns Tuesday, Oct.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump campaigns Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jessica Kourkounis

Ditched by more of his own party’s elected officials, Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “The Dems have always proved to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!”

Well, no, not always.

The terms “Reagan Democrat” and “centrist Democrat” and “blue-dog Democrat” have lasted more than a generation, mocking the party’s veneer of solidarity.

If anything, Democrats are reputed inventors of the circular firing squad.

But this time, their national organization does appear solidly behind nominee Hillary Clinton — if only in the cause of staving off a Trump administration.

Now, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tops Trump’s list of what the presidential candidate calls “disloyal Republicans.”

The New York billionaire, relatively new to the GOP, calls Ryan “weak and ineffective” and alludes oddly to “shackles” no longer constraining him.

Shackles? Trump sold himself months ago as leading an unshackling, a rebellion against the “party establishment.”

As a practical matter, it may be a bit much for him to expect loyalty from the “establishment” he targeted not so long ago.

The first of Trump’s series of sour tweets Tuesday may be the most candid: “It is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!”

Indeed, it would seem that major-party candidates need the active or at least passive approval of their party apparatus to win.

One question worth considering is whether Ryan and other congressional Republican leaders are turning away from Trump due to revulsion at his sexual “grab” remarks — or if it’s just the rationale to ditch someone they resent.

The last of the state primaries ended a month ago. Depending on their districts, some GOP candidates may see association with Trump as a burden worth shedding as they head into general election races against Democrats — especially if they believe Trump is destined to lose.

It is very tough to say if Ryan is truly all that worried about losing his majority. Right now he has a rather impressive 246 of 432 House seats in the Republican fold. Incumbents tend to have an edge in these races.

Just to show the bitterness of the GOP divide: Some Trump supporters roared in online forums — without showing evidence — that someone who used to be in the Ryan camp arranged for the “grab” leak.

October it is; A surprise it isn't.

Not that all has been fine and dandy in Clinton land.

Hacked emails showed operatives at the Democratic National Committee leaning toward her against Bernie Sanders.

But she was the party favorite, Sanders was the populist rebel. So even after the most recent WikiLeaks release that demonstrated her as duplicitous on key issues — Wall Street regulation, fracking, and taxes — the Vermont senator cited the Democratic platform he helped shape.

“Whatever Secretary Clinton may or may not have said behind closed doors on Wall Street, I am determined to implement the agenda of the Democratic Party platform, which was agreed to by her campaign,” his statement said.

With his campaign in crisis, Trump and surrogates have turned in recent days to the fact that Sanders pushed to have her release these transcripts during their campaign, which she refused.

But even if the WikiLeaks release keeps some skeptical Democrats from voting for her, the political bottom line is that this hack just hasn’t damaged Clinton’s candidacy as the “Access Hollywood” video leak has damaged Trump’s.

Look within the parties as to why. Sometimes a hostile takeover just doesn’t take.


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