Paul Ryan has never been a profile in courage, but his latest move to oust the House chaplain is beyond the pale.
According to a report by The Hill citing lawmakers from both parties, Paul Ryan pushed the House chaplain to resign, forcing him out of the job he’s held for seven years.
Why did Paul Ryan, a self-described devout Catholic and one who’s retiring, decide to scoot Conroy through the door on his way out? According to reports, it may have been because Republicans felt the Jesuit priest was “aligned with Democrats.” The role of the Chaplain is to open up sessions of the House with a (non-partisan) prayer.
The GOP apparently got salty about one of the prayers Conroy gave during the tax bill debate, see if you can find the objectionable part:
“May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
Uh, ok? Seems pretty non-partisan to me. Even Trump ran on the idea that wealth inequality was a problem. A GOP aide is disputing that story, but there are a couple Democratic sources backing it up and Paul Ryan definitely has a history of caving to the whiny Tea Party base.
Shivving the Catholic House Chaplain on his way out is a fitting end to Paul Ryan’s embarrassing Speakership and career. Ryan loves to pretend like he wants to help the poor—a class of people he derided as “takers” in 2012—even going so far as to claim that’s what he’ll dedicate his retirement to. In reality it’s just a facade, a performance of empathy in place of the real thing. (Remember when he pretended to wash dishes at a soup kitchen?) When confronted with actual empathy from Conroy, Ryan chose to fire him. Good riddance, Paul.