So, I was looking through some other blogs and reading yet another pundit who made the same (by now) repetitive point: Far from being "courageous," "gutsy," "adult," or (my favorite) "serious," Paul Ryan's budget proposal is a pointless piece of hard-right GOP whimsy. It is based on fantasy numbers, does nothing to actually address the deficit or balance the budget, but consists of a huge giveaway to the rich and the corporations, while paying for that giveaway by taking chunks out of the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the children, the working class and the increasingly middle-class.
I've heard all of these criticisms, I've read the arguments (see Krugman's column in today's NYT), and based on the numbers presented and the information left out of Ryan's plan -- for example, tax cuts are specified, but the loss of revenue those cuts result in will be made up with by unspecified "loophole" closings -- I pretty much agree with these criticisms.
What is becoming more and more clear is that the more one examines Ryan's so-called budget "proposal" is that it is a non-starter. There is no way anything close to this could ever get passed through the Democratic-controlled Senate, much less get by Obama's veto pen.
So why would Ryan author such a dead-letter bill? If he is actually trying to address budget issues and the deficit, why issue such a sloppy, wet, full-tongued French Kiss to the GOP base, when he must know it is going to go nowhere?
Because Paul Ryan is planning to run for President in 2016.
I am sure there is someone else, somewhere (maybe a lot of other someone elses out there, in a lot of other different somewheres) who already has made this prediction. But I've not seen it yet, and it just occurred to me, and so I figured I'd get this post up now and maybe, if I'm right, four years from now when he announces I'll look like a genius.
But . . . think about it. He's young, he's not a bad looking guy. He's a family man and the press absolutely loves him. And I mean, like, really loves him. I got a phone call the other day from a friend of mine about this:
"Dude, you would not believe the kind of shit I'm having to watch on my TeeVee about this Ryan guy. I just listened to some supposed political pundit gush about how much this guy works out!"
(It reminded me of an article I read some years ago about Petraeus, and how much he works out. Back when Petraeus was the next big Daddy Thing for the press to gush over.)
"Seriously, dude," my friend asked me, "is this what our political press has come to? I gotta know about this guy's fitness habits?"
But with the promulgation of this new Very Serious, Gutsy, Provocative, Adult plan to truly screw over all the rest of us in service of his rich overlords, Ryan has gained instant credibility with the Punditocracy. Now they can gush over his gravitas, while still maintaining that special authoritarian Strong Daddy man-crush that they only let themselves develop for Republican candidates who prove their seriousness by their willingness to screw over the poor and defenseless among us. The ones who truly don't have a voice in our politic society.
(I swear, the political press in the United States reminds me of nothing so much as those lickspittles from Middle School that we all sneered at, the ones willing to side with and even suffer a little abuse at the hands of the school bully, if only it meant that they could consider themselves someone among the outer fringes of the bully's hangers on.)
Mark my words . . . Ryan released this sloppy kiss to the Republican base because he knew the Villagers would eat it up. And they have. And he is eyeing a presidential run in 2016.
Please write to congratulate me on my prescience, four years from now when he announces.