A week ago, Paul Ryan looked doomed. Now, he looks really, truly doomed.
The Wisconsin Republican, who achieved national prominence as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012, seems more likely than ever to become the next speaker of the House. A devout man of faith, he will need your prayers.
When incumbent John Boehner announced his resignation, Ryan made clear he did not want the job. Who on earth would? Boehner spent his whole tenure trying -- and failing -- to corral ultraconservative Republicans into a working majority.
GOP victories in the 2010 midterm election had swept into office a group of nihilistic renegades who believe the way to change Washington is to blow it up.
Now calling themselves the Freedom Caucus, these 40 or so legislative bomb-throwers insisted on fighting battles they had no chance of winning and repeatedly took the country to the brink of calamity.