Christian doctrine teaches that God is a Holy Trinity. Wisconsin Republicans believe in the opposite: the unholy trinity of Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan.
Recall that Scott Walker was among Donald Trump’s harshest critics during last year’s Republican presidential primaries. In fact, when Walker dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination, he challenged other candidates to follow his lead, to winnow the field and eliminate the embarrassment of Trump before it was too late.
Trump has turned out to be far worse than Walker ever imagined. But no matter: The governor’s disapproval of Trump was, like his other policies, up for sale. Walker’s now an ally. As one hand washes the other, Trump visited Wisconsin June 13 for a high-ticket Walker fundraiser.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also was once at the forefront of the anti-Trump resistance. But now, he too has experienced a corrupt conversion. Behold Paul Ryan: standing behind the president’s shoulder at microphones and bill-signing ceremonies, beaming with a smile of rapture.
Further strengthening the alliance, Ryan recently dismissed Trump’s attempt to obstruct justice as the harmless mistake of a political novice.
So, what’s the unholy trinity up to?
They’re climate-change deniers who oppose environmental protections, whether they’re designed to protect the earth or save communities from deadly water and air pollution.
The three are eager to sell publicly held land to corporate giants to exploit, so that a handful of phenomenally wealthy families can become even richer.
Trump, Walker and Ryan all oppose in some measure Social Security, Medicare and federal Medicaid benefits (Walker’s already asked Trump for a waiver on the last of those).
There is no sunlight separating these three when it comes to giving tax breaks to people so rich they’d have to work full-time just to spend their money. These breaks come, of course, with the promise that the money will be used to create jobs — a rare outcome in practice.
Just look at Wisconsin. The GOP doled out $300 million in taxpayer money last year to the rich to invest in creating and expanding businesses that would create manufacturing jobs. But the politically connected beneficiaries of the Republicans’ largesse took the money and ran — while the state’s manufacturing sector eliminated nearly 4,000 jobs.
And, despite all that money for growth, the state ranked dead last in new business startups.
In their re-election bids next year, Walker and Ryan are going to join Trump in pooh-poohing unfavorable statistics as “fake news.” Walker and Ryan will join Trump in asking you to believe their spin and lies about economic conditions — and sadly, large numbers of tribal Republicans will go along with the charade.
If Trump still has a significant base in Wisconsin next year, expect Walker and Ryan to remain his devoted acolytes. If not, perhaps the unholy trinity will dissolve, at least until after the election.
Walker and Ryan might have better mental health and impulse control than Trump. But that’s the extent of their differences, and the time to start looking honestly at that fact is now.