Speaker of the House Paul Ryan joined Fox News’s Megyn Kelly on February 22 to talk about the presidential primaries and upcoming election. During the sometimes testy exchange, Ryan makes it clear that if Republicans win the White House in November they intend to subject Americans to a variety of new laws designed to shape the country the way they think it should be – and not for the better.
Kelly starts out by sharing the suggestion made by some that Ryan and congressional Republicans are to blame for the rise of Donald Trump. The reason she offers is that the legislation that has been passed by congress has not contained language authorizing some of the pet projects of the far right. She also mentions that the recently passed budget bill funded things like sanctuary cities and the “refugee program.” After reading her laundry list Kelly says that many voters think that the Republicans in congress “don’t get it.”
Ryan bristles a bit at that, and somewhat condescendingly but accurately replies that this is what happens when you have divided government, with one party controlling congress and the other party in the White House. “The problem with divided government,” he says, “is you can’t get everything you want.”
That brings Kelly to the word that Republicans hate: compromise. Again, Ryan feels the need to explain how the American system of government works, and how under our system, compromise is necessary. Fox News viewers may not understand this, but our government is built on compromise. If people are angry because nothing is getting done, it is because the GOP has refused to compromise on almost everything since Barack Obama has been president.
Kelly brings up that many observers believe that Democrats will re-take the Senate in this election. Ryan disagrees somewhat, saying that he thinks if a Republican wins the presidency, the GOP will also hold onto the Senate. He has good reason to believe that. Two of the states that Republicans will have to win to take the White House — Ohio and Florida — have Senate elections this year. If those states go for the GOP presidential candidate, it is likely they will also go Republican for Senate. Democrats would then have to “run the table” in the remaining toss-up states to come out with a Senate majority.
This is where the conversation gets scary. After saying that “everything is up for grabs in 2016,” Ryan poses this rhetorical question:
The question before us in 2016 is are we going to reclaim a constitutional republic, or are we going to go down this path of having this liberal progressive welfare state that President Obama has been building?
Ryan then says that House Republicans have an agenda that they are going to present to voters in the spring. He says that agenda will give voters “a clear and compelling choice.” He tells Kelly that the agenda will say to Americans “here is what we can do with a Republican president in 2017, if you elect us.”
Anybody remember Newt Gingrich and his “Contract With America?” It sounds like Paul Ryan is ready to roll out version 2.0. Fortunately during the first GOP “contract,” there was a Democrat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But if we give Republicans total control of Washington again, like they had from January 2001 to January 2007, we would be foolish to expect anything different from what we got then. Whether it is Bernie or Hillary, Paul Ryan just laid out the reasons why we must keep the White House in Democratic hands.
Here’s Paul Ryan’s interview, via Fox News:
Featured image via Fox News screen capture