Conservative breaks down how Tim Ryan 'reinforced' J.D. Vance’s 'Trump lackey' status during their debate

Conservative breaks down how Tim Ryan 'reinforced' J.D. Vance’s 'Trump lackey' status during their debate
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On Monday night, October 10, the main candidates in Ohio’s 2022 U.S. Senate race — Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan and the Republican nominee, “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance — held a heated debate, exchanging countless insults. It remains to be seen whether or not the debate will be a game-changer in the close, highly competitive race; some polls released in late September or early October showed Vance slightly ahead, while others showed Ryan with a slim lead. But Never Trump conservative Mona Charen views Ryan as the clear winner of the debate, arguing that the Democratic congressman showed Vance to be a “beta male” and exposed his “weakness.”

“At least one Democrat has started to figure out how to exploit a GOP weakness,” Charen writes in an article published by the conservative website The Bulwark on October 12. “He’s Tim Ryan, who is running against J.D. Vance for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat. Ohio should be a romp for Vance, as (Donald) Trump won the state in 2020 by 8 points. Instead, the race appears tight. What has Ryan figured out? He’s calling out Vance as a beta male.”

Charen continues, “Look, in a different world — say, the planet Vulcan — where the inhabitants, like Mr. Spock, were unburdened by primitive passions and instincts, everyone would make decisions about political candidates based entirely upon rational policy choices. But that’s not how human beings operate. Part of politics is about policies, of course. But beneath the surface — and these days, not very far beneath the surface — political combat partakes of the dog park. There are rituals of alpha dominance and beta submission.”

READ MORE: Tim Ryan mercilessly mocks JD Vance for being a Trump flunky

Ryan, according to Charen, has found Vance’s vulnerability: a need to be subservient to former President Donald Trump.

“Trump’s image as some sort of Rambo persists with his most perfervid followers, and even some non-MAGAites continue to see him as strong,” Charen observes. “But there’s a trapdoor here for Republicans, and Tim Ryan has recognized it. Most Democrats have responded to the Trump alpha gorilla routine by reminding voters that he’s dangerous and unhinged, and that he has violated norms essential to civil society, legitimate governance and ordinary decency. That’s fine as far as it goes. It’s all true.”

Charen continues, “But in the process of strutting as cock of the walk, Trump has emasculated every other Republican. He may look strong, but he demands that every other Republican become weak in his service. That satisfies, or partially satiates, Trump’s need for obeisance. But it presents a problem for the toadies who want to be considered leaders too. Men like Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have abased themselves to remain in Trump’s good graces.”

During the October 10 debate, Ryan slammed the ultra-MAGA Vance as a knee-jerk puppet of Trump — who has been campaigning for him.

READ MORE: GOP Nominee Blake Masters scrubs website of core positions and shifts blame to LGBTQ and Black people

“Reminding viewers that he had stood up to leaders of his own party, including Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders, (Ryan) noted that Vance was such a Trump lackey that even Trump had described it in those terms,” Charen explains. “Pressing the point, he recalled that even after Trump had ‘taken his dignity away from him,’ Vance had returned to the stage to shake Trump’s hand and smile for the camera. Hitting the everyman theme, Ryan offered, almost with pity, that ‘I don’t know anyone I grew up with, anyone I went to high school with, who would allow someone to take their dignity like that and then get back on stage.’”

Charen continues, “Ryan thus simultaneously elevated his own alpha status while reinforcing Vance’s weakness. Every Republican who has bent the knee to Trump — male or female — is vulnerable in this way. Ryan has taught Democrats something.”

READ MORE: 'Values don’t matter': Conservative slams evangelicals for sticking by Herschel Walker

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