You have to hand it to the presumed incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Her mastery of the art of throwing shade in the most subtle and delicate manner was as apparent as ever when she was asked by reporters about her reaction to the vomit-inducing farewell speech by her Republican predecessor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), aptly described by Charles Pierce in Esquire magazine as “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin.”
Pelosi managed to demonstrate how distasteful the very idea would be of listening to the outgoing Speaker brag about creating a devastating national debt through his shepherding of a loathsome tax cut for billionaires through the legislative process, while he simultaneously lamented his failure to snatch health care from millions of Americans by repealing Obamacare as his Ayn Rand-inspired wet dreams propelled him to attempt.
The concept of hearing something like that was so revolting that the Democratic leader took the best option: skipping the speech altogether.
She managed to convey this fact in the nicest way possible, however.
“This may come as a shock to you, but I was busy doing other things at the time. I wish him well as he goes forward,” she told reporters at a news conference when asked Ryan’s remarks.
“I did not really have a chance to go to the speech and hear what he had to say, but I wish him and his family season’s greetings and best wishes for a wonderful future,” Pelosi continued.
A less diplomatic politician might have added “and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out,” but Pelosi didn’t need to actually utter the gist of what she was artfully implying.
Departing Speaker Ryan will have to live with his legacy of enabling the worst president in history in his attempt to destroy our democratic institutions while exacerbating racial, economic, and class divisions in a nation where a depressingly significant portion of the populace bought Ryan’s right-wing libertarian propaganda of selfishness and compassionlessness.
Meanwhile, Representative Pelosi is busy doing other things, like trying to undo all the damage that Ryan, Trump, McConnell and their cohorts have inflicted on America.
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Original reporting by Michael Burke at The Hill.