Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed

The box office figures are in and it’s clear that, despite rave reviews from all the right people, the Ryan plan just won’t play in Peoria. Republicans are going to have to spend the next 18 months defending their decision to try to end a wildly popular social program. Yes, our current crazed political/media dynamic many mean that this doesn’t amount to outright suicide; normally their asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but they happened to pull this shit while we’re in a transitional period. When seniors swarm Republican town hall meetings, they’ll be portrayed as angry America-haters — not patriots like the gun-toting, gubmint-scooter-riding Medicare recipients who shouted down Democratic Congressmen in August 2009 — but the overall effect will still be extremely negative for Republicans in Congress.

How did this come to pass? First, the GOP inexplicably decided to let a politically tone-deaf Randoid design its fiscal plan. Then it mistook the applause of innumerate Beltway sociopaths for public support.

Things are generally terrible for social democrats like me right now. There are no important liberal institutions, Roger Ailes has mastered the art of fleecing oldsters, the Supreme Court rulings have given our Galtian overlords free rein to anonymously propagandize. Even with all these disadvantages, we should be able to fend off the apocalypse for another two years, with the help of Paul Ryan and his fluffers.

Thank you, Paul Ryan. Thank you, Joe Klein, David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, and Jacob Weisberg. Your ignorance and cowardice have served a greater cause.

68 replies
  1. 1
    Mark S. says:

    It was still a very courageous and serious plan.

  2. 2
    eemom says:

    OMG, Meatloaf AND Pulp Fiction!! Doubly blessed indeed.

    Ah, were I but barely seventeen and barely…..

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    Hear! Hear! And now a round for “and they are jolly good fellows.” Shorter Doug J: it may be bleak, but its the best we can hope for.

    aimai

  4. 4
    South of I-10 says:

    And we were barely 17 and we were barely dressed

  5. 5
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Hoocoodanode that stirring up a bunch of anger among old people by telling them the Democrat Party was going to end Medicare would lead to them being mad when you tried to end Medicare?

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Ailes hasn’t, however, been entirely successful at getting his editors to take over servicing his wife when he dies.

  7. 7
    Joe Bauers says:

    Pulp Fiction references are the best references.

  8. 8
    Moonbatting Average says:

    Objectivism, motherfucker! Do you subscribe to it?!?

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mark S.: I finally kind of get the “reading Sully” thing.
    He’s like the catch phrase that keeps on giving. The bullshit he spews is so damn ludicrous that it just sticks in the ether and is infinitely mockable.
    “Fifth column” and etc will never get old, no matter how many times we recycle it.
    He’s like a very talented comedian in that way.

  10. 10
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Watch out, Mr. Ryan, that “third rail” is still hot.

    What?

    Don’t believe me?

    Go ahead, then. Check it out for yourself.

    I’ll be back here.

  11. 11

    So what are the Republicans going to do now? They are on record as having voted for that monstrosity. How can they walk it back?

  12. 12

    Idk. I’m pretty damn far from okay. I feel like callin’ a couple pipe-hittin’ niggas to go to work on our boys here.

  13. 13
    JakeCollins says:

    Hopefully the Dems will be competent enough to follow Marcellus’ advice:
    “What now? Let me tell you what now. I’m gonna call a couple of hard, pipe-hitting niggas to go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. [to Zed] You hear me talking, hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’m gonna get medieval on your ass.”

  14. 14
    El Cid says:

    I didn’t see anything in the poll on what Tea Partiers surveyed believed about who was suggesting cutting Medicare.

    Paul Ryan, therefore, was trying to save Medicare from Obamacare, which was trying to kill it.

    It will be on FOXNOOZ. And thus be true.

  15. 15
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I honestly don’t know. I didn’t think they’d be crazy enough to vote for it.

    My guess is that there is nothing they can do except fire up the gold-hoarders and xenophobes and try to hang onto the House as best they can.

  16. 16
    mk3872 says:

    Brilliant post!

    That being said, it is worth noting, that the Dems’ “over-reach” on health care & the stimulus bill also doomed them for a full election cycle as well.

    The difference is, as Doug pointed out, that the beltway press did not celebrate the Dems’ “courage” as they did Ryan’s budget plan.

    Heck, even the liberal press slammed the stimulus and HCR bills.

  17. 17
    Bob Loblaw says:

    How did this come to pass? First, the GOP inexplicably decided to let a politically tone-deaf Randoid design its fiscal plan.

    That was weird. It was social security privatization all over again. I guess they figure they’re never out of power for long because of their institutional prowess, so why not push the conversation as far to the right as is literally possible?

    The smart move was to go after Medicaid, using state budgets as cover. Heck, Obama and nonpartisan health care technocrats might have even gone along with it if you set it up to roll those recipients into the subsidized individual exchanges as part as some grand bargain. Which would have pissed liberals off to no end.

  18. 18
    JCJ says:

    I just got my official Tea Party Patriots 2011 membership card today. All I have to do to activate it is send in a contribution. I will try to take a dump in the envelope and send it in.

  19. 19
    kdaug says:

    Trick is to make sure you’re outside of the event horizon when it implodes.

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    @El Cid: How creepy was that?? That is one sick bastard! (The whole thing was creepy, not just the servicing his wife part.)

    Edit: I was having a terribly hard time the other day when I was reading your posts, trying to reconcile what you were saying with the very high opinion I have always had of you. It took me quite awhile before I realized that the posts were by El Tiburon and not El Cid. Seriously, until I figured it out, I couldn’t decide whether you had lost your mind or whether I had lost mine. :-)

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @JCJ: Send them some Mexican coins.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    It is worse than just the plan, it is the fact that, I think any reasonable (though obviously not Very Serious) person would agree, the GOP lied. Compare the GOP scare tactics about death panels and Medicare cuts during the health care debate with the Ryan plan.

    Maybe the GOP figured that the elderly had so many short term memory problems that they would not notice. But poor health, and fear of it, concentrates the mind wonderfully on the topic of health care finance. And an oldsters long term memory is sharp. I am sure the can recall the halcyon days in the summer of aught nine, and what them GOPpers was saying just like it was yesterday. Just like when their favorite preacherman run off with the choir leaders wife in thrity nine, and almost tore up the whole church. And where they were when Pearl Harbor happened.

  23. 23
    El Cid says:

    @JCJ: Make sure and send it in via FedEx, as we don’t want no Big Gubmit Soshullists losing your valuable contribution.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob Loblaw: They thought that November 2010 was an endorsement of their agenda, rather than an expression of frustration. As a result, they picked up the ball and threw it deep when a field goal might have been the better move.

  25. 25

    a) They thought they were giving the Tea Party what they wanted, only to find out that what they really, really wanted was train wrecks, car crashes, and montages of cops beating up hippies set to Big Band music.

    b) They only thought they were giving their new corporate overlords what they wanted, but they prefer their prey mad with fear and writhing, not dead! Did anyone consider the corporate overlord’s need for life forces to consume? Only explanation–the Ryan boy–he’s new.

    c) Many of them couldn’t believe they got elected, either. Even the ones who’d been there a while. Which lent a certain urgency to the whole proceding.

    d) Things aren’t going better with Kochs–

    The only recompense is, they got close enough we could see the faces of the bastards doing it, and nobody likes to get hoodwinked–for every dollar they spend on propaganda, we might be able to neutralize the effect by pointing out where it came from and why they’re spending it.

    Also, the uncurable cases of stupid should auto-Darwinate, and social democracy could just see a renaissance. Or so I tell myself between shots.

  26. 26
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Vixen Strangely:

    They thought they were giving the Tea Party what they wanted, only to find out that what they really, really wanted was train wrecks, car crashes, and montages of cops beating up hippies set to Big Band music.

    Excellent!

  27. 27
    Mark S. says:

    Speaking of Ailes, wasn’t there something about a month ago where he might have been on tape telling some gal to lie under oath?

  28. 28
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    And what about the Senate Republicans? Where do they stand? Or the voters?

    Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie but I’d never know ’cause I wouldn’t eat the filthy motherfucker.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    Good column in the Ryan plan by Alan Blinder (via Mark Thoma’s Economists View)

    the link to the extract at Economists View is

    http://economistsview.typepad......udget.html

    It is a WSJ column (they let sane people like Blinder and Stiglitz write there once in awhile), so it behind a paywall, but you can read the whole thing if you google the author and title and click that link.

    Edit: actually, the best column I have read that goes step by step through the problems, goofs, cheap tricks, and misleading hype in a way anyone can understand. Blinder highlights a couple of new instances of BS that I had not seen before.

  30. 30
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner:

    Exactly. They won’t go near this thing.

  31. 31
    Arundel says:

    Paul Ryan reminds me of a bug-eyed Mr. Schue on Glee: “Hey kids, if we want to win at Sectionals, how about you kill your parents in their sleep with knives?”

  32. 32
    wasabi gasp says:

    Why no link for Sullivan? He’s a linky bastard. I’m guessing even he would feel a link is deserved.

  33. 33
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    I wasn’t sure which of his Ryanisms to link to, he’s been all over the map on it.

  34. 34
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Comrade DougJ: A bouquet of footnote linkage might come across creepy.

  35. 35
    calling all toasters says:

    As if. A year from now the Rethugs will claim that the Democrats are the ones who are trying to get rid of it. And the corporate media will then step in to catapult the ignorance.

  36. 36
    Steeplejack says:

    @jl:

    The Wall Street Journal link at Economist’s View goes to an article that is only two paragraphs long. I presume that’s just a teaser for the real article. No link to click on the page to get the whole article.

    ETA: Here’s a link that gets you the whole WSJ piece.

    ETFA: Huh. Doesn’t work from here, but it works when you paste the link into your browser address thingie. Go figure.

  37. 37
    fraught says:

    How did this come to pass? First, the GOP inexplicably decided to let a politically tone-deaf Randoid design its fiscal plan. Then it mistook the applause of innumerate Beltway sociopaths for public support.

    There’s something Bach-like in the beauty any simplicity of those sentences. Something Dickinsonian in their plainness. I shall memorize them.

  38. 38
    M. Bouffant says:

    When seniors swarm Republican town hall meetings, they’ll be portrayed as angry America-haters—not patriots like the gun-toting, gubmint-scooter-riding Medicare recipients who shouted down Democratic Congressmen in August 2009—but the overall effect will still be extremely negative for Republicans in Congress.

    Why look, it’s already happened!

    Idiot Leftist Dolts Boo & Harass Paul Ryan at Town Hall (Video)
    Posted by Jim Hoft on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 4:50 PM
    Shocker – Nutty Leftists Harass and Boo Paul Ryan–
    A group of ignorant leftist thugs booed and harassed Paul Ryan at a town hall event today.

    Hoft gets the Dep’t. of Redundancy Dep’t. Award, too.

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Hmmph. Actually seems to work only if you go to this Google page and then click the link to the WSJ piece (currently the second item on the list).

  40. 40
    rob! says:

    Many years from now, Sullivan will publicly admit he was wrong to say anything positive about the Ryan plan, the way he now regrets supporting the Iraq invasion.

    And yet he will learn nothing from it, and make the same mistake over another dubious Conservative idea that is put forth by the next generation of Republicans in 2020 or whatever. Burke! Oakeshott!

    Conservatism is like Herpes: it never quite goes away, and it flares up at the most inopportune times.

  41. 41
    handy says:

    Who’s Galt?

    Galt’s dead, baby. Galt’s dead.

  42. 42
    Uloborus says:

    @MattR:
    Find a replica Amero.

  43. 43
    Arclite says:

    Jeez, Doug. You’re on a tear today.

  44. 44
    Uloborus says:

    @calling all toasters:
    For just this once, that probably won’t work. Seriously, you do not fuck with Medicare. The seniors go ballistic. It doesn’t matter that you’re exempting them. You can try to blame it on someone else all you like. The same hypersensitivity that made them go apeshit rather than believe the ACA improves Medicare will make them turn rabidly on the Republicans for trying to voucher it. The effect will wear off… probably. It won’t wear off in time to give them good voting numbers in 2012.

  45. 45
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    haw. haw. haw.
    We have yet such sights to show you. (scary pinhead voice)
    As the Wingularity begins to engulf the libertarian leg of the conservative stool, you will see the very fabric of reality itself deformed and inverted.

    social democrats like me right now.

    riiight.

  46. 46
    mcd410x says:

    I think we’ve discovered that the American voter a) hates both Democrats and Republicans, b) is deeply confused or c) both a and b! Cheers, America!

    The Donald ’12

  47. 47
    Mark S. says:

    @jl:

    Blinder highlights a couple of new instances of BS that I had not seen before.

    My favorite is how federal spending as a % of GDP magically drops to 6% by 2083.

  48. 48
    4jkb4ia says:

    B”H that was not John’s headline. “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” represents everything he will not get to achieve.
    (No, just by way of example, this is actually very simple. Sometimes, to fight The Cole, the more perfectly second-rate you are, the better it works. The more ambition there is for you, the more it’s a trap. To top “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”, you don’t need ambition, but you need your shit together, especially in its fire-breathing days of 1990.)

    (Here’s a good job by Crisitunity dividing up the Republican caucus by votes on both the RSC budget and the CR (government shutdown). That was what I wanted to post anyway and it might save this comment.)

  49. 49
    4jkb4ia says:

    It’s even simpler than that. “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” was essentially brought into respectability because the first man I ever kissed loved it. It could stand for a great force of nature, clean and sinless, sweeping the participant into the torrent of life. It could embody that force. No record that John can attract will ever stand for that, because of the sinless part.

    So I reject all implications that I said John will not get laid this century.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    Thank you, Paul Ryan. Thank you, Joe Klein, David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, and Jacob Weisberg. Your ignorance and cowardice have served a greater cause.

    Now let them be rewarded as traitors deserve.

  51. 51
    4jkb4ia says:

    I’m going to try to be Serious and say that the Republicans in Congress may be betting on being able to blame the lack of a budget deal on the Democrats and too much spending or being able to take the spending fearmongering to the same suspects, even if they are over 60. The suspects over 60 will be able to keep what they have.

  52. 52
    srv says:

    This is really bad news for John McCain.

  53. 53
    Redwood Rhiadra says:

    @JCJ: Send them $1.50 in nickels. They’re not quite pieces of silver, but maybe someone there will get the reference.

  54. 54
    Danny says:

    Meanwhile in wingnutopia:

    Why don’t Red State, and the other conservative blogs, and Fox News, and the Republicans throughout the country: why don’t they all get behind Ron Paul or Gary Johnson and nominate one of them for 2012?

    2011: the pretense of “fair and balanced” is just too much work to bother with anymore..

  55. 55
    jazzgurl says:

    Yeah, we will all be around to hear Andrew Sullivan et al, (whom I really used to enjoy,and don’t even bother with anymore with his daily meanderings) apologise loudly for his stance.

  56. 56
    gypsy howell says:

    I can’t wait to call my idiot congressman Gerlach today and ask about this. Here’s a fun situation to game out:

    Let’s say I’m 54 and my dear husband Thurston is 60. Under Ryan’s plan, Thurston will still get Medicare, but I will have to contend with vouchers.

    Imagine how delighted we’ll be when we’re 75 or 80 (assuming I haven’t died of some minor but untreated illness by then) and Thurston is happily sailing along with his soc1alist medicare, while my health insurance premiums have gotten so high that we can no longer afford to cover me.

    That situation, which will affect millions of couples, is going to sit really, really well with people, isn’t it?

    Idiots.

  57. 57
    kay says:

    I listened to a part of Obama’s town hall on the radio and the person asking Obama a question begins with how “media” have depicted Ryan’s austerity plan favorably. He just states it blandly, as fact, and Obama doesn’t dispute it.
    I just think that’s a complete fail for media. It would make me cringe if I were an ostensibly neutral actor and heard that.
    They aren’t supposed to be the focus of the narrative or driving the debate. If people are asking questions that begin with how this has been portrayed, if it’s media and austerity versus Obama, media are way the hell out in front of what’s supposed to be their role.

  58. 58
    rickstersherpa says:

    And the real story, the real deficit, is explained very succiently by Bill McBride at Calculated Risk:

    More than a Lost Decade
    by CalculatedRisk on 4/20/2011 09:13:00 PM
    I’ve been more upbeat lately, but even as the economy recovers – and I think the recovery will continue – we need to remember a few facts.

    There are currently 130.738 million payroll jobs in the U.S. (as of March 2011). There were 130.781 million payroll jobs in January 2000. So that is over eleven years with no increase in total payroll jobs.

    And the median household income in constant dollars was $49,777 in 2009. That is barely above the $49,309 in 1997, and below the $51,100 in 1998. (Census data here in Excel).

    Just a reminder that many Americans have been struggling for a decade or more. The aughts were a lost decade for most Americans.

    And I’d like to think every U.S. policymaker wakes up every morning and reminds themselves of the following:

    There are currently 7.25 million fewer payroll jobs than before the recession started in 2007, with 13.5 million Americans currently unemployed. Another 8.4 million are working part time for economic reasons, and about 4 million more workers have left the labor force. Of those unemployed, 6.1 million have been unemployed for six months or more.

    So even as we start to discuss how to fix the structural budget deficit, and also to address the long term fiscal challenges from healthcare costs, we can’t forget about all of these Americans.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

  59. 59
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @kay:

    I just think that’s a complete fail for media.

    But they are just fight promoters now. It is American fake-freemarket capitalism in action. The interwebz and social media took away their niche as information servers. They have to do this to survive, or half of the country (the bubba half) just wont consume their product.

    @Comrade DougJ: That might be true, but until Judgement Day (November 4 2012) the Wingularity will continue to approach. We are at the knee of the wingnut crazy curve now, and it is beginning to go slope-vertical.
    And you have seen nothing yet.
    In the run up to the election you will see men bark like dogs and speak in tongues, you will see islamophobia and birtherism mainstreamed and legitimized, you will see tsunamis of corporate cash poured into the vilest anti-Obama propaganda terebi, the entire intellectual collapse of the libertarian wing of the GOP, and the complete eradication of any vestige of sanity and honest on the right.
    You will see such sights as you have never even dreamt of.
    And election day will be like the beach-head at Innenin under the Rawling Virus strike.
    They will not go quietly into that good night.

  60. 60
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Danny: well NRO was a subsidiary of Team McCain in 2007/2008. Why should this election be any different?
    You know who digs Gary Johnson?
    Guess who?

    I’m more of a Gary Johnson guy myself. I like Mitch Daniels, too, but I haven’t been paying close enough attention to his foreign policy to say for sure. I’d vote for Johnson over any other candidate out there.

  61. 61
    Stefan says:

    So what are the Republicans going to do now? They are on record as having voted for that monstrosity. How can they walk it back?

    It was not intended to be a factual vote.

  62. 62
    GVG says:

    I’ve been wondering why the Republican’s picked Paul for that job since they did it. It seemed so obvious that he would produce results that were too extream for their past taste and certainly for the public’s. given how bad the underlying economic situation was, and how little there was to do about it, I’ve speculated that maybe no one else wanted the job? If that isn’t it, it seems to me, that the Republican leadership must have been confused and have no ideas on what to do, to allow such a pick. Really, I’ve been expecting terrible publicity to result from him since I heard of his getting the position. It was always impossible for THIS congressperson to come up with a plan that wasn’t going to cause pushback. Why pick him in the first place?

  63. 63
    NonyNony says:

    How did this come to pass? First, the GOP inexplicably decided to let a politically tone-deaf Randoid design its fiscal plan. Then it mistook the applause of innumerate Beltway sociopaths for public support.

    Argh! No – you’re completely misreading who they are and what they do.

    The GOP is all about expanding power when they can. They are a “take what you can when you can” party. They make these bold actions to force liberals to become reactive rather than active – the more that liberals are fighting to maintain the status quo the less they can actually effect real social change.

    Ryan is a fucking pawn in this game – he was puffed up and placed up there specifically to draw fire. Most of the members in the House and Senate are easily-replaceable pawns for the “movement”. This is fundamentally different from how the Democratic Party operates – the Democrats are basically a social club that works to keep their friends in office. And so they worry about their peers losing their jobs and do things (like stupidly put off a budget vote in the vain hopes that waiting until after the election will help their friends keep their seats). The GOP ultimately doesn’t care who holds the seat – if they lose it now they’ll just get someone else in there in 2 years. All that matters is advancing the ball a little bit – and failing that throwing up enough dust to prevent liberals from advancing their ball.

    And that’s what the Ryan plan was all about – sure there was a bit of “test the waters” to see if they could buy off the oldsters, but mostly it was about putting liberals on the defensive. It works every fucking time too – they’ve figured this strategy out and as long as they seem to be able to cycle control of one of the chambers into GOP hands within short time spans they’ll keep playing it.

  64. 64
    NonyNony says:

    @GVG:

    I’ve been wondering why the Republican’s picked Paul for that job since they did it.

    Ryan is an Objectivist – it didn’t take much to get him to do this. Hell he was pushing to do it – nobody pushed him into it.

    And you can bet your bottom dollar that if Ryan gets un-elected in two years a nice cozy sinecure will fall right into his lap. He might get picked up by Cato or the Heritage foundation or onto the staff of some Koch-fueled enterprise. There’s no risk for these guys – that’s how the movement conservatives have figured out how to get around the 3rd rail – make sure the politicians don’t actually have to care about KEEPING their jobs to push the boundaries.

    (Term limits do a nice job of this as well, but national term limits for legislators have fortunately never caught on. At the state level they fuck things over nicely, however.)

  65. 65
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Comrade DougJ:

    they won’t go near it

    But the libertarians and conservatives are going for legitimizing islamophobia. Here are two sites that are doing it.
    Secular Right
    League of Ordinary Gentlemen
    Watch closely because this is the template for the eventual legitimization/mainstreaming of birtherism.

    It is WRONG to believe that, but (wink wink) completely understandable that you do.

  66. 66
    mclaren says:

    National Review has an excellent article (full text not available online, alas, you have to read the print version) by John Judis dealing with this problem. Judis points out that most of the American institutions designed to act impartially and objectively have broken down into hopeless partisanship, and this is badly damaging the institutional effectiveness of our democracy.

    BTW, kudos for using the words “lagniappe” and “dysfunctional” in the previous article. Nice to see someone with a vocabulary for a change.

  67. 67
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @kay:

    I just think that’s a complete fail for media. It would make me cringe if I were an ostensibly neutral actor and heard that.

    media are way the hell out in front of what’s supposed to be their role.

    But what is their role? Who defines it? All I know is that the structure and behavior of the news media in the US in no way, shape or form reflects my preferences, and I don’t appear to have any leverage to do anything about this sorry state of affairs.

    I’ve completely given up on the US mainsteam media. They are every bit as much a bunch of bought and paid for propagandists as the people working for the state controlled media in the old Soviet Union ever were. It isn’t possible to describe the loathing and contempt I have for them without using words that could be interpreted as an incitement to violence.

  68. 68
    les says:

    @MattR:
    Payment in Americanos seems appropriate.

Comments are closed.