Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) sure does love dipping his petite toes into the deeper crevasses of the internet’s mildewed pool. Whether it’s a goofy livestream of a January blizzard in Washington, D.C. with accompanying gym music or an attempt to out-insult Insulter-in-Chief Donald Trump, the top elected Republican pulls no punches when it comes to trying to go viral. Then again, if he and his office paid more attention to the details, then maybe slights like February’s Braveheart misinterpretation won’t repeat themse… never mind. It just happened again with House of Cards.
On Wednesday, Ryan’s digital communications director, Caleb Smith, published a blog post title “President Underwood Responds to President Obama.” Using three different-but-similar GIFs of President Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) best visual demonstrations of the word “no,” Smith railed against the White House’s announced intentions to close Guantanamo Bay Prison on the Speaker’s behalf. Ryan thinks these plans are “against the law,” and Smith wanted to try to find a way to deliver this message to millennials whose primary means of communication includes animated images without sound. Sounds like a solid plan, doesn’t it?
Sure it does! And to add just one more layer to the icing on his trollerific cake, Smith concluded the blog post with a bit about “closing the door” on plans to close Guantanamo and an accompanying GIF of Underwood doing just that. Take that, Obama!
Unfortunately, just as Ryan’s communications office neglected to fully understand their GIF selection for last month’s Braveheart post, Smith didn’t recall the time his boss once vehemently expressed his dislike of House of Cards in the press. In a brief interview from August 15, 2014 published in Parade magazine, editor Andy Abrahams concluded his chat with Ryan with a question about the popular political show on Netflix. Ryan wasn’t a fan, to say the least.
Do you watch political shows like House of Cards?
I watched the first couple of episodes until he cheated on his wife with that reporter. It turned my stomach so much that I just couldn’t watch it anymore. His behavior was so reprehensible, and it hit too close to home because he was a House member, that it just bothered me too much. And what I thought is, it makes us all look like we’re like that.
Not only was Ryan not a fan of the show, but he was particularly incensed by Underwood’s “reprehensible” behavior as a “House member” during the first season. At the time, the ex-Republican vice presidential candidate was also a member of the U.S. House, so his admission that House of Cards‘ depiction of politicians behaving like Underwood was something that understandably turned his stomach.