Dick Armey to GOP: Why don't you have the guts to support Paul Ryan's roadmap?

A sizzlin’ piece of red meat for a slow Sunday afternoon. Things start to pick up halfway through the clip, but I recommend watching the whole thing lest you miss Granholm’s ode to government intervention and insistence that cutting spending so that we don’t have to keep borrowing from foreign creditors is somehow … playing right into China’s hands. Note also that she’s the one who brings up Ryan, not Armey; Gregory’s question has to do with tea-party candidates being out of the mainstream and she leaps from that to an attack on the roadmap. Partly that’s because Dems are in panic mode about losing seniors’ votes and figure that distorting Ryan’s plan is the best way to spook them into voting blue this fall. But as I’ve said before, part of it is also a function of Ryan being a serious policy thinker who’s not given to the sort of rhetorical excess that lends itself to the left’s “all conservatives are kooks” message. If they want to take him down, they’ll have to do it with guilt by association. Which is why he keeps making these surprise cameos in their Sharron Angle/Rand Paul messaging.

As for Armey, who offers a welcome defense of Ryan, two things. One: I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that he’s mistaken about Alvin Greene. America’s candidate has been indicted on a felony charge but not (yet) convicted. (Or is he referring to someone else?) Second, I wonder how much support there’d be even on the right for the congressional GOP deciding to suddenly rally behind Ryan’s roadmap. I figure most tea partiers would love it as a show of fiscal conservative principle; centrists, who are loath to tinker with Social Security and Medicare, would likely freak out; and a third faction in the middle would welcome the move from a policy standpoint but would panic at the thought of Republicans handing the Dems a major opportunity to change the subject when they’re on the ropes. But then, that’s the problem with entitlements writ large, isn’t it? Everyone agrees that we need to talk about them — just not right now, when it’s politically inconvenient. Someday.

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