James Pethokoukis Is Now Totally Gay For Paul Ryan
It seems like only yesterday that James Pethokoukis (who is the Money & Politics columnist for Reuters Breakingviews making him the peerage equivalent of McMegan and other people who must be given rounded-tipped plastic scissors only) was making manjuice because Snowbilly Snooki was playing Stratego with his heart. But that was a whole nine days ago which is, like, infinity in intertube years and now Pethokoukis has fallen dick over brain for Randian Bieber. As always, James stumbles out of the gate:
It’s not just Bill Kristol, gang. There’s desire at the highest ranks of the Republican Party, according to my reporting and sources, to see House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan seek the 2012 presidential nomination.
Yes. Please listen to Bill Kristol, “gang”. That always works out so well. But now that James has aligned himself with the Kristol wing of the party, let’s see why he thinks this makes sense:
1) Since Democrats are determined to hang Ryan’s bold “Path to Prosperity” budget plan around the neck of every Republican running for office in 2012, why not have its author and best salesman advocate for it directly vs. President Obama?
2) Ryan — to borrow a favorite Simon Cowell phrase — is “current.” He’s smack in the middle of budgetary and ideological clash between Democrats and Republicans and would immediately energize conservative and Tea Party activists.
3) Ryan is a strong national defense conservative, as well as pro-life.
4) Ryan is from a battleground state, Wisconsin, and a battleground region, the upper Great Lakes.
5) Ryan’s youth, vigor, likability and Jimmy Stewart persona — well, a wonky version of George Bailey — would be an immediate shorthand signal to voters that he’s a different kind of Republican. He also has a compelling life story to tell.
6) Obama suddenly and unexpectedly to Washington insiders looks beatable — by the right candidate.
And Americans will go all weak-kneed/googly-eyed/damp in the knickers over this nice young man with the big blue eyes that David Brooks would totally go skinny-dipping in; who will run on a campaign of throwing grandma from the socialist gravy train so he can give her seat a tax cut to Paris Hilton. Because, at first blush, Americans are lovin’ his plan:
When it comes to confronting budget deficits, Americans are much more in favor of raising taxes on the wealthiest than cutting Medicare or Medicaid, a new poll found.
The McClatchy-Marist poll, conducted as Democrats and Republicans were touting their own long-term budget visions, also found the country largely pessimistic about America’s direction.
On taxes, the poll reported that roughly two out of three registered voters — 64 percent — would be in favor of increasing taxes on annual income over $250,000. President Obama reiterated in his deficit-reduction speech last week that he favored allowing taxes to rise on families in that income level.
Meanwhile, fully four in five registered voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP’s fiscal 2012 budget, largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), makes fundamental long-term changes to both health entitlement programs, converting Medicaid into a block grant and turning Medicare into a type of voucher system.
Democrats (92 percent), Republicans (73 percent) and independents (75 percent) all opposed cuts to the two programs, the McClatchy-Marist poll found.
Okay, so maybe not so much but most Americans have never had the chance to get up close and personal with Ryan and smell the courage and honesty and sincerity and…
During a town hall meeting in Milton, a constituent who described himself as a “lifelong conservative” asked Ryan about the effects of growing income inequality in our nation. The constituent noted that huge income disparities contributed to the Great Depression and the Great Recession, and thus wanted to know why the congressman was “fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire.”
Ryan argued against “redistribut[ing]” in this manner. After the constituent noted that “there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down,” Ryan argued that “we do tax the top.” This response earned a chorus of boos from constituents…
Okay. They should run Ryan because he’s white.