House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) in the Rose Garden at the White House on May 4, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Michael Gerson’s obituary of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s political career, “How history will judge Ryan ” [op-ed, April 13], was a whitewash, trying to deflect blame for Mr. Ryan’s failures.

Mr. Ryan (R-Wis.) got what he wanted: a huge tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class (whose gains will expire). In the process, he will leave a massive national debt that his party will use as leverage to cut benefits and services for the non-wealthy. For a drinker of Ayn Rand Kool-Aid, this is a win-win. It will help weed out the “losers” while enriching what has become the American oligarchy. That was his goal from the day he read “Atlas Shrugged.” He seemingly never got over his schoolboy infatuation with Rand’s glaringly incomplete vision of society.

So he is no failure in his own eyes: He can walk away saying, “My work here is done!” The fact is that he lucked out by having a mean-spirited president to work with. President Trump was a useful tool to Mr. Ryan, not a stumbling block.

Howard Schmitt, Green Tree, Pa.