- On Ryan Apologists – NYTimes.com.
In my next life I want to be a conservative policy scammer. Think of how much nicer it would be. Instead of constantly being accused of having evil motives, I’d be presumed to have noble intentions no matter how much the actual content of my policy proposals was at odds with such claims. Instead of being accused of saying bad things I never said, I’d be given credit for supporting good things I’ve never supported. Life would be great!
OK, I’m whining. But the continuing defense of Paul Ryan is a remarkable phenomenon. He’s still being treated by many pundits as a man deeply concerned about deficits, when the fact is that his policy proposals are all about redistributing income upward, and make no serious effort to curb debt. He’s even given credit for advocating higher taxes on the rich when he has more or less specifically rejected the things for which he’s given credit.
What’s going on here? The defenders of Ryan come, I’d argue, in two types.
One type is the pseudo-reasonable apparatchik. There are a fair number of pundits who make a big show of debating the issues, stroking their chins, and then — invariably — find a way to support whatever the GOP line may be. There’s no mystery in their support for Ryan.
The other type is more interesting: the professional centrist. These are people whose whole pose is one of standing between the extremes of both parties, and calling for a bipartisan solution. The problem they face is how to maintain this pose when the reality is that a quite moderate Democratic party — one that is content to leave tax rates on the rich far below those that prevailed for most of the past 70 years, that has embraced a Republican health care plan — faces a radical-reactionary GOP.
What these people need is reasonable Republicans. And if such creatures don’t exist, they have to invent them. Hence the elevation of Ryan — who is, in fact, a garden-variety GOP extremist, but with a mild-mannered style — to icon of fiscal responsibility and honest argument, despite the reality that his proposals are both fiscally irresponsible and quite dishonest.
How much longer can this last? I guess we’ll eventually find out.
- Thinking that I don’t enough about the issue of “tort reform” as I really should I googled around a little this afternoon after my bike ride to get my education started:
- Republicans and Tort Reform – NYTimes.com (circa September 24, 2009)
- Crime and Courts: More ‘tort reform’ bills coming from the GOP (October 8, 2011)
- Tort reform and the GOP’s fair-weather federalism | Washington Examiner
- John Barrasso Discusses Tort Reform, Medicaid, and Republican Health Care Reform Ideas
- I’m collecting information and articles from both the right and the left so pleas if you have any suggestions please post your suggestions in the comments.
Climate & Climate Politics