Romney/Ryan: What’s in Your Wallet Platform?

(Ben Sargent via GoComics.com)
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I can’t stop, because they won’t. The Economist‘s Will Wilkinson goes gooey for the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver:

… Unfortunately for Mr Obama, Mr Ryan is no Newt Gingrich. He is not a pompous, self-aggrandizing bloviator in the grand southern style. He’s a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker. Moreover, Mr Ryan’s conservatism largely eschews the odious cultural politics of social conservatives and focuses instead on a pragmatic, fiscally conservative market-oriented meliorism, the appeal of which is by no means limited to the hard right. He’s an attractive politician offering an attractive comprehensive alternative to the administration’s approach. And that’s why it is a matter of urgent political necessity for Mr Obama to try to smear Mr Ryan’s budget as a recipe for brutal, devil-take-the-hindmost injustice…
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Mr Ryan is ready and able to debate the substance of public policy in way only a few members of congress, left or right, can match. He’s become a de facto leader of the GOP not because he’s a big idea man in the Gingrich mold, but rather because he’s extraordinarily capable of approaching America’s big-ticket structural problems with coherent, detailed policy proposals. After Mr Obama’s Tuesday speech, Mr Ryan’s office released a sharp, systematic rebuttal on Facebook. You don’t have to agree with Mr Ryan’s politics to see the substance here. Although he is at least Mr Ryan’s equal as a debater and policy wonk, Mr Obama has not and will not win every fight he picks with him. Mr Obama seems to be gambling on the assumption he is safely encamped on the moral high ground, and can therefore lose a good few battles and nevertheless win the war…

First off, humectified much, W.W.? If Ryan-mania doesn’t blow over like every other GOP fad this season, Rick “Sarah Starbursts” Lowrey may lose the Most Transparently Embarrassing Media Moment award he stole from Chris “Dubya’s flightsuit package sends a tingle up my leg” Matthews. Secondly, because I am old enough to remember stuff that happened even before 2001, I do not believe the words “sharp, systematic rebuttal” and “Facebook” should be used in the same sentence. As for content, let’s defer to a real economist, discussing “The Gullible Center“:

The Ryan cult was very much on display last week, after President Obama said the obvious: the latest Republican budget proposal, a proposal that Mitt Romney has avidly embraced, is a “Trojan horse” — that is, it is essentially a fraud. “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.”
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The reaction from many commentators was a howl of outrage. The president was being rude; he was being partisan; he was being a big meanie. Yet what he said about the Ryan proposal was completely accurate.
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Actually, there are many problems with that proposal. But you can get the gist if you understand two numbers: $4.6 trillion and 14 million.
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Of these, $4.6 trillion is the revenue cost over the next decade of the tax cuts embodied in the plan, as estimated by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. These cuts — which are, by the way, cuts over and above those involved in making the Bush tax cuts permanent — would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, with the average member of the top 1 percent receiving a tax break of $238,000 a year…
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Meanwhile, 14 million is a minimum estimate of the number of Americans who would lose health insurance under Mr. Ryan’s proposed cuts in Medicaid; estimates by the Urban Institute actually put the number at between 14 million and 27 million.
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So the proposal is exactly as President Obama described it: a proposal to deny health care (and many other essentials) to millions of Americans, while lavishing tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy — all while failing to reduce the budget deficit, unless you believe in Mr. Ryan’s secret revenue sauce. So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?

My personal response would be “Because those self-styled ‘centrists’ are either morons or liars, or both”, but you can check the link Professor Krugman’s sober, reasoned, adult conclusions.

72 replies
  1. 1
    Egg Berry says:

    Wow, that first piece reads like an application for sainthood in the Holy Church of Our Mother St. Ayn of Galt.

    Adding: Facebook wasn’t founded until 2004.

  2. 2
    Culture of Truth says:

    He’s a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker.

    What other American politician could that also describe?

  3. 3
    Egg Berry says:

    @Culture of Truth: I think he left out “white.”

  4. 4
    Richard says:

    It’s somehow fitting that this comes only a few posts down from that story about closeted homosexuals being the biggest homophobes.

    I’m sure many GOPers agree that Ryan is a “looker”.

  5. 5
    Culture of Truth says:

    You could accept that Obama is exactly right that “it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country” and you still wouldn’t have to change what Will Wilkinson wrote.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    He’s a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker.

    Whenever they’re trying to make their latest rigidly ideological Right Wing Clone with the same old ideas look presentable, they always shower the media with pieces like this emphasizing his personal qualities, gosh-dark likeability, Real American folksiness, and if applicable (and sometimes not even then), good looks. Saves them from having to talk about what he’s actually doing in any detail, except in terms of broad, vague, non-descriptive platitudes like “pragmatic” and “market-oriented.”

    They did it for Palin. They did it for Bush. And I was a toddler back then, but I’m willing to bet there were plenty of pieces like this one written about Newt Gingrich twenty years ago.

  7. 7
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Here comes the flight deck and codpiece again. The Republicans never get tired of that movie.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    This is not different. Anyone remember 2009? Republicans responded to Obama’s proposed budget with their budget — “budget” in that it had no actual budgeting information.

    Stung by their stereotyping as the “party of no,” House Republicans eagerly promoted the unveiling of their alternative to President Obama’s budget today — but when they finished speaking, reporters had one big question: Where’s the actual budget? You know, the numbers that show deficit projections and discretionary spending?
    __
    There certainly was no hard budgetary data in the attractively designed 18-page packet that the House GOP handed out today, its blue cover emblazoned with an ambitious title: “The Republican Road to Recovery.” When Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was asked what his goal for deficit reduction would be — President Obama aims to halve the nation’s spending imbalance within five years — Boehner responded simply: “To do better [than Obama].”
    __
    When pressed further by reporters, Boehner promised that Republicans would release their actual budget within the next few days and pointed a finger back at the president.
    __
    After Obama delivered a prime-time speech previewing his budget, Boehner said, “he didn’t offer his details until days later.”

    At that time, Ryan was portrayed as the schmuck ignored by Republican leadership as he pounded out a detailed, carefully planned budget — reporting which also turned out to be a bunch of shit, and such a myth took hold about Ryan even though each time his “budget” documentation was either false or in more or less Underpants Gnome level specificity.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    I’m seriously worried about these dudes, straight or gay or whatever, who think Paul Ryan is a handsome man.

    Seriously?

    He looks like an uglier Alfred E. Neuman.

    Hey Paul, only elementary school kids part their hair like that.

  10. 10
    Calouste says:

    @Egg Berry:

    hardworking, Midwestern

    He didn’t leave out “white” in his language.

  11. 11
    pragmatism says:

    someone kindly send mr. wilkinson a bag of salted dicks for him to eat. fucking hell.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    “You-know-who” Voldemort?

  13. 13
    jl says:

    Apparently some typos in that link.

    ” Mr Ryan’s conservatism largely eschews the odious cultural politics of social conservatives and focuses instead on a pragmatic innumerate, fiscally conservative insanely reactionary market-oriented crony capitalist meliorism Social Darwinism (that Darwin himself disowned), the appeal of which is by no means limited to the hard right and very gullible and the corrupt. He’s an attractive politician offering a n attractive comprehensive sleek counterfeit with no working parts alternative to the administration’s approach. And that’s why it is a matter of urgent political necessity civic duty for Mr Obama to try to smear reveal Mr Ryan’s budget as a recipe for brutal, devil-take-the-hindmost injustice… the murderous bankrupt scam that it is “

  14. 14
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    And I was a toddler back then, but I’m willing to bet there were plenty of pieces like this one written about Newt Gingrich twenty years ago.

    @Chris: Sort of. There was no way to sell the American public on either Gingrich’s looks or manliness – the best adjective for his physique, back then and now, would be “lardlike” – so they instead played him up as a Great Mind Of Western Civilization, Smartest Man In The Room, all that horseshit.

    The same folks at the time were covering Clinton as a cousin-fucking, McDonalds swilling fatass Southern redneck who didn’t know how to put on his own pants in the morning.

    That’s the “liberal” media. The conservative media was far worse.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    @Calouste:

    You beat me to it.

    Emphasizing white identity politics too overtly is poor form these days, so they emphasize it in terms of regional folksy heritage from the heartland. Same as when white Southern conservatives fly the Confederate flag, the ultimate symbol of white power, and claim that “it’s all about our heritage, maaann.”

  16. 16
    schrodinger's cat says:

    So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?

    Centrists who like the Ryan Plan are not moderate at all they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. What does being a centrist mean any way. Center of what exactly?

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    Paul Ryan is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    And this was funny:

    ” Mr Ryan is ready and able to debate the substance of public policy ”

    I guess he seems convincing if you are the type of person who works in a few little man tingles in the leg in every fricken paragraph you write about Ryan. But that is another dimension of persuasion, and sound thinking people reserve that for another type of argument for another type of sale.

  19. 19
    David Koch says:

    Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker.

    Huh? Ryan looks like Eddie Munster.

  20. 20
    butler says:

    He’s a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker.

    Super. He’s also a cold hearted Randian zealot. The former traits do not excuse the latter.

    Mr Ryan is ready and able to debate the substance of public policy in way only a few members of congress, left or right, can match.

    That’s because those on the right are idiots who either swoon over his government wrecking plans or are even crazier than he is, and most on the left know how crazy he is and how pointless it is to “debate” the best way to starve granny.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    ” So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense? ”

    Does this goof, whoever he is, mention that for most of these professional centrists, it is easy work for good pay? That explains a big part of it.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?

    Because their necks have a maddening attraction for the Headsman’s axe.

  23. 23
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @David Koch: I don’t get it at all? As a woman I don’t find him a least bit attractive, why do we keep hearing this again and again, from the male villagers in particular.

  24. 24
    Egg Berry says:

    Testing

  25. 25
    BGinCHI says:

    @David Koch: Except Eddie could really act.

  26. 26
    Richard says:

    For some reason, I was reminded of this quote…

    ” You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons. ” –Blazing Saddles

  27. 27
    Warren Terra says:

    You quote Mr. Wilkinson of The Economist writing:

    Mr Ryan is ready and able to debate the substance of public policy in way only a few members of congress, left or right, can match. He’s become a de facto leader of the GOP not because he’s a big idea man in the Gingrich mold, but rather because he’s extraordinarily capable of approaching America’s big-ticket structural problems with coherent, detailed policy proposals. After Mr Obama’s Tuesday speech, Mr Ryan’s office released a sharp, systematic rebuttal on Facebook.

    Sadly, No. Ezra Klein initially thought Ryan hadn’t responded at all, only later finding out there was a response on Facebook. Ezra did his thing with the “response”: he went through it carefully (“in detail”). He wasn’t kind:

    But now I’ve read the response carefully, and I have to admit: I still don’t see where they contest any of Obama’s numbers.
    __
    ….
    All in all, Ryan’s response is an energetic argument on behalf of his policies. But it’s not really an argument over where his budget does and doesn’t spend money. The closest he gets to actually arguing with the president’s numbers is saying that his cuts won’t be split evenly across categories — they will be apportioned in some yet-to-be-determined fashion.
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    ….
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    Ryan offers more deficit reduction, large tax cuts, and higher defense spending, and he pays for it through large cuts to programs for the poor and other government services.

  28. 28
    Egg Berry says:

    He’s a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk who just happens to be something of a looker.

    You know who else was a likable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk?

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    Why do I have a feeling that Wilkinson typed that piece with one hand?

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I was too young to pay close attention to politics back then, but Bill Clinton was attractive and charming back when he was the President, definitely better looking than Ryan. Was the Village so fawning?

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @Culture of Truth: Thune?

    :: ducks ::

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?

    ThatLeftTurnInABQ posted this a few days ago about the mainstream media’s ideology, which I thought was a good point and might bear repeating here –

    “A period of sustained dominance by one party will swing the media. The liberal media of the 60s came about because Dems controlled the WH from 1933 thru 1952, followed by a RINO for 8 years, followed by another 8 years of Dems in the WH. When that sort of thing goes on for long enough, reporters learn how to trim their sails to cultivate sources in high places or they can’t get their jobs done. Nobody cares about the opinions of some guy who was Sec. of Agriculture back in 1923 when it is now 1948.

    In terms of media bias, we are paying a price now for the dominance of the GOP from 1981 thru 2008. The MSM is like the Supreme Court, they preserve the political climate of 10-20 years ago and they change one obit. at a time.”

    Hence, the average pundit’s tendency to lean right even when he’s not a complete ideological tool.

  33. 33
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Mr Ryan is ready and able to debate the substance of public policy

    Somebody please correct if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Ryan in the room at that now famous meeting in Baltimore back in Jan 2010 when Obama went to the GOP Congressional Caucus and schooled them on their own turf re: the budget and other matters. Perhaps Ryan must have been having a bad day that day, in terms of being ready and able to debate the substance of public policy. Next time it will be totally different!

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t get it, either, and I’ve been a straight woman my whole life. I suppose that if all you do is look at the most flattering picture of him that you can find, you could say that he fits the parameters of conventional handsomeness, but you have to ignore those cold, dead fish eyes.

  35. 35
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Mnemosyne: His hair is pretty weird too. He seems like an awkward over grown school boy to me.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Nobama’s could talk about numbers, and which ones added up and which did not, which was an unfair advantage, and oppressive totalitarianism.

  37. 37
    Richard says:

    Paul Ryan’s daily affirmation:

    “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ” cold, dead fish eyes. ”

    Maybe that is the magic feature that most of the rest of us do not get.

    Birds of a feather and all that.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Yeah, that’s exactly who I had in mind when I wrote that post at # 6, actually. I read a Politico piece on him about two years ago (no longer there, sorry) that described him as “unquestionably conservative but not in an ideological way — more in a Midwestern, rural, country, small-town way.” That’s when it first occurred to me that that’s exactly how they present rigid ideologues when trying to win elections.

  40. 40
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Chris: I know, after all I read Balloon Juice daily! I was merely asking a rhetorical question.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Weaselone says:

    Wow. Krugman is shrill…and Ryan lacks the brains and conscience God gifted to flatworms.

  43. 43
    Egg Berry says:

    @Chris:

    unquestionably conservative but not in an ideological way — more in a Midwestern, rural, country, small-town way

    What the hell?

  44. 44
    Svensker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I suppose that if all you do is look at the most flattering picture of him that you can find, you could say that he fits the parameters of conventional handsomeness, but you have to ignore those cold, dead fish eyes.

    You have to look at context. Most Republican men look like Erick Erickson, Jonah Goldberg, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner. Given that company, Ryan resembles a normal human and could possibly pass for good looking.

  45. 45
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Why are the rural midwestern people “Real Americans” and my neighbor who is a direct descendant of the Mayflower puritans a “fake” American. Or is “Real American” code for people who vote or are likely to vote Republican? By the GOP definition most of their revered Founding Fathers would be not considered “Real”.

  46. 46
    David Koch says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    from the male villagers in particular.

    it’s using tautology (he’s a “looker” because we say he’s a ‘looker”) to create a spokesmodel to put a face on grisly ideology.

    It’s no different than how they created an image of Bush as a “nice guy to have a beer with”, so he could front hideous policies with the non-cognitives .

  47. 47
    Egg Berry says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Or is “Real American” code for people who vote or are likely to vote Republican?

    you mistyped white.

    Adding: I know that isn’t a founder’s thing, but in this case, it fits.

  48. 48
    Comrade Dread says:

    So why are centrists rising to Mr. Ryan’s defense?

    Because they get paid by corporations who want Mr. Ryan’s budget to sock it to the poor and middle class so they’ll see more money flow upwards.

    Because they get tingly feelings when the Elite pat them on the head and scratch them behind their ears and tell them they’re good boys for saying what their masters want them to say and how about a nice invitation to my family’s barbeque where you can pretend to be important like the rest of us?

    Because newspapers and magazines are scared of conservatives complaining about liberal bias and the only way to avoid it and have some peace and quiet is to look reality in the eye, tell it to sod off, and say the sky is purple with pink stripes.

    And because, it makes them feel all morally superior to say “Screw the poor. They must be lazy. If they weren’t, why they’d be wealthy!”

    Take your damn pick. Sweet frakking Buddha, some days I really do want to cheer on Armageddon. Because somehow I doubt God will put up with a pack of centrists saying, “Well, God is technically correct, but the devil did have some interesting, bold, and daring ideas, and he was quite charming.”

  49. 49
    Zifnab says:

    Shorter: Paul Ryan’s policies are fantastic, and I want to hump his leg!

    I like how Wilkinson takes a backhanded swipe at Newt Gingrich while completely ignoring the fact that Gingrich managed to win two(?) states.

    “Pompous, self-aggrandizing bloviator in the grand southern style” is exactly what the GOP looks for. The GOP isn’t going to line up behind a milquetoast mid-westerner who hems and haws. They want balls and blood.

    Either Paul Ryan goes full Tea-tard and steps into the culture war to rally the base, or he refuses to drink the kool-aid and comes across as weak and soft. Conservatives, Independents, Liberals – pick which two he’s going to offend.

  50. 50
    Comrade Dread says:

    I suppose that if all you do is look at the most flattering picture of him that you can find, you could say that he fits the parameters of conventional handsomeness, but you have to ignore those cold, dead fish eyes.

    It’s called the uncanny valley. The more human we make our automatons look, the more uncomfortable humans get because we can still perceive that they’re not real.

    Romney suffers less in this department than Ryan, but lacks the latest software updates to his bulls*** program. Romney can say the words, but you can still sort of tell that they conflict with his primary programming.

  51. 51
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Egg Berry: They are not too fond of white people who are DFHs are they? Or are liberal, and may vote for Democrats. See the tirades against Hollywood, coastal cities and academia.

  52. 52
    Egg Berry says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Not “real” white people, we aren’t apparently.

  53. 53
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Why are the rural midwestern people “Real Americans” and my neighbor who is a direct descendant of the Mayflower puritans a “fake” American.

    __
    IIRC the GOP wasn’t so hot on this whole “Midwestern = Real American” thing back during the period of time when we were having Farm Aid concerts featuring long-haired hippie rock bands and angry farmers were driving their tractors to DC to protest changes in Reagan admin. agricultural policy.

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    So, The Atlantic has a piece on a scientific paper from 1998 that shows that people are not possessed of unlimited willpower – that you can actually deplete it, through various mechanisms, mechanisms that poor people are less able to avoid and combat.

    Now, if this notion should take hold with the public (I’m not holding my breath, but these shifts in public attitude do happen) then it pretty much guts the bootstrap/libertarian economic attitudes. It suggests that no matter how rational we may be, if you heap enough crap on us, we’re going to make bad decisions – worse decisions than the people who don have crap heaped on them. Now that sounds obvious, but there’s always been a causality debate here – are poor people poor because they make bad decisions, or do they stay poor because the conditions of poverty deplete people’s ability to make good decisions? Republicans pretty much to a one say the former. This study says they’re wrong.

    If the public should start to accept hat they’re wrong – not out of some philosophical disagreement, but because there is proof they are wrong, that could be serious.

  55. 55
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: In short,
    Real Americans = People who vote for the GOP.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Martin:

    Now that sounds obvious, but there’s always been a causality debate here – are poor people poor because they make bad decisions, or do they stay poor because the conditions of poverty deplete people’s ability to make good decisions? Republicans pretty much to a one say the former. This study says they’re wrong.

    Thus proving if need be that all academia and science are full of liberal eggheads plotting to discredit Real America because they hate it for its success.

  57. 57
    AlanDean says:

    I thought he was asking for a date with the man. WW at Democracy for America has written some over the top stuff in the past, but when I read this I couldn’t contain myself. Obama is not a saint but he is not “hysterical” or “incendiary”. I get the Economist print edition and have for years. They first caught my eye when, during the Thomas confirmation hearings Economist’s first Leader one week said “The United States Supreme Court is supposed to be the best and the brightest. Thomas is neither.” The staff has changed and a recent Leader blamed Obama for everything wrong with Washington. If I can’t trust them for reporting on America what am I to make of their reporting on the rest of the world?

    Ryan is a “looker”? Close examination of his eyes reveals a zombie soul inside. Twice he has introduced his budget, twice the House has voted for it. I guess we will see if America is paying attention.

  58. 58
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Real Americans = People who vote for the GOP.

    Yup. Probably not a bad idea to add the qualifying phrase from cleek’s law: updated daily. If the current set of “Real Americans” think that they too won’t be thrown under the bus at some point, should it become expedient to do so, then they have a nasty surprise coming for them.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    @El Cid: Love it.

    As someone who has lived a rather poverty-stricken life because they lacked the Bullshit Gene; or whatever it is that lets them ignore whatever it is they are doing…

  60. 60
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Beauty is only skin-deep, but ugly goes to the bone.

    If Ryan’s face was as pretty as his policies it would make Freddy Krueger look like George Clooney by comparison.

    Smarmy bastard.

  61. 61
    driftglass says:

    My personal response would be “Because those self-styled ‘centrists’ are either morons or liars, or both

    Or hucksters.

    Because that Centrist, hustlebuck dollar?

    That’s a good dollar!

    http://driftglass.blogspot.com.....apart.html

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Bruce S says:

    Will Wilkinson is a dumbass Libertarian. Of course he loves drowning government in Grover Norquist’s bathtub. What else is new?

  64. 64
    Valdivia says:

    question: Isn’t Ryan also a her religious guy?

  65. 65
    kideni says:

    Chiming in late (as always) to declare myself gobsmacked that so many people are taken in by Paul Ryan. But then again, I could never figure out how anyone could be taken in by GWB either. Attractive? He’s always given me the creeps. And really, he’s only likable and charming if you have something to offer him. So yeah, he turns on the charm for “centrist” journalists who can say nice things about him, or for the moneybags who buy him $350 bottles of wine. As you can see from his reactions to Obama’s criticism, his skin is thinner than gossamer. If you’re a constituent but not a millionaire, he’ll never be available to listen to your concerns; in fact, if you press the issue, his aides will have you arrested. He might offer you a Packer schedule or candy, but nothing more than that.

  66. 66
    Bob2 says:

    http://andrewsullivan.thedaily.....tupid.html

    Oh chutzpah. Wilkinson:
    “Politics makes us stupid. This is one of my recurring themes. This is the principal reason I refuse to be a partisan or ideological team player. People call me libertarian but I don’t in part because I’m not one, but mostly because I suspect that accepting any such label dings my IQ about 15 points. “

  67. 67
    Nutella says:

    because I am old enough to remember stuff that happened even before 2001, I do not believe the words “sharp, systematic rebuttal” and “Facebook” should be used in the same sentence.

    I literally LOL’d at this.

    I LOL’d at the idea that Ryan is such a “a likeable, hardworking, detail-oriented, Midwestern wonk” that he conducts ‘discussions’ about his detailed, serious budget on Facebook and only on Facebook.

    And a looker, if you can believe Will Wilkinson. Apparently zombie-eyed granny starvers are Will’s type.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    He seems like an awkward over grown school boy to me.

    In many more ways than just looks. If this was as long ago as conservatives want to turn back the clock he’d be wearing short pants.

  69. 69
    Tim in SF says:

    humectified much, W.W

    I’ve decided to stop reading a post when I encounter “[adjective] much?”. It’s my own personal godwin and a good time saver.

  70. 70
    Batocchio says:

    Why does anyone respect Wilkinson? Perhaps none of the pieces I’ve read represent his best work. He seems better read than some of his fellow travelers, but most of what I’ve seen is fairly conventional plutocratic hackdom with a glibertarian sheen. Given the wonk analyses on Paul Ryan to date (Krugman, CBPP, CEPR, Tax Policy Center, CBO, and some others), it’s further proof Wilkinson is not to be taken to be taken seriously, even if one forgives the starbursts.

  71. 71
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Moreover, Mr Ryan’s conservatism largely eschews the odious cultural politics of social conservatives

    No it doesn’t

  72. 72
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Anyone who says that Paul Ryan eschews social conservative politics is a propagandist who knows full well that he or she is lying

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