AS DONALD Trump was building a campaign on lies, bigotry, insults, fearmongering and unreason, a few Republican leaders of apparent principle offered some resistance. Foremost among them was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). In March, Mr. Ryan insisted that “all of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency” and that “we shouldn’t accept ugliness as the norm.”
On Thursday Mr. Ryan capitulated to ugliness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Americans who hoped that some Republican leaders would have the fortitude to put principle over partisanship, job security or the forlorn fantasy that Mr. Trump will advance a traditional GOP agenda.
Explaining his belated endorsement of Mr. Trump in a home-state newspaper, the speaker said that conversations with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee have reassured him. Mr. Trump will help turn House GOP ideas into law, Mr. Ryan said, in a way that a President Hillary Clinton would not.