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AOC Knows That if Paul Ryan Offers You Advice, Always Do the Opposite

Member elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) talks to fellow members of Congress during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 03, 2019 in Washington, DC.

It’s tradition for politicians departing Washington to offer advice to those coming in. But there are some politicians whose awfulness and ineptitude simply cannot outweigh their experience. Paul Ryan is one of those politicians.

Ryan spoke at a dinner in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin this week, and in the 45-minute interview in front of about 700 guests, he was asked about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When Ryan began his time in Congress, he was very young, like AOC, and he talks about the energy he had then. I can only imagine how hard 28-year-old Ryan must have worked to screw over poor and sick Americans. He must look back on those days with dead-eyed fondness.

Anyway, he says he spoke to AOC and “gave her a few little tips about being a good member of Congress … Take it easy, just watch things for a while, don’t ruffle, you know, see how it works first.”

As Ryan notes, “I don’t think she listened to a thing I said.” And the room laughed.

Because sure, that’s funny. That is most definitely not how Ocasio-Cortez is approaching her new job. She’s not worried about making waves or shaking things up or drawing attention. But it’s less funny than Ryan seems to think, because it’s politicians like him that made it so the new batch of fiery lawmakers have to work so very hard to shake things up. When Paul Ryan stepped down as Speaker of the House last year, he left behind a legacy of ineffectualness, ethical disregard, and extreme partisan division and demonization. Paul Ryan is why AOC and other progressive legislators have to fight so hard to make progress on issues like climate change, healthcare, or ethics reform. Because Paul Ryan sat in his office for two decades and left behind nothing of value.

(via Mediaite, image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.