On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) dodged questions about president-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of well-known white supremacist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Ryan proclaimed that it is time to “look forward” and not backward at Bannon’s vile history as executive of Breitbart, a right-wing site that coddles the alt-right.
When asked about the real issues many Americans have with the appointment of an anti-Semitic racist, Ryan responded:
“The president is going to be judged on his results. [Bannon] is a person who helped him win an incredible victory and an incredible campaign. The president is going to be judged on the results of this administration. And that’s why we’re very eager to get up and running, to help him with his transition, to help him make progress on the mandate that has been given to us from the American people.”
It’s interesting that Paul Ryan is so quick to dismiss questions about Bannon and act as if the American people should just focus on the president-elect when the Republican party failed to give President Obama the same courtesy. The GOP relentlessly attacked Obama for his ties to his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright because the pastor made some questionable statements about America. But now, when Trump has actually hired someone who allowed his website to publish anti-Semitic, misogynistic, racist garbage, we aren’t supposed to talk about that.
Furthermore, Ryan’s claim of a “mandate” is just as insulting as his refusal to discuss Bannon’s sordid past. Donald Trump did not receive a mandate from the American people, Hillary Clinton did by winning the popular vote (by 800,000 votes and counting). Ironically, four years ago when President Obama won the popular vote and the Electoral College, Ryan was asked,”Does Barack Obama now have a mandate?”, to which he replied,“I don’t think so.”
The hypocrisy on the right is absolutely overwhelming and Ryan just did a fantastic job of highlighting it.