THAT WORD, IT DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS

It should surprise no one that the bar for qualifying as an intelligent person is pretty low in America, especially in our glurge factory of a media. Yet the most alarming aspect of Mitt Romney's "bold" decision to cave to the big GOP money and shackle himself to the anchor that is Paul Ryan is the repeated references to his new partner's considerable intellectual gifts. Given that we now live in a world in which shows about Honey Boo Boo and married couples with 19 children are on something with the gall to call itself "The Learning Channel", it makes sense that Paul Ryan would qualify as an "intellectual". But it is a Book of Revelations-level warning sign of the misguided Moderation Worship among the bobbleheads of the Beltway media that in their desperation to say something good about the cargo cult of nihilists that is the modern GOP, they have decided that Paul Ryan is a deeply intellectual man of ideas and principles – a leading thinker of his day.

That their decision to so label Ryan coincides almost perfectly with the storyline pitched in the campaign press releases is irrelevant, as they decided back in 2010 that, apparently on account of the fact that he has no personality whatsoever, he must be a man of great intellectual Seriousness. We have all made the mistake in our social lives of assuming that someone who is really quiet and reserved must have something interesting to say. We generally learn our lesson after a few bad dates, however, and the stakes are nowhere near as high as they are when the media decides to take leave of its senses. Whatever the psychology, there is not enough alarm at the fact that our media have decided that the quiet, weasely, dead-eyed weirdo who likes to write manifestos (!!!) of his Darwinist view of the world must be, by virtue of his lack of car salesman / televangelist bluster, a genuine, bona fide Intellectual. If he's not politician handsome or articulate, surely he must be brilliant; to conclude otherwise would be to admit that his ancestors' money got him elected. Somewhere in Janesville, Wisconsin an equivalent man without wealth and means looks at Ryan on the TV during his night shift at Shoney's and laments, "That could have been me."

Ryan's qualifications as a Great Thinker appear to be as follows:

1. He can write something 96 whole pages long. Even though much of it is alarming-looking but factually errant graphs, no one who can write almost 100 pages about a Serious subject like the budget can be less than a genius to the Wolf Blitzers of the world.

2. He "makes tough choices", which is to say that he enjoys writing about ideas that will make a lot of people suffer. He didn't come up with any of said ideas, but he says things (on paper – more on that in a second) that are politically unpopular. And they are politically unpopular because they are essentially recitations of his idol Ayn Rand's "The rich are different, and they owe no one anything" worldview. His ideas are unpopular because, unless you are a titan of industry or child of inherited wealth, he is trying very hard to fuck you.

3. He talks a lot about ideas. Terrible ideas, yes, but ideas nonetheless. The media are so desperate for any politician, especially on the right, to meet their superficial criteria for Seriousness that they're too busy making goo-goo eyes and trying to hide their erections to ask if the ideas are any good. Or, you know, if they are total, fabricated-from-whole-cloth bullshit. He has Ideas. That's enough.

4. His ideas have been around long enough to be digested with ease in the Beltway. That is, nothing he's saying is original, so the Panelists and Columnists and Hosts don't actually have to learn anything new. This is just standard Drown It In the Bathtub boilerplate with some shiny graphics and a rambling, college research paper-style introduction.

In the three-ring idiot circus of 21st Century American politics, that is what it takes to be a certified Thinker. When you're in love you can overlook a lot of flaws in the target of your affections, often with painful results. The slobbering love affair with Ryan, driven by the media's mortal terror at being accused of Dreaded Liberal Bias if they fail to treat Republicans and their ideas as just-as-good in every way, has prominent media personalities to overlook some glaring holes in the Congressman's intellectual foundations.

First, his copiously lauded budget proposal is more vague than anyone who has not read it would believe. If I told you, for example, that the basis of his entire proposal is trillions of dollars in tax cuts (almost all for the…well, go ahead and guess who) to be offset by "closing loopholes in the tax code" you would not be shocked. If I then told you that not one single specific example is given in the entire document, you would not believe me. You would accuse me of orchestrating a smear on his budget, because no one could possibly take it seriously if it was based on decimating tax revenue and then, uh, somehow balancing this out with, uh, something else. Yet that is exactly what is found in his Brilliant Repository of Economic Genius: nothing. It is an Underpants Gnome proposal: cut taxes + ???? = PROFITS!

Second, and far more importantly, a Man of Ideas would not feel the need to misrepresent them in the face of even the most mildly skeptical audience. Ryan can enrapture an audience at the Cato Institute or local Objectivist society and he can sound downright brilliant to the Steve Kings and Jim Inhofes of the world. But give him something other than a softball or a blowjob and suddenly he doesn't hate government nearly as much as you've been led to believe, as Charles Pierce notes.

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."(Nick Lizza, New Yorker)

To understand Ryan, his worship of Rand, Hayek, and the like, and his own budget proposal is to understand that he believes nothing of the sort. He might believe that government should pay private corporations to build things like infrastructure, highways, and airports, but that is another story altogether. Paul Ryan, Boy Genius, is such an intellectual coward that he will not even be honest about what he believes and what his proposals would do to government. He wants the social safety net to disappear, but only with the caveat of excluding anyone currently enjoying its benefits – you know, the people who might vote against him if they have to make any sacrifices on his account.

The Republican Party never has been good at the soft sell, but you can't say they don't try. A long string of pitch men, alternating between phony populists (Bush, Reagan, etc.) and pseudo-intellectuals (Phil Gramm, Newt, Ryan, etc.), has tried its damndest to convince you, the Little Guy, that the GOP is really on your side. That Ryan is the latest choice to deliver its message – Serve the Plutocracy and it will reward you! – is puzzling. Here is a guy who can't even pull off enough of a smile to qualify as a smiling killer, an elected official with so few of the skills native to politicians that the media must pretend he is brilliant in order to give him a redeeming quality. And that will be his ultimate downfall. No matter how often we are told that he is an Intellectual, he lacks the guile to hide what he really is: a Randian hatchet man who learned everything from his privileged upbringing except how to act like he cares about other people.

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57 thoughts on “THAT WORD, IT DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS”

  • I guess Pawlenty didn't pick up his phone in time. "Sorry Tim, Paul called back in three minutes. He was telling us about this new essay he was writing on the fifty greatest conservative books ever. Yeah, "Atlas Shrugged" was number one. He really, REALLY likes that book. Sort of hopped up on it…you're still coming to the convention, right? Chuck Norris is doing promo for "Expendables 2: Shameless Money Grab." We need you fill in about seven mintues for a speech. Try not to go long, since you're more boring than Paul. Alright, bye."

  • When I heard about the nom, I immediately thought "Can't wait to read what Ed has to say about this."

    You did not disappoint.

  • In the same way that Romney is really the best candidate possible to illustrate the Republicans' complete lack of giving a shit about anything except making rich people richer, Ryan really is the best VP pick to illustrate how fucked up the media is.

    HE SAID IN 2000 DEFICITS DON'T MATTER AND WAS WORRIED ABOUT THE DEBT BEING TOO SMALL

    HE WANTED TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY IN 2005 IN A WAY THAT WOULD COST $2 TRILLION. UP FRONT.

    THE PLAIN READING OF HIS ONLY CLAIMED ACCOMPLISHMENT IS TO DESTROY MEDICARE AND GIVE TRILLIONS TO THE RICH AND INCREASE MILITARY SPENDING WITHOUT SAYING HOW TO PAY FOR IT

    Anyone who went to Arizona State, let alone the hoity toity schools journalists went to, is able to read and understand what Ryan's doing. The fact that they don't say what he's doing points to things I don't even want to contemplate because it's too late to start drinking tonight.

    Also: this was a great post. Between the FNL riff and the concrete reasons for Ryan's inanity and the media analysis and "glurge factory" there was that great G&T combo of being funnier and clearer than most everything else.

  • " a Randian hatchet man who learned everything from his privileged upbringing except how to act like he cares about other people."

    Say what you will about the Catholics and other denominations, the fact that those parts that are at the coal face — nuns, friars, Salvation Army, Christian charities, even the Council of Bishops — have denounced Hanover's… er… Ryan's policies as distinctly "un-Christian", shows how wedded the GOP is to mammon.

    We also know which parts of the Hanov… er… Ryan Plan, Wilard is trying to distance himself from. It certainly isn't the vouchers.

    There's just something about those ears and that chin on that neck:

  • Say what you will about the Catholics and other denominations, the fact that those parts that are at the coal face — nuns, friars, Salvation Army, Christian charities, even the Council of Bishops — have denounced Hanover's… er… Ryan's policies as distinctly "un-Christian", shows how wedded the GOP is to mammon.

    And the nuns have the Vatican breathing down their necks about how they are spending "too much time" pursuing social justice issues like addressing poverty, and not enough time opposing abortion and gay marriage. Anybody want to argue that church hierarchy (of whatever denomination) doesn't exist to help maintain the current power structure and the status quo?

  • Great stuff, except for one little bit of invective:

    the quiet, weasely, dead-eyed weirdo who likes to write manifestos (!!!) of his Darwinist view of the world

    If Ryan had a Darwinist view of the world, this would not be a bad thing. It would merely show that he was not hostile to the science of biology, and of course it might well get him exiled from the modern GOP.

    What Ryan appears to have is a *Social Darwinist* view, in short that because the rich are on top, they must be fitter than the rest of us and therefore deserve to be on top. It has about as much to do with scientific Darwinism as the Democratic Republic of North Korea has with democracy. Needless to say, Social Darwinism is very welcome in the GOP… although they call it other things like "rewarding wealth creators".

  • Number Three says:

    Paul Ryan is the kind of guy that I, for one, got tired of arguing with by at least second semester of freshman year of college (and that was during the Reagan administration–I'm a year older than Ryan). Seriously, this reminds me of nothing so much as late-night bull sessions in the dorm. Simplistic (laughably so) worldview, and always no more than 2 steps removed from racial resentments and "welfare queens". Not sure what the term for that is now. (It was "welfare queens" in the 1980s.) I actually knew this guy, but he had a different name (and facial hair).

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Liberals: "'The Ryan Plan – How To Serve America!- IT'S A COOKBOOK! YOU NEED TO TELL THE PEOPLE!!!"

    MSM: "Cookbook! HA! Don't be silly. It's a serious economic proposal by a very serious and thoughful young man who wants to help this nation get out of debt."

    Liberals: "Yeah, and put the nation straight into the rich people ovens. READ IT!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, READ IT!!!"

    MSM: "We don't need to read it. We know him and his family. And we know what he stands for. We know what it'll say."

    Liberals: "Yeah, but if you'd read it, you'll know nothing adds up, and that the plan is that he wants to take the food off the tables of the poor and the middle class, and give it to the rich!"

    MSM: "Yes. And that's ALL the more that will trickle-down to "THEM," he's told us. We asked him, and that's what he said to us. That's good enough for us. What more do you want us to do?"

    OY!!!

    Thanks, Ed.
    I was looking forward to your take on "Privatizing Ryan" as R-money's VP, and you exceeded my expectations. AGAIN!!!

  • One way R&R might balance the budget would be to sell millitary technology to the PRC, and maybe outsource the pacific fleet to them as well, after all, that sort of thing worked for Romney at Bain capitol.

  • I don't know how privileged his upbringing was; the family seems to have been successful but his father died when he was just 16… at which point the social safety net paid for him to finish school and go to college.

  • "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

    John Rogers, on the blog Kung Fu Monkey

  • As Steve Cannane put it, "Spare us the finance evangelists and their false profits." Americans are lousy at math (among other things) and don't know Ryan is selling them a "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" video and throwing in a set of world-class steak knives.

    "Cargo Cult" indeed. It looks like a budget, but it's made of bamboo lashed together with vines, and it's as hollow as his soul. But it says here that we'll be rich, rich! Hooray!

    The right really doesn't care about math, even when they say they do. They care about the fact that Ryan is anti-gay and anti-choice (reaching out to people who are fans of the Duggars and Quiverfull nonsense), and he's also anti-regulation, anti-environment (and therefore, to their sad sensibilities, pro-jobs.) He's anti-marijuana legalization too, of course.

    Just as baffling as Christians who adore Ayn Rand are the people who call themselves Libertarians, when what they really support is authoritarian theocracy.

    But Ryan can utter, with a straight face, the lies the right tells itself about being fiscally conservative, so he passes the test.

    And p.s., this austerity crap makes no sense. It's called being penny wise and pound foolish. Say you are an executive who has lost his job. If you think you have a chance to return to Officeland, you spend money. It's wise to get haircuts and have your suit cleaned. You might even have to draw cash from your credit cards to pay the rent for a month or two. You are betting everything on your own comeback. Is that not a worthwhile cause?

    If you don't believe you have a chance, by all means, sell your good shoes and spend all your time looking for ditch-digging jobs right away. But no one ever got an executive interview after shutting off his phone and web service to save money.

  • mel in oregon says:

    ryan isn't a darwinist, you're giving the common misconception of darwinism. study up on it. but the big bullshit corporate press (cnn, msnbc, wa post, ny times) talks about this asshole's "big ideas". okay MFs, look at the biggest idea people in history, caligula, nero, mao, mussolini, stalin & their crowning jewel, hitler. picking ryan gets the redneck crowd, because of his sking, bowhunting, & hard workouts. any thinking person says to himself, "big effing deal, what the hell does that have to do with the mess the united states is in?" a simple solution to the deficit problem would be to seize the $13 trillion that romney & like-minded "patriots" have hidden from the IRS in off-shore accounts. make the minimum wage $12 or $13 an hour. poor people spend every penny they make, hell, they have to to survive. the old shithead argument that the wealthy create jobs is total bullshit. they offshore any profits, & move american jobs as fast as they can overseas. a final point, the teaparty & creeps like romney & ryan wouldn't be here today if obama had kept his 2008 campaign promises, the republican party would have had to move left too, kinda like what barry goldwater argued against, calling it "me tooism". if obama loses, he has no one to blame but himself.

  • Robert Savage says:

    Paul is a charlatan no different than Arthur Laffer, the gipper, GW Bush and Willard Romney. He is a perfect fit for the GOP and one who wants to continue to shovel money at the rich.

  • Austerity as R&R define it seems to be "Starve yourself fat", what FME. Read Barlett & Steele, and remember, "If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat".

  • Thanks, Ed, for that dose of accuracy after I'd ventured into Sunday morning punditry and fallen afoul of David Gregory, who had triple-teamed Rachel Maddow with jerks who wouldn't let her finish a sentence. Not to mention the love fest on 60 Minutes, whose Bob Schieffer was starry-eyed at being the first to land the dual interview of Gekko & Galt.

    Ryan scares me as someone even more glib with the Big Lie than Romney. Already they seem to be in an enthusiastic contest to top one another. Obama causes cancer! Obama is a child rapist! Etc etc. Wish I had just a tad more faith in the American People to sniff out a hoax; then we could sit back and enjoy the carnival. But they'd have to see through MSM "interviews", which Ryan can filibuster with ease.

    I'd been down since we lost two of my favorite curmudgeons recently, Gore Vidal and Robert Hughes. It occurs to me that Ed, due to some highly ill-advised career choice, has to waste, no, USE his considerable resources surveying this sick, debasing political scene. His loss is our gain. At least my morale is bolstered by blogs like today's.

  • It has been noted by others here that Ryan is Bill Kristol's pick. Which delights me to no end, as it means that Ryan's presence on the bottom of the ticket will drag said ticket down even further than Romney's presence at its top. Kristol's endorsement is to a candidacy what a diagnosis of the flesh-eating virus is to extraneous limbs. He does not pick winners, is my point.

    Obama's people must still be in the middle of the rager they threw when they heard the news, and are only now shaking off their hangovers and deciding how big they want the font to read on "You're going to lose your Medicare" and "Say goodbye to your Social Security." Smart move, Romney–old cranks are the best shot you had at a win by turn-out. Now, not so much. Did you want Florida? Did you want the Sun Belt? No? Bang-up job, then.

    Also worth pointing out, which nobody does: Ryan's still not the face of the ticket, and won't be. Best Veep Candidate Ever + Crap Pres Candidate = Loss.

  • @J Dryden
    Also worth pointing out, which nobody does: Ryan's still not the face of the ticket, and won't be. Best Veep Candidate Ever + Crap Pres Candidate = Loss.
    Hrm…isn't that equation describing Clinton/Gore in 1992?
    Gore was coming off a reelection win in TN despite Reagan winning big in 2008 and was by all accounts a great VP candidate (16 years in house/senate, well spoken, moderate, nothing glaring that I can recall or find in a 2 minute search). Clinton meanwhile was 3rd behind Perot and Bush for much of the campaign, rumored to be having affairs, & was 'slick willie' by reputation if not by name.

    The only wrench in the equation in 1992 was the slumping economy hurting Bush Sr. and Perot getting 19% of the vote (wow, could that ever happen again?).

    Actually, I 'd argue that the last Crap Pres + Best VP was Clinton/Gore in 1992. By that math and their winning after running a it's-the-economy-stupid campaign 2012 could be a reprise.

    Of course it won't be…Obama will win 49-45%.

  • “This (Atlas Shrugged) is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

    Dorothy Parker

  • Smart move, Romney–old cranks are the best shot you had at a win by turn-out. Now, not so much.

    Nah. Romney and Ryan are careful to point out that CURRENT and the very near term beneficiaries of Medicare and Social Security will be just FINE. It's the folks on the ladder behind them who are screwed. Which is perfect for the old cranks. Plus, don't discount the number of younger people who totally buy the "tough love" stance on Medicare and Social Security. My neighborhood bar has a guy who loves to blather on and on about how we just don't have a sustainable system and those who thought they could get Social Security HAVE to give it up for the good of the nation's budget, blah, blah, blah. Oh, yes…he is a government employee. With all the taxpayer-funded amenities. Fuckstick.

  • I think Romney picked Ryan hoping for the scenario to arise that this will get back to the economy and the emphasis on the economic stagnation will be too much debt and then he'll appeal to Ryan where Ryan has a "bold" plan, much like decapitating yourself is a bold plan to treat depression, then Romney will hope the media will praise Ryan as "A Very Serious Person" or "An intellectual heavyweight" and ride the media love of Ryan into the Presidency.

    The key is Romney is hoping that the image of Ryan as "A Very Serious Person" about debt and the budget will override the concerns about the details of his plan.

  • Despite all of our pants wetting excitement about the Romneybot/Randroid ticket — who knows the Paul campaign could kick up an interesting ruckus at the convention — Obama still has to negotiate the Jim Crow laws.

    Election 2012: What we did in Florida, but this time it's official. Because if you can't win, steal it.

    Ladies: that was the most succinct dismantling of austerity ever.

  • @ mothra: A good point re: who's really getting the axe if Ryan's plan were to go into effect. (Mind you, he's a Veep candidate on the minority ticket, so…no, it won't. For so many reasons legislative versus executive authority that the mind reels.) But my counterpoint would be: why should Democrats let the facts get in the way of their ability to terrify old people. Just scream MEDICARE and CUTS and SOCIAL SECURITY and PRIVATIZES and Bob's your uncle.

    Of course, a good counter to that counterpoint is that the old people in question only watch Fox News, which will–in a turn of events worthy of Bizarro world–properly educate its viewers as to the security of their government benefits, adding "Fuck the younglings."

  • ConcernedCitizen says:

    "I'm continually confused by Christians on the right who love Ayn Rand. She would not have loved them."

    The explanation is simple: Christianity is not their primary religion. Greed centered nationalism is – a grotesque combination of free market fundamentalism and unremitting jingoism.

  • Ryan is the new Reagan. Ryan has all the qualities Reagan had. so far so good at BSing and dismissing everything thrown at him. Teflon Liar. like Reagan.

    this is a choice that will tell if the Dumb White folks will respond to the same lies where Reagan left off. Ryan is the go to guy for the final snatch of steaing everything. All the Marbles. Rmoney can't talk worth a shit. but Ryan can do what few others can. Look good talk fast and BS all the way to home base, while stealing all the goodies.

    the white people in Right wing land are so pleased to have someone with a fast tongue/glibness of St. Reagan. at least so far Ryan has the Raygun touch. The hair too. the Ryan style has that death aura, so odious and reeks of St. Raygun. Just like Reagan got Middle Class Americans to destory their economic futures by voting Republican, Ryan will destroy Social Security and have the White folks clammering for more!!!

    whether Ryan is able to continue is what will tell the tale. Biden is toast next to Ryan. the press won't push Ryan, they'll do what they have been doing. coddling, covering and defending the BS coming out of his mouth. another Saint on the Altar of Crony Capitalism.

    to watch the conservative whites gleem in thier eyes, like Santa coming with untold gifts. just so they can fuck over the "other." the envy is what will get these dumb white fucks out to vote. not just the Tea Partiers. i mean the ignorant, jealous poor folks, those whites who detest Obama. NoBama bumper sticker voters. like that guy in the post above who says SS and Medicare are European Socialism. shoot the rest of us just to prove they are Alpha males who don't take no cotton to Black folks or government taking our money for "socialism."

    Rmoney may have been "forced" to choose Ryan, but Ryan just fits the "paradigm" for a more complete fuck over of the anti Black, anti Government, anti "other guy" mindless Fuck who watches Faux news or CNN. Ryan is a real test of how and what level of duplicity Republican Elites decided would best compliment the final putsch the last 30 years have been one long example of. I bet the Kochs are having sweet dreams adn betting the Keystone Pipeline on how well this works out.

    as Betty Davis said, "Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride." lol. i sure hope i got the Bette Davis line right. cause that is just a taste of what is in store.

    Reagan and Ryan. the American Way.

  • Gracias, J. Dryden, and Bernard, my friend, you knew something was wrong. Bette's line in "All About Eve" was "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night."

    I wouldn't be signing back in, but I was just slapped across the face by a satori: the U.S. is turning into the Soviet Union, but with a religious mania. Same bloated military industry making overpriced crap. Same hidden oligarchy / plutocracy pulling strings. Same authoritarian state / invasion of privacy / loss of individual rights. Same poverty.

    WASF.

  • @Da Moose – Can't view vid where I am. Is that the version that is carefully edited around the "radical" and "drastic" bits?

    Oh, and Erskine Bowles is a knob.

  • @ladiesbane: I've thought the same thing. The USA now resembles the USSR in its final days, with the addition of religious fruitcakes trying to destroy the world so their god can rapture them up.

  • I've wondered, too, why so many have been selling Ryan as a "deep thinker" and an "intellectual" in this roll-out. It hit me last night that it's their way of not-so-subtly noting that he is definitely not Sarah Palin. So "intellectual" = "not be-dazzled and not likely to appear on reality tv."

  • For all your writing projects, be they books, stories, screenplays or even reports, the words in the title are the most important words of all. Why? Because the title is the label on the product. People look at the label and, rightly or wrongly, judge the product before they buy it. If they don't like the label, they won't buy the product. They won't read what you've written. Unfair? Maybe. But that's the way it is.

  • I'm not sure what you're point is, Solavei, but I love the title of this post, and wanted to read more as soon as I saw it. It is an American culture reference, so perhaps you have not seen that movie?

  • Ryan may indeed be an "intellectual" compared to Sarah Palin, but then so's my cat – and I have a couple houseplants that might be in the running.

  • Jerry Vinokurov says:

    Minor correction: the reporter who did the piece on Paul Ryan in the New Yorker was Ryan Lizza, not Nick Lizza.

  • I don't think that we could see a Ryan on the left. There are a lot of people on the far (for America) left who are wonks with policy proposals that actually do work–at least in the sense that the numbers add up. And yet, the MSM have no interest in covering these people. They NEED people like Ryan so they can continue their pretense that the two sides are equal in all things. They cover the straight down the middle budget proposals of the Democrats as the other side of the far right proposals of Ryan. Balance!

  • Never trust anyone who presents their employees with "required reading" unless he/she is a teacher. It's usually a sign of insecurity about said material, or they are full-on blowhards.

  • @Bernard:
    I respectfully disagree. Reagan had considerable personal charm, and was far, far to the left of Ryan and the current GOP.

    One thing to keep in mind about Ryan is that, in contrast to his scorched-earth philosophy and "intellectual toughness," he's personally a spineless rich-kid wuss, all boo-hoos and me-mes and sudden walkouts when someone like Obama has the gall to air him out in public.

    The pressure of a national election will crumple Frowny like a Chinese SUV. I'm taking bets.

  • It is disheartening how many of our country's little guys have been convinced the GOP is their party. So many of my relatives, who in their current economic position have no business supporting any GOP candidate for anything, swoon over Paper-Doll Romney and strongly distrust Not-Really-An-American Obama. WFT /sadly and under my breath

    Although I think we each owe it to ourselves and each other to become informed, I don't get to run things. And I do blame the corporate-owned media for the misinformed American electorate.

    For example, Ryan, an intellectual? He couldn't win a game of Battleship against either of the Clintons or Obama (a constitutional law professor, no duh), much less best any of them in an honest debate (one where a person would actually have to say true things, as opposed to made-up crap).

    So, my current tactics are simplicity and brevity as I try to pass the spark to my misinformed kin — Ryan wants to abolish Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as you know it. His plan would allow each retired person a certain amount of medical care per year, and if they need more than that, they have to pay for it. It they can't, too bad. That's his plan.

  • I have serious problems with any politician who based his whole career on a book he read at age 16 right after his father died. It is normal for an immature teenager to accept the nonsense of Ayn Rand. It is quite another thing to worship at the Randian alter in your thirties as a member of Congress.

    Now Ayn Ryan does not even want to admit that he is the greatest Rand worshiper since Greenspan. He still wants to implement the full Rand "Greed is Good" agenda but does not want to admit it conflicts with his church's teachings. He still thinks he is John Galt though.

  • Galt Walter Mitty and the Little Teabag that Could.

    Even though Harper gets more helmet-haired every day, and his best friends are Republicans, I still feel lucky to be Canadian these days.

  • whoscookinbacon says:

    @MTB:

    I've lived in Janesville since 2002, and have never set eyes on a Shoney's within these fair borders. But if you're looking for auto parts stores or quick-loan offices, well, you won't be looking long.

    The Sunday edition of the Janesville Gazette was a painfully long and sloppy knob polishing of Mr. Ryan, such so that if one were to braid each page up and wring them out one by one, the cumulative amount of cockslobber would fill a bathtub. The general gist being "OMG YOU GUYS HE'S THE VEE PEE AND HE LIVES HERE DON'T THINK JUST VOTE FOR HIM OMG!" It might be (slightly) good for tourism and name recognition, but overall Paul Ryan will still be Paul Ryan, and Janesville will still be that one Wisconsin town looking for an economic answer after the GM plant closed a few years back.

  • @Talisker – re: "[Social Darwinism] has about as much to do with scientific Darwinism as the Democratic Republic of North Korea has with democracy."

    That's the Democratic *People's* Republic of Korea. C'mon, it has people. Some of them aren't even starving.

  • i sincerely hope i am wrong about Ryan. he just reeks. of evil. like Reagan. and is he supposedly talked about being the new Star/and the new intellectual for the Republicans.

    One Reagan was more than enough.

  • Man, I sure am glad you backed up all that rambling with cold hard facts. You would have looked like a delusional fool otherwise.

    Wait…

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