Actually existing Ryan has always been a con man — someone playing the part of Serious, Honest Conservative, but never doing a very good job of it. His budgets were always fraudulent in obvious ways, full of trillion-dollar magic asterisks and spectacular evasions. But he has consistently been portrayed in news reports and analysis as an earnest policy wonk. Why?
Krugman thinks that the reason he’s portrayed as honest comes from within the Republican strategy, but I’d argue that more blame lies with the news agencies themselves. Corporate news are corporations too, and they want to policies that are equitable to them and their affiliates and subsidiaries. So they portray politicians that are sympathetic to them in similarly sympathetic light.
As much as I loathe Trump’s public lies, racism, sexism, and casual fascism, his sentiment towards the Republican establishment is well placed, and because of their years of deceiving the people with wedge issues, they deserve every bit of the mess he made of their primary and legitimacy.