In 1933, Franz von Papen was hungry for revenge.
Having been ousted as chancellor of Germany through political subterfuge, he wanted payback against the former ally who had succeeded him. So he struck a new alliance, this one with Adolf Hitler, leader of a rising popular movement called the Nazis, and maneuvered to have him appointed chancellor. Von Papen didn't think much of his partner. Like most political observers, he considered Hitler a noisy buffoon. Von Papen was certain he could control him once in power.
House Speaker Paul Ryan seems to have made a similar calculation last week in endorsing another noisy buffoon, Donald Trump.
He is not, of course, the first...