Speaker Ryan recently kicked off his bio of President Trump for Time Magazine by asserting that "he always finds a way to get it done." Though that's a nice sentiment, it's without substance.
Perhaps hope springs eternal in the speaker's office, but the Republican agenda has slowly been crashing down on Capitol Hill since Trump took office. Even casual news consumers are aware of this.
After almost three months, Obamacare remains the law of the land as this seems unlikely to change. Mexico hasn't paid a dime for that border wall Trump always talks about. The promised travel ban remains tied up in the courts.
Trump has scored big wins on the regulatory front and in confirming Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Other than that, his famed deal making ability hasn't translated to legislative success.
Perhaps the most notable flop has been Trump's inability to tame the Freedom Caucus, a group that has caused Ryan fits for months. The president tried alternatively coaxing and threatening those conservatives to no avail. And now as the possibility of a government shutdown looms, maybe Ryan needs to abandon his wishful thinking.
The applause is understandable in context of the presidential election. Again Ryan admits to his earlier doubts about Donald, writing that "when so many, including me at times, didn't see how he could pull it off, Trump won a historic victory." But the Election Day was almost six months ago and the praise isn't applicable anymore.
Ryan almost admits as much in the kicker of the piece. "Up close," the speaker writes, "I have found a driven, hands-on leader, with the potential to become a truly transformational American figure." But Ryan should probably save the breathless praise for whenever that potential translates into something real.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.