Romney/Ryan: Embrace the Giant Sucking Sound

(Mike Thompson via
Irredeemable WaPo jagoff Chris Cillizza on “Paul Ryan’s Rapidly-Improving Vice-Presidential Prospects“:

… In what was a defining speech of his 2012 reelection campaign, Obama repeatedly called out Ryan and Republicans for their “laughable” approach to deficit reduction, describing the budget plan put forward by the Wisconsin Republican as a “Trojan horse”. Added Obama: “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.”…
Knowing now that Obama is going to go all-out on the Ryan plan, it makes an increasing amount of sense for Romney to not only fully embrace the plan (as he has done) but to fully embrace the man too.
It’s not hard to imagine this thought in Romney headquarters this morning: You want to make the Ryan plan the centerpiece of this campaign? Fine. Game on. That’s a fight we want.
If you believe — and you should — that the dominant issue of this campaign is over which party has the best plan to put the country on sound financial footing then there’s no better way for Romney to drive a contrast with Obama than to put the face of the conservative approach to budgeting on the national ticket. (It doesn’t hurt that Ryan is telegenic, beloved by tea party conservatives and from a swing state like Wisconsin.)…

By all means, Republican base-rs, embrace the Zombie-Eyed Granny-Starver! Make this Randroid phantasy the public face of your party! Cillizza actually quotes Ezra Klein’s wonkish dissection of the way Ryan’s budget undermines Romney’s careful all-things-to-all-voters “moderation”… and then manages to proclaim this as a positive for the general election.

I think former theatre critic Frank Rich, at NYMag‘s Daily Intel, has a sounder understanding of the reality-based community:

The president called the budget “social Darwinism” — is this a strategy the Democrats can keep up throughout the general election?
“Social Darwinism” that budget clearly is, for it enshrines two principles: More tax cuts for the rich, and the gutting of programs that might benefit those who have not reached the pinnacle of economic evolution. Not just Medicare and Medicaid, but Head Start, Pell grants, and federal regulation of toxins as various as derivatives on Wall Street and “pink slime” in food. The House budget is a Pandora’s box of potential horrors that Democrats can roll out throughout 2012. And that political task is made easier by the fact that the Republicans, including Romney, are leaving the details blank, allowing voters (with Democratic prodding) to let their imaginations and fears run riot. Romney actually told The Weekly Standard that he would not “give you a list right now” of what federal departments and programs he would eliminate as President — and he said this just two weeks before he had the audacity to accuse Obama of playing “hide-and-seek.” Freud had a term for this — projection…
Will it help or hurt Obama that the GOP budget’s author, Paul Ryan, is a relative newcomer to the national stage? Even Americans who know his name probably only have a vague idea of who he is other than a “Wisconsin budget wonk.”
Ryan is too dull to serve as a political piñata — he’s “9-9-9” without the charisma. Should Romney pick him for Veep, as Washington’s current “whispering” has it, the GOP will at least have an all-white-male ticket in perfect sync with the party’s demographics. The bland leading the bland.
Isn’t that precisely why Romney shouldn’t choose Ryan?
You’d think. Then again, it’s hard to imagine how any vice-presidential choice could undo his and his party’s poor standing with two minorities, African-Americans and Hispanics, and one majority, women. This week Romney became clenched, awkward, and terse when asked to expound on the Mormon church’s egregious and tardy history in awarding blacks equal status to whites. He has endorsed Arizona’s Draconian anti-immigration law, which would punish Latinos for the crime of acting or looking “Latino,” and he has given the nation the concept of “self-deportation,” which some Hispanic voters might rightfully mistake for “self-flagellation,” or perhaps “self-annihilation.” Romney has also endorsed the so-called Blunt Amendment, and called for the elimination of Title X and Planned Parenthood funding — which would collectively deny poor and working women alike coverage not just for contraception but for cancer screening, among other health-care essentials…

It’s not hard to understand why this is latest (free!) bumper sticker from

72 replies
  1. 1
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Shorter Republican Party – ‘Hate (insert racial/sexual slur)? Vote GOP this November’

  2. 2
    Scott S. says:

    I don’t really get the Village’s obsession with Ryan. He’s a near personality-free nobody with no charisma. He doesn’t have the showmanship of Gingrich or the unfiltered insanity of Santorum. Any ticket with boring Paul Ryan isn’t going to pull any ratings at all.

  3. 3
    jl says:

    Don’t have time to read the link, but extract makes some good points.

    I don’t understand why Romney decided to personally embrace persons and policies that easily can be labelled as extremist mean, impractical, counterproductive, and ideologically driven, (I say easily, because IMHO that is exactly what they are).

    I thought, for smooth and convincing tacking back to center, all this was done with dog whistles accompanied by promises made in quiet back rooms to be communicated to the base, that all the toxicity would be the business of the GOP convention platform committee.

    The question arises, just how bad a candidate will Romney be? One hopes, a very very bad candidate indeed.

    Only problem I see is that Rich described Romney as suddenly ‘clenched’ and ‘awkward’, as if that were different from anything else in Rmoney’s campaign.

    Edit: answer to my own question is, because the GOP primary voting base is nut rich, and Newt and Rih would go there, and Rmoney had to go there too, because he is not a gifted enough politician to finesse all the toxic extremism. But that does not mean he is an awful candidate of truly historic proportions. I hope he proved to be as bad as early signs indicate he might be.

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    … federal regulation of toxins as various as derivatives on Wall Street and “pink slime” in food.

    That’s not really fair to pink slime, is it? AFAIK cats and dogs won’t eat a derivative.

  5. 5
    Legalize says:

    Willard has embraced extremism in order to get through the GOP Clown Show. He can do this because he doesn’t give a shit about what he says; he just wants to win. So, now that it’s time for him to pivot to Teh Center! he’ll just lie a little more and project his ample weaknesses upon the black fella. Willard doesn’t LOOK threatening, and neither does Paul Ryan. They are both white guys in suits who seem very *concerned* about medicare, SS, et al., and just want to find a fiscally responsible, market-based way to “preserve” them. What’s wrong with that?

  6. 6
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    If Ryan gets the veep nod I assume it would knock him out of congress, which itself is a good thing. The man’s a toxin. And if he gets the veep nod everyone in the country will learn what a sociopath he is.

    The fact that the two are so similar could make for some good jokes: two dead-eyed, plastic-faced yuppies with no principles other than separating poor people from their money. It’s like if Gordon Gekko ran for president and picked Patrick Bateman as his running mate.

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    Wow, I haven’t heard the word ‘jagoff’ in years. Is it making a comeback?

  8. 8
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    If Ryan gets the veep nod I assume it would knock him out of congress, which itself is a good thing.

    Operation Saving Private Ryan.

  9. 9
    flukebucket says:

    Paul Ryan is a man who was inspired to go into politics after reading a science fiction novel written by a woman whose personal philosophy was that selfishness is the only true virtue.

    So you can rest assured that any decision Paul Ryan makes will be in Paul Ryan’s best interest and all you can do is hope that yours and his coincide because he does not give one tinker’s damn about yours.

    As for me personally I will never understand how he has ever won a local election.

  10. 10
    the Conster (f/k/a Cat Lady) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Sociopath/Psychopath 2012!

  11. 11
    Hal says:

    I hate myself for it, but I think Paul Ryan is kinda handsome. I look forward to column after column from conservatives mentioning how dreamy these two are standing next to each other. I expect numerous Grey’s Anatomy Mcdreamy/Mcsteamy comparisons from serious journalists everywhere. Should be fun.

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Would it knock Ryan out? Lieberman ran for both Veep and Senate in 2000. I don’t know if state rules can prohibit that, or if they do in WI.

  13. 13
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @PeakVT: You are not required to resign from office to run for president: See Kerry, Lieberman, Edwards, McCain.

  14. 14
    schrodinger's cat says:

    BTW I just checked on BJ’s favorite blogger. Poor thing is taking a one week vacation, apparently he is exhausted.

  15. 15
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    OK, maybe I’m being more hopeful than anything. What I do know is that Ryan has a decent challenger for the first time in a while, and Ryan cocking it up on the national campaign trail will probably give that challenger a surplus of ammo.

  16. 16
    pragmatism says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: this usually means a health set-back for him. however it is irresponsible not to speculate that he is helping mcmegan with her Permission to Suck book and ogling blenderella’s piece servant accessoryhipster husband suderman.

  17. 17
    Tonybrown74 says:

    The fact that so many in the D.C. pundit class are just lining up to fellate him probably makes Paul Ryan the most sexually satisfied man in America right now.

    Even in my jaded worldview, this is an awesome spectacle to behold.

  18. 18
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: If the challenger is really able to challenge Ryan for his seat, it will be interesting to see what Ryan does. If he chooses to be VP, he either thinks Romney will win, or that he can’t lose his seat. If he chooses not to be VP, it could be that he’s worried about losing his seat, and that he doesn’t think Romney will really win.

  19. 19
    Tonal Crow says:

    Quoting Rich:

    Romney actually told The Weekly Standard that he would not “give you a list right now” of what federal departments and programs he would eliminate as President — and he said this just two weeks before he had the audacity to accuse Obama of playing “hide-and-seek.” Freud Joseph Goebbels had a term for this — projection propaganda…

    Fixed. ETA: in the modern Republican era, Godwin’s law is no longer good law.

  20. 20
    Satanicpanic says:

    I fully support him choosing Ryan, he deserves to go down with the Romney FAILboat.

  21. 21
    Mobile Grumpy Code Monkey says:


    Jesus, as if starbursts weren’t bad enough. With all the closet cases among the right wing pundit class, op-ed pages are going to ooze homoerotic poetry.

    Satire is dead.

  22. 22
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    He got tired smoking all those blunts?

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Resigning an existing office is different from running for two offices at the same time. Lieberman was the only one of those four who did so in a G.E.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    scared of Eddie Muster Ryan?


  25. 25
    cathyx says:

    @Hal: Are you a male? Because speaking as a female, he is not handsome at all to me.

  26. 26

    Paul Ryan as Republican candidate for VP! Hooray!

    It would be delicious for several reasons, including the fact that Ryan has such a tin ear. Often he comes off as thick as a brick and frequently learns the wrong lesson from previous encounters.

    [rubbing hands together] This could be very nice.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    At this late stage Mitt still has yet to convince quite a few Republicans that he’s a Republican too. (He has also yet to prove that he’s a Christian too, but that’s another story.)

    So if Obama pushes for policies that are moderate, humane, practical, productive and nonpartisan, the Republican base expects their man to push something diametrically opposite: i.e. something extremist, mean, impractical, counterproductive, and ideologically driven.

    Let’s hope Romney and Ryan do indeed run as a team. Let them try to defend Ryan’s preposterous budget against an intelligent and principled attack from the incumbents. Obama is rightly calling it out because it burdens the poor, coddles the rich, makes absurd promises about finding unspecified savings, and makes the deficit worse. I foresee great hilarity as Ryan ties himself in knots explaining his budget in the debate with Joe Biden.

  28. 28

    Speaking of learning the wrong lesson from previous encounters:

    I approached 2010 by espousing logic and sense. This time, I’m considering going with ridicule and vitriol.

    Waddya think?

  29. 29
    catclub says:

    In a world with giant egos, where picking Ryan for VP means the presidential race will be all about Ryan and his budget, the giant ego of Mitt Romney says … no.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    If I recall correctly, Joe Biden stood for re-election to the Senate in 2008 as well as for the Vice-Presidency; then he resigned the former seat after the election.

  31. 31
    Tom Q says:

    @PeakVT: And that was because certain states do have provisions for running for both at the same time — notably, Texas made it possible for LBJ in 1960, and Bentsen used the same premise in ’88.

    I’ve never heard of the rule being applied to a House seat before. Is there anyone here from WI who knows local laws?

  32. 32

    @Hal: #10

    I hate myself for it, but I think Paul Ryan is kinda handsome.

    No need to hate yourself. I have always thought that W was good looking in a good-ol-boy kind of way.

    As for the rest of it:

    Ryan, sexy? [snort!] Nah.

  33. 33
    Ash Can says:

    @Hal: One of the many talented wags here commented yesterday that these two guys together look like the little figures atop a gay wedding cake. Bullseye!

    As for the general idea of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, boy howdy, bring it on. Especially if it knocks his ass out of Congress.

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    there’s no better way for Romney to drive a contrast with Obama than to put the face of the conservative approach to budgeting on the national ticket. (It doesn’t hurt that Ryan is telegenic

    Good god. I wish Mitt Romney was this stupid.

  35. 35
    mainmati says:

    @cathyx: Don’t know where Anne is from but “jagoff” was a common derogatorive in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA when I was growing up.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    it doesn’t hurt that Ryan is telegenic

    I heard he was gonna go with ridiculously photogenic guy.

  37. 37
    Culture of Truth says:

    heh. if the criteria are telegenic, popular with the tea party, from a swing state and telegenic, just put Rick Santorum on the ticket. Although in that case I would suggest Nikki Haley

  38. 38
    mainmati says:

    @PeakVT: Congressman get elected every two years; Senators every six years.

  39. 39
    Bob2 says:

    And yet Wilkinson is still being dumb about this. Oh Glibertarianism!

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Kay says:

    Well, I think it is going to be Ryan, because Republicans need to replace the evangelical Christian zeal with another group of voters, and those voters are going to be midwestern, conservative Catholics.
    I think they’re willing to risk independent women voters for that group, because they need a religious faction, and Romney is a Mormon.
    It’s not that far off the Bush 2004 strategy in Ohio, with same sex marriage, narrower and more regionally-focused, but they always repeat a winning strategy, and Romney’s main selling point was “I can carry one or two midwestern states”.

  42. 42
    Culture of Truth says:

    Judging by that New York Times article, Romney really wants to run with Bibi.

  43. 43
    mainmati says:

    @Amir Khalid: He will do so by doing the very thing that Romney does, which is to deny the very extremist or non-factual statement he may have just said or written and then daring anyone to point out the contradiction. We know that the lamestream media won’t do so and the typical low information GOP/lean GOP voter won’t understand the contradiction so the strategy could work.

  44. 44
    PeakVT says:

    @mainmati: Obviously. And?

  45. 45
    Bob2 says:

    Ryan makes no sense as the pick, but Romney is doomed from the start tbqh.

    A Ryan pick would be his Sarah Palin moment.

  46. 46
    samara morgan says:

    foolish Teucrians.

    Then Laocoön rushes down eagerly from the heights
    of the citadel, to confront them all, a large crowd with him,
    and shouts from far off: ‘O unhappy citizens, what madness?
    Do you think the enemy’s sailed away? Or do you think
    any Greek gift’s free of treachery? Is that Ulysses’s reputation?
    Either there are Greeks in hiding, concealed by the wood,
    or it’s been built as a machine to use against our walls,
    or spy on our homes, or fall on the city from above,
    or it hides some other trick: Trojans, don’t trust this horse.
    Whatever it is, I’m afraid of Greeks even those bearing gifts.’
    So saying he hurled his great spear, with extreme force,
    at the creature’s side, and into the frame of the curved belly.
    The spear stuck quivering, and at the womb’s reverberation
    the cavity rang hollow and gave out a groan.
    And if the gods’ fate, if our minds, had not been ill-omened,
    he’d have incited us to mar the Greeks hiding-place with steel:
    Troy would still stand: and you, high tower of Priam would remain.

  47. 47
    wasabi gasp says:

    NOT A CLUE –

  48. 48
    Nutella says:

    @Tom Q:

    I’ve never heard of the rule being applied to a House seat before. Is there anyone here from WI who knows local laws?

    Whatever the WI laws are, the leg and governor will be more than happy to change them to favor Ryan. Expect to see that done any minute now.

  49. 49
    Chris says:


    It still is. Never lived there myself but several of my friends do and use it constantly.

  50. 50
    mainmati says:

    @PeakVT: So, if Ryan ran as Veep, he would basically have to ignore running for his own seat and even though he would have high visibility nationally, usually the locals want to see their local rep paying attention to their provincial concerns so it’s a risk, especially if his seat isn’t 100% safe.

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Romney-Ryan would be very reminiscent of Dole-Kemp.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    Going by Meet The Press this weekend, Jon Kasich makes a better case on tv. There’s something genuinely creepy about Paul Ryan (to me, anyway).

  53. 53
    ruemara says:

    I’ve told people that it would be either Rand Paul or Ryan. Some glibertarian pick to have Ron Paul throw in with the main campaign and so the village can swoon over the “serious” of everything.

  54. 54
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    Why does Frank Rich seem to think that Romney needs to answer for the bigotry of his church?

    Also, what’s wrong with the concept of “self-deportation,” as explained by Rommey?

  55. 55
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    For Mitt his VP choice maybe beggars can’t be chosers. Look at the the tepid Romney endorsement. Ryan is almost the only one who shows any Mittmania.

  56. 56
    cathyx says:

    @mainmati: Well, I’m from Pittsburgh too, and called idiots jagoff when I lived there. I don’t live there anymore, so I haven’t heard that name for a long time. Do people still say that there?

  57. 57 I try to be amused says:

    I look forward to the debate between America’s favorite uncle Joe and the Randroid.

  58. 58
    Culture of Truth says:

    @…now I try to be amused: “that robot is crazy, man!”

  59. 59
    jibeaux says:

    Telegenic? Um, were actual women involved in this assessment?

  60. 60
    Palli says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Isn’t Zerban challenging Ryan? I heard the The DCCC is not helpingh him finactially. Is this true! Pressure should be put on DCCC to do so from everyone- Ryan is a problem for the whole nation not just Wisconsin and getting him out should be an important priority, especially this year of heightened public awareness of democratic politics in WI.

  61. 61 I try to be amused says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    Yes, the GOP is giving us a clear choice this year, between human beings and… well, something other than human.

  62. 62
    Palli says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    Please don’t think that there isn’t something creepy about napoleonic Kasich. Creepy slimmy, he is.

  63. 63
    Calouste says:


    Of course not.

  64. 64
    LAC says:

    Thank you, somebody, for acknowledging what I have known for sometime. Cilizza is a lisping jagoff who is getting the “Chuck Todd” syndrome (starts with too many times as a guest on a cable news show and develops into a rash of feeling that everything you say is precious). Embarassed that he is an alumni of my school. Ugh!!

  65. 65
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half:

    Also, what’s wrong with the concept of “self-deportation,” as explained by Rommey?

    You mean other than the laughability of it?


    My money’s still on Rubio as the tix veep, if only because the GOP is just tone-deaf enough to think that would repair their relations with America’s Latino communities. And being as Rubio would bring his own awesome buckets o’ fail, I’d be happy with that pick.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:



    outside of Indiana, I don’t see any midwestern state that voted for Obama in 2008 flipping in 2012.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Culture of Truth says:

    I don’t like Kasich, but his vibe is not as weird as Ryan’s, to me. More blowhard and jerk than anitromic randian mannequin.

  69. 69
    Citizen_X says:

    By all means, Republican base-rs, embrace the Zombie-Eyed Granny-Starver! Make this Randroid phantasy the public face of your party!

    Noooooooo! We’re terrified of Ryan! TERRIFIED!

  70. 70
    kay says:


    I just think Romney’s really methodical, and he doesn’t take risk.
    He saw a path when they flipped all those statehouses, and he doesn’t see another route.
    I don’t think the alliance with the bishops was a mistake. It may be a mistake, ie, fail, but it wasn’t in error.
    The Mormonism is a problem. They’re going to have to counteract that.
    It’s not new and novel. It’s white men and fired-up religious, which is just a variation on their constant theme.
    They’re going to take most of the south if they run Romney’s Irish setter, but they need some hook to flip one of those Midwestern states, and “religious liberty” is what they got.
    I don’t care that much. I think the VP pick is way over-rated, as an electoral gimmick or strategy. The President is the thing. They can’t “fix” Romney with Ryan.
    You can give me shit if I’m wrong, but I did pick Romney as the nominee, but that was easy :)

  71. 71
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    I just think Romney’s really methodical, and he doesn’t take risk.

    Seems a far assessment of Mittens, look at the absurd carpet bombing of Pennsylvania even though he’s out polling Santorum.

  72. 72
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: Why is it laughable? If immigrants can’t get jobs here, why would they stay?

Comments are closed.