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Here, Enjoy Your Shouty Tim Ryan!
An attempt to overthrow democracy is worth getting angry about. So's an attempt to paper it over.
As we've already mentioned, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill authorizing the creation of an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. Now the bill goes to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell is determined to bury it because too much talk about the attempt to overthrow democracy is awfully inconvenient for Republicans. For those keeping score, Republicans also fought to block and limit the scope of the actual 9/11 commission, because George W. Bush's failure to see the threat he'd been briefed on didn't come off looking quite so heroic, and by the time the commission was finally set up in late 2002, Bush had a war to monger in Iraq, and there were the midterms to worry about, too.
But before yesterday's 252 to 175 vote in the House, with all of 35 Republicans finding a modicum of courage to do the right thing, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) had a few comments for the Republicans who were more interested in sending the violent insurrection down the memory hole. He started with a note of thanks to those 35 Republicans, particularly Rep. John Katko (R-New York), who negotiated the bipartisan framework for the legislation with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi).
As for the rest of the House Republicans, Ryan didn't hold anything back:
(A quick aside: The Hill's social media team should be SPANKED for their YouTube headings.)
Ryan wasn't too happy about "the other 90 percent of our friends on the other side of the aisle," who put their party above discovering the truth.
RYAN: Holy cow. Incoherent. No idea what you're talking about.
Benghazi, you guys chased the former secretary of State all over the country, spent millions of dollars. We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol Police with lead pipes across the head, and we can't get bipartisanship. What else has to happen in this country?
Ryan, who's planning a run for Rob Portman's Senate seat in 2022, may have been free associating a bit, but he certainly wasn't incoherent. He called the Republican opposition to the investigation a "slap in the face" to law enforcement, and moved quickly to the Problem with Republicans: They've just plain given up on governing, and on reality itself, for the sake of an agenda that's all trolling, all the time.
RYAN: If we're gonna take on China, if we're gonna rebuild the country, if we're gonna reverse climate change, we need two political parties in this country that are both living in reality, and you ain't one of them!
The clip quickly went viral, with one clip on Twitter getting over three million views by this morning. Guess Ryan's outrage at the constant Republican obstructionism — especially the bizarre arguments that the insurrection was really no big deal at all — struck a nerve with a lot of people. This is all so infuriating.
But Wonkette's Stephen Robinson offered a bit of caution for folks out there saying every single progressive should be as angry as Tim Ryan. Maybe let's remember that a big part of what's wrong with this damned republic is that only some people are allowed to be angry in public with few consequences:
All I ask whenever someone suggests that Democrats should be as angry as a white guy is that we at least acknowledg… https: //t.co/lZdTcs83Ia
— Stephen Robinson (@Stephen Robinson) 1621466890.0
For a contrast, look at the great restraint exercised by Val Demings (D-Florida), who went with firm moral seriousness, right down to a Bible verse. That approach has a very good place alongside anger. She too plans to run for Senate, and we'll take her Bible thoughts over Marco Rubio's any day. (Can you imagine the furor in rightwing media if she'd gone waving her arms around like Ryan?)
We need an independent commission, and a vote against it is a vote for a coverup. "Choose ye this day whom you wil… https: //t.co/FwGDafhzLN
— Rep. Val Demings (@Rep. Val Demings) 1621461057.0
In conclusion, we started out with a feel-good clip of a white guy getting shouty and ended on a half-worked-out reflection on race and political discourse, and we're OK with that, because it really might be good if we all thought about all this more.
We could call it a critical theory of some sort, about race and power in America.
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