The Emperor Has No Clothes

Gosh, but I hope the electorate can grasp the obvious, especially now that the lines have been clearly drawn in the sand with Romney's VP pick, Ayn Rand's minion Paul Ryan.

Here's an excerpt from a wonderful, scathing blog by Charles Pierce:

Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn't believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he's ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.

In the lengthy — and now, very prescient — profile of Ryan that ran in The New Yorker this week, Ryan Lizza pinned him down on this very point. Ryan responded in fluent Weaselspeak....

When I pointed out to Ryan that government spending programs were at the heart of his home town's recovery, he didn't disagree. But he insisted that he has been misunderstood. "Obama is trying to paint us as a caricature," he said. "As if we're some bizarre individualists who are hardcore libertarians. It's a false dichotomy and intellectually lazy." He added, "Of course we believe in government. We think government should do what it does really well, but that it has limits, and obviously within those limits are things like infrastructure, interstate highways, and airports."

The fact is that his "budget" will demolish federal spending on those very things, either directly, or by sending the deficit off in the direction of Alpha Centauri. But the quote illustrates something else about Paul Ryan: get him out of his comfort zone of being thought an intellectual by the likes of Louie Gohmert, and of being thought of as a bold thinker by half the buffet-grazers in the Beltway media, and he really is quite the political coward. (In this way, he is a perfect match for the man who picked him.) He does not have the raw balls to explain to the country that, no, he does not believe in government — not the federal government, anyway, and not as it was originally conceived, as the fundamental expression of a political commonwealth. He's grandfathered his plan to chloroform Medicare so that, despite the deficit that he considers such an urgent problem, nobody alive today who might vote against him will be affected by it. For the same reason, he will not specify the cuts that he will make or the tax"loopholes" —coughMortgageInterestDeductioncough — that he will close. In any way that will come to matter to the people whose lives his policies will make harder and more miserable, Paul Ryan is still the high-school kid living off Social Security survivor benefits and reading Ayn Rand by flashlight under the sheets. Instead, he's a guy pretending to be something he's not, and doing so back in Janesville in a very swell Georgian mansion, which just happens to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Which, among other things, means that Paul Ryan, who lies awake at night worrying that The Deficit will come and eat our grandchildren, lives in a house overseen by the National Park Service, which means that he qualifies for a 20-percent investment tax credit for the house he lives in. Of course, his "budget" would largely decimatethe NPS, but that would be only those parts of it enjoyed by other people. Yes, Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver, has done very well by the federal government that he seeks to dismantle. Come to think of it, so has Willard Romney, although we may never know exactly how well he's done by it. It turns out this is a match made in heaven, after all.

Of course, it still could be that they're just trying to give poor Paul Krugman a stroke.

Read more:

One more good read, Paul Ryan's voting record RE: things that have increased the deficit he claims to be so concerned about:

EvesHarvest EvesHarvest
56-60, F
12 Responses Aug 11, 2012

Foaming at the mouth, that one was! I figure leaving his awful comment up works to scare people away from the tea party if they are on the fence. I couldn't possibly do a better job of that myself than ole Tiny did!

Eve, these dudes don't really care what happens to all the uninsured folks -- probably they secretly hope all of them would just die... I know this is off-topic but what exactly is the deal with Paul Ryan's ears? They look like a donkey snuck up on his great-grandmother or something...
PS. I applaud you for posting this, but anytime you have the temerity to say things certain Tea-Party sympathizers don't like (remember, it's basically like a cult) , they come out of the woodwork and become vicious... I suggest you block these jerks, and perhaps also delete their wretched comments. We do not need them darkening our doorstep...

Do you mean if he doesn't win?

Here's the irony. If Romney win, he may just have proven that wealth, influence and privilege are no guarantee of success in American politics.

It is amazing how one comment demonstrates so much. I appreciate the thoughtful replies to Tinymuel, which have about as much chance of reaching him as Ryan's budget has of reducing the deficit. Tinymuel has his GOP blinders on and can't acknowledge that we are interested in reducing the deficit, too. It won't work unless there are both reductions in spending and increased revenue--that's right, taxes. And Ryan isn't willing to look at cuts in defense spending as a part of deficit reduction. Ryan looks so earnest and wonkish, but his plan for deficit-reduction is a farce.

Say, didn't you pinch that title from me?

Did I? If I did, it was unconscious and a compliment.

Nice riposte! Do you fence perhaps?

Mr. Pierce sure can turn a phrase, can't he? One of my favorites: "He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live." <br />
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Let's hope to hear more from him!

Ha! There are so many good quotes in that article. "zombie eyed Granny starver" "trying to give Paul Krugman a stroke" "living off social security benefits and reading Ayn Rand by flashlight under the sheets" "political coward" Charles Pierce, glad to meet you! Thanks for the introduction, eve.

That fits!

Another Wisconsin Koch *****. Several sources point out he was voted 'Biggest Brown Noser' of his 1988 high school class.

Yes, Wanderingelf, I think you are spot on about him choosing a VP that appeals to his ba<x>se, rather then attempting to broaden his ba<x>se. Sarah Palin was considered a "ballsy choice," too. And we all know how that went.<br />
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Thanks for the comments!

It is a surprisingly ballsy choice for Romney (considering what a ball-less twit he has shown himself to be thus far), but I think that it has great potential for blowing up in his face. Number One, it violates the most fundamental principle of getting yourself elected: doing things that appeal only to people who were already going to vote for you no matter what is of zero value in determining the outcome of an election. Number Two, going to the far extreme of your ideological camp is only going to alienate moderate swing voters, who are in fact the people who actually determine the outcome of every election.<br />
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So, it is my fervent hope that, while choosing Ryan has no doubt whipped the far-right Republican/Tea Party ba<x>se into a frenzy, it has terrified the moderate swing voters in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado. We shall soon see.