Thursday, June 15, 2017

Taking care of its own: The House reaction to the shootings

Taking care of its own:  The House reaction to the shootings

“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family.  We are being tested right now.”  Speaker Paul Ryan[1]

The Speaker’s comment, which received a standing ovation from his democratic and republican colleagues, left me depressed and angry.  Mr. Ryan spoke as Speaker of the House.  His speech focused on protecting the institution and thereby fostered unity among all of its members.  However, Mr. Ryan is Speaker of the House of Representatives.   Mr. Ryan and his colleagues are supposed to represent all of America.  As has become intolerably obvious, Congress fosters its own interests, those of its financiers, those of its constituents, and then the public interest, in that order.  It’s no wonder that Congress is seen as a failed institution in most polls.  Speaker Ryan’s comments only reinforce this conclusion.

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston, the Pulse Night Club, Ferguson.  Congress hasn’t done a thing about any of these incidents.  However, you can be sure that it will take action to protect itself.  Member security will be improved, just as Congress has given itself excellent health insurance coverage and retirement benefits.

I’m glad that the Speaker and Minority Leader Pelosi exchanged kind words in the wake of the shootings in Arlington, Virginia.  However, they are supposed to be leading the people’s house, and they never undertake business that benefits the people.


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