Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) handily won reelection as Speaker of the House of Representatives. His remarks upon being reelected were audacious in their abundant references to love of country, even as his party continues to stymie attempts to investigate foreign interference in the election and their president-elect's egregious ties to Russia.
Rep. Paul Ryan was reelected as Speaker of the House today, maintaining his position as third in line to the presidency.
During remarks following his reelection, Ryan expressed "optimism" for the impending Donald Trump presidency and waxed poetic about the patriotism of House members — despite the fact that his party endeavors to stymie efforts to investigate Russian interference in the election, prevents investigations of President-elect Donald Trump's ties to Russia, and refuses to address the Constitutional crisis that his presidency will provoke on Day One.
Ryan is not concerned about any of these urgent threats to our democratic systems. To the contrary, he cites Trump's presidency as a "yet another new beginning — a new chance to work toward that more perfect union."
The "clash of opinions…the hue and cry of campaigns…the rancor and the dissension" of the campaign "dissolve in the silent and peaceful transfer of power," he said — incredibly ignoring that Trump's transition has been anything but silent or peaceful, by any reasonable definitions, and casually eliding his own legislative efforts to quell dissent among Congressional Democrats.
Ryan then went on to audaciously praise the patriotism of his colleagues:
For all our arguments and all our differences, we are all united by a deep, abiding love of our country. It is the slender but sturdy thread that holds us together. We always forget about it. But it has never failed us. That is why when the votes are counted and the people have spoken, all of us accept the verdict. We come back from the campaign trail. We put away the yard signs. And today, as one body, we pledge allegiance to one flag: the red, white, and blue.
Quite a spectacularly audacious claim, given that his party's most basic patriotism is in question, as a result of their jaw-dropping indifference to intelligence reports about Russian interference in the presidential election; Trump's own ties to Putin and those of a number of his cabinet nominees; and Trump's conflicts of interests so vast they subvert the nation's interests and raise "the specter of treason."
Trump's continual praise of Putin alone raises serious, urgent, concerning questions about the President-elect's allegiance to this nation.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
The fact that he tweets about his "enemies" in the United States raises questions about his loyalty to the people of this nation, whom he is meant to represent.
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
To recap: Yesterday Trump tweets high praise of Putin. Today Trump tweets abt his "enemies" in the United States.
This is rank disloyalty.
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) December 31, 2016
Meanwhile, Ryan stands on the floor of Congress and speaks without a trace of irony or self-awareness about "a deep, abiding love of our country" and pledging "allegiance to one flag: the red, white, and blue." If Ryan and his Congressional compatriots love this country so much, then why are they diligently nurturing their capacity to ignore the significant betrayal to this country being waged by the president-elect from their own party?
Ryan has no business talking about love of country when his party is endeavoring to see it destroyed from every angle — from their own regressive agenda, to their indifference to Trump's campaign of capitulation.
"Find one person in this House," he said in his prepared remarks, "who doesn’t want the best for America."
Someone hand the Speaker a mirror.