Not that I do, but you could almost feel sorry for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for having to put up with Donald Trump in the White House for the next four years. I say “almost” because even though during the campaign Ryan seemed to indicate he didn’t like some of Trump’s more bombastic and frankly fascistic tendencies — like Muslim registries and giant, expensive, useless border walls — since Trump has been elected, the Dudebro of the House has pretty much shown a willingness to roll over whenever Trump asks him to. Today was no different.
Most of us on the left are turned off to Trump for a number of reasons, but I can’t understand why Americans of all political stripes aren’t tremendously skeptical of Trump’s business connections somehow not influencing his governance. He has a stake in Carrier. The call with Taiwan that ruffled China’s feathers? Well, he’s had plans to expand his business operations in that country for some time now. Before he’s even been sworn-in, the man is a walking, talking conflict of interest.
But Speaker Ryan, whose job it is to be the constitutional counterbalance to Trump’s executive powers? He told CNBC today he’s literally not “concerned” about Trump’s seemingly perfectly placed position to be corrupted.
“This is not what I’m concerned about in Congress. … I’m focused on getting this agenda passed so that we can turn around and tackle this country’s big problems before they tackle us. That is what I’m focused on and not the legal details of how he divorces himself from his business, which I know he will,” he added. (source)
But don’t worry, fellow Americans! Paul’s thought about it, and he’s totally sure Trump will divest himself from the companies he slaps his name all over.
“I have every bit of confidence he’s going to get himself right with moving himself from the business guy that he is to the president he’s going to be,” Ryan on Wednesday told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” (source)
I have every bit of confidence Trump will “get himself right” too. Then again, I had every confidence he couldn’t be elected without releasing his tax records too, so what the fuck do I know? But hey, maybe I’m being paranoid. This is Paul Ryan here! He was a tough opponent for President Obama for eight years, holding the president’s feet to the fire over and over again. If anyone understands how important it is for congress to keep the president in check, it’s Paul Ryan!
No way would Paul Ryan just hand Trump a free pass on something so important as the potential quid pro quo corruption of the most powerful man in the world, right? It’s not like he’d just give him carte blanche to handle his potential conflicts of interests however Trump wants to, right?
Asked how Trump should address the conflicts of interest, Ryan responded, “However he wants to.” (source)
I guess for the next four years instead of having checks and balances on the executive, Trump’s going to have a blank check he never has to worry about balancing his checkbook. Oh, America .
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.