Yeah. Not really sure where to dive in here, because Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) press conference Tuesday morning about ISIS and the Syrian refugees could have just as easily been had with Sarah Palin.
Licking his lips in excitement given his new leadership role, Ryan’s presser was riddled with inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and claimed ignorance.
So, I’ll just press go randomly, lest I get caught in the quicksand of denial.
“It’s clear that this was an act of war,” Ryan said of the Paris attacks. So the Republican has a bill that will demand that President Obama do what he’s already done, that is — come up with a strategy to “defeat ISIS”.
“Containment has failed,” Ryan announced grimly, as if he were unaware that containment is only part of the current strategy.
Ryan claimed ignorance of President Obama’s plan to deal with ISIS, which is odd, because the President has spoken very publicly about the plans. Ryan complained that the President needs to have a strategy to defeat not just contain ISIS, “Containing ISIS is not enough. Defeating ISIS is what is necessary and we do not have that comprehensive plan in place.”
Well, actually we do have a strategy in place. Does the new Speaker really not know about it or is he just pretending that he doesn’t know about it in order to make the President look bad? Because that’s mature and exactly the kind of problem-solving focus the world needs right now from Republicans.
Here’s a quick round up of the strategy, in case anyone wants to forward it to a Republican as an act of goodwill.
I guess if Speaker Ryan were in charge, he’d talk meanly to ISIL and that would be that (I wish I were kidding, but several Republican presidential candidates have suggested that a stern talking to would do ISIL in). Too bad President Obama never thought of that.
Paul Ryan also went a little W and said, and this will matter later so bookmark it, that the Paris attacks were “an act of war” and that President Obama has the authority to use military force against ISIS under the 2001 AUMF originally intended for the “war on terror” in Afghanistan.
So mark that little admission because Republicans love to press Obama to do something, accuse him of doing nothing, and then when he does something, threaten to impeach.
Ryan told NBC News that “all options” should be on the table for the President, including boots on the ground.
This is the only thing Ryan said that makes any sense, because quite literally the only thing that Republicans can offer that is any different from Obama’s strategy to go after ISIL is full out occupation of every country they are in or thinking of going.
Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to know that we vet the refugees, so he thinks we need to press “pause” in the refugee settlement plan. Or rather, he’s pretending that he doesn’t know this, which is even worse than not actually knowing it, and does set him apart from Sarah Palin in that she actually did not know the things she was ignorant about.
“This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry so we think the prudent, responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.”
Oh, thank God for Speaker Ryan, y’all, ‘cuz you know President Obama would never have thought to ask if people were terrorists first.
After the UNHCR refers a refugee applicant to the United States, the application is processed by a federally funded Resettlement Support Center, which gathers information about the candidate to prepare for an intensive screening process, which includes an interview, a medical evaluation and an interagency security screening process aimed at ensuring the refugee does not pose a threat to the United States.
Several federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are involved in the process, which Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner recently called, “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.”
While there are legitimate issues with the vetting process, those issues are something Paul Ryan and the band of nihilistic Tea Party big hats in the House can’t fix because they stem from a lack of information available in Syria and from the fact that until someone is on the radar, they are off of the radar.
Ryan seems to be under the misguided impression that he is in charge of the pause button, but he is not. As CNN pointed out, President Obama has the authority to set the annual number of refugee admission quotas per section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. He just has to “brief” Congress on what he’s decided.
So basically Ryan is going to do a bunch of things that President Obama already did, only Ryan doesn’t seem to know Obama did them, so Republicans will just slow things down some more so they can take credit for standing up to Obama, in order to cave to Obama later when it turns out that they actually have no new ideas.
Oh, except boots on the ground everywhere. All of the time. That’s totally new. I’ll bet you never saw that one coming.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.