This is the last weak Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) straw this writer can handle, given the act of war declared on this country as Republicans look the other way with their hand held out to the enemy for election help.
The Speaker of the House said on Tuesday in the Czech Republic that the U.S. and its allies should condemn Russia for meddling in elections and launching cyber attacks.
“It is important that we work in solidarity with each other, free people in democracies to stop Russia and condemn Russia for this kind of belligerent activity,” Ryan said.”Whether it is the specific activity in Britain or the fact that Russia is trying to sow chaos with disinformation and meddle in democracies in other countries. That is violating the sovereignty of other countries.”
This is the same Speaker Ryan who in February fired, or “went in another direction” by not renewing his contract, Matthew Masterson, the head of a federal commission whose job involves protecting our election systems from cyber attacks by Russia, which have been identified as vulnerable to attack in the upcoming midterms. Ryan did this on his own whim and that of President Trump’s.
Masterson was chosen by Republican former Speaker John Boehner, which makes this even more odd.
“It is pretty remarkable that in this environment, given the importance of this issue, that the speaker would choose this moment to not reappoint the person doing the most work in this area,” said Judd Choate, Colorado’s election director and the immediate past president of the National Association of State Election Directors told Reuters.
Ryan has said he doesn’t believe it’s necessary to pass legislation to protect Mueller’s Russia probe, even as the President has gone on a firing rampage of stunningly brazen proportions that shame even disgraced former President Nixon.
This is the same Speaker who praised Devin Nunes’ investigation into a transition team he participated in. An investigation that was used to do anything but actually investigate Trump Russia ties/collusion.
In fact, with the Nunes memo, Ryan was outed for possibly playing a role in the Republican efforts to cover up for any Trump complicity with the Russians. Top Democrats have asked Ryan if his staff was involved in drafting the memo. “Quite simply, under your leadership, dangerous partisanship among many House Republicans seems to have taken precedent over the oath we all take to protect our nation,” Schumer wrote.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also sent a letter to Ryan demanding that he put action behind his words, “It is long overdue that you, as Speaker, put an end to this charade and hold Congressman Nunes and all Congressional Republicans accountable to the oath they have taken to support and defend the Constitution, and protect the American people.”
Speaker Ryan has mastered the art of saying something that sounds like it means something, but does not actually mean anything, except that he is bending in the direction of convenience and political gain. Perhaps such lack of integrity is to be expected in a Speaker who has tied himself to a clearly – at best- unfit president. But it matters.
This time Ryan’s failure to find any kind of spine he could rely upon to do his Constitutional duty to defend this country is a danger to democracy itself. Sure, Ryan thinks everyone should “condemn” Russia, and yes some national security experts say that the expulsion of the 60 Russian diplomats was a strong move. But in point of fact, what the Republicans have done is spend zero dollars of the $120 million allotted to the State Department for election security and undermine the concept of democratic elections at every turn.
All talk, no action. That’s Speaker Ryan. The same Speaker who has put his toe in the door every time it threatened to slam shut on Russian access to our elections. When he speaks, much like President Trump himself only with a more polished veneer, Paul Ryan says nothing at all.
If a Democratic Speaker were enabling an ongoing act of war against this country because it benefited the Democratic Party and President, Republicans would be screaming treason so loudly and without pause that the country would do as it always does and eventually give in without evidence. In this case, the evidence is already established that the Russians attacked this country in an act of war. And Ryan is doing nothing but making sure his toe leaves the door open.
(Additional reporting by Reuters reporters Michael Kahn in Prague and Dustin Volz)
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ 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.