After months of singing the same old song, media outlets have grudgingly – and certainly temporarily – relegated Stormy Daniels to the closet in favor of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his announcement of imminent retirement.  As expected, no one seems to be boohooing one iota, but there’s a lot of speculation in the Swamp as to why, and where Republicans go from here this close to midterm elections.

Attempting to draw out both Democrats and Republicans in middle America, the open-ended question on social media was, “Ryan retires, now what?” It drew quick fire from conservatives in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Arizona (yes, Arizona is a bit farther west, but the commenter was originally from Indiana – and she’s my mother).

Say What?

Lucy Cowgill, a retired insurance executive, has lived in most of the flyover states and retains her Midwestern values.  A staunch Trump conservative, her response was swift:

“It’s time. He got his tax policy implemented, but he was too often working against (at least not supporting) President Trump. The Republicans have got to get together, QUICK.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan

It’s a common topic of conversation with Trump supporters – either those from the beginning in 2015, or the ones who have stingily admitted they are enjoying the turn-around America is experiencing.  It’s safe to say many of those on the fence fell solidly into Camp Trump after the State of The Union unveiled unemployment numbers, successful tax reform, and national security.  There was a small speed bump on the road to midterms, panicked chatter regarding “taking guns first,” followed by a pork-laden Bi-Partisan Omnibus bill, but there may be a window for retraction on several items, which has stemmed the teeth gnashing of diehard conservatives.

Mike Culver, a small business owner in the oil and gas country of Farmington, New Mexico, was one such conservative.  But that hasn’t dimmed his view of the damaging gridlock and game playing within the Republican party.  Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, a conservative agenda must always be furthered, and Ryan has been a detractor and thorn in the side of progress.  With a smiley face emoji, his comment was, “Draining the Swamp.”

From Curtis Wilcox, a retired IT executive, we get a sketch of today’s political circus:

“I like Ryan. He is somewhat conservative while steering clear out of the far right views but then again, I liked Boehner’s too. I’m curious who the “next puppet” will be and I think it’ll be Scalise. He seems to [be] pretty ballsy to me although McCarthy seems to fit the “puppet mold” a little better. To me, it’s all a sham for a nation of sheep, that has been lied to for so long, they don’t know who or what to believe, who keep looking down at their smartphones instead of looking up and wondering what the hell’s going on in the world before our eyes these days.”

Close in opinion, another New Mexican, G John Baugh, offered his insight into Ryan’s inability to herd the sheep, “I think he lived inside the problem, neither (Ryan or Boehner) really worked for a solution behind the scenes.”

Anyone Have a Map?

After spending more than two decades in the Swamp; as an intern, Hill staffer, and at tough times, a waiter, Ryan will at least exit with one huge checkmark in the win column; he accomplished his one true goal of overhauling the tax system.  Now, all eyes will focus on Wisconsin’s First Congressional District this November, and although liberals are licking their chops, it seems more likely that Republicans will retain the seat soon to be vacated by Ryan. The Trump base appears solid throughout flyover states.   Mitch Wade, an entrepreneur from Arkansas, perhaps said it best: “Any way a conservative can be the speaker? Sick of these no backbones RINO’s.”  To which we say, Amen, Mr. Wade, Amen.


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Sarah Cowgill

National Columnist at

Sarah has been a writer in the political and corporate worlds for over 25 years. As a sought-after speech writer, her clients included CEOs, U.S. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and even a Vice President. She’s worked as Contributing Editor at Scottsdale Life, a news reporter for the Journal and Courier, and guest opinion political writer for numerous publications nationwide. A born storyteller, Sarah has published a full-length book and is currently finishing a quirky, sarcastic, second novel.



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