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Paul Ryan’s Failure Is Now Complete

Paul Ryan’s failure [1] as Speaker of the House is complete:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday that President Trump has broad authority to attack Syria, precluding the need for Congress to act beforehand.

“The existing AUMF gives him the authority he needs to do what he may or may not do,” Ryan said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

Ryan has always been a predictable partisan loyalist and supporter of whatever a Republican president has wanted to do, so it is not surprising that he won’t stand up for Congress’ proper role in matters of war. Because he is Speaker of House, his usual abject cowardice is especially damaging at a time when the country needs Congressional leaders to reassert the legislative branch’s prerogatives against an overreaching executive. He had an opportunity last fall to let the House vote on H.Con.Res.81 to end U.S. support for the war on Yemen, but instead he made sure that it was torpedoed in a maneuver to prevent the resolution from coming to the floor. Now he has a chance to bring Trump’s likely attack on Syria up for a debate and vote, and instead he runs from his obligations in the most pathetic fashion possible.

Ryan just announced his retirement earlier this week in a tacit admission that the Republicans are about to lose control of the House, so he is theoretically freed from worrying about the electoral implications of his actions for the rest of his current term. I guess twenty years of time-serving and falling in line behind bad party leaders have accustomed him to doing the wrong thing in the name of party loyalty and not rocking the boat. Needless to say, Ryan’s legal argument is a bad joke. The 2001 AUMF cannot possibly apply to the use of force against the Syrian government, and it is an insult to the intelligence of every American to suggest that it does. Ryan’s misrepresentation of the 2001 AUMF is another reason why the authorization should be repealed as soon as possible. The political cover he is providing for an illegal attack on another state is one more reason why we should be glad that Ryan won’t be in government starting next year. Ryan has betrayed the institution he is supposed to lead and he has violated the oath of office that he swore when he took office.

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7 Comments To "Paul Ryan’s Failure Is Now Complete"

#1 Comment By Good Riddance On April 12, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

I’m glad the bastard is gone. He saved us the trouble of kicking him the **** out. What a disgrace he was. Every bit a match for Trump in unconstitutional presumption, corrupt political dealings, and the sheer extent of the damage he did to government institutions and the country as a whole. We’ll be paying for his incredible budget blowout for decades.

As as you note, the pretense that the 2001 AUMF covers Syria is particularly vile, the more so for being completely gratuitous.

But it’s just what you’d expect of an Eric Cantor buddy, isn’t it? Maybe Ryan will invite his “Young Guns” chum Cantor in feasting on their government connections at whatever Wall Street bank he’s working for …

#2 Comment By KevinS On April 12, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

Hard to believe, but his replacement will be worse (though the Reps will not be in the majority in a year)….

#3 Comment By Duncan On April 12, 2018 @ 10:47 pm

Good Riddance: Just as a matter of fact, Ryan is not gone. He hasn’t resigned, he hasn’t left office. He’ll be Speaker until next January. He has plenty of time to do more damage, and as DL noted, he doesn’t have to worry about the electoral consequences of what he does. So don’t get too excited yet.

#4 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On April 13, 2018 @ 7:11 am

They call him an intellectual!. Sing it.

#5 Comment By Roy Fassel On April 13, 2018 @ 11:59 am

This RINO group will go down in history as total charlatans. Never in history has a party cut taxes at the time the stock market was making new highs while the unemployment was near record lows during a period of the second longest uninterrupted economic expansion in American history WHILE THE DEFICITS WERE EXPLODING. This economic farse will be written about in all the future economic history books as the biggest blunder in history. THIS WILL NOT END WELL.

#6 Comment By Fran Macadam On April 13, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

“Ryan’s misrepresentation of the 2001 AUMF is another reason why the authorization should be repealed as soon as possible.”

The consensus interpretation of the Washington political duopoly, whether neoliberal or neoconservative, is that the AUMF is the authorization for a general, generational or “infinite” war in support of official U.S. policy, “Full Spectrum Dominance” over the entire world

#7 Comment By b. On April 13, 2018 @ 4:59 pm

Where are the LBJs and Nixons when you need them, the flawed men that have some ambition and some vision amongst all their mortal dysfunctions?

In a country of decline and sunset, even the dwarfs cast long shadows. Are Ryan and Pelosi the best that this nation can muster? Is it too much to ask for miscreants that have some remedial quality to them, some hint that there is more to man than petty corruption?