His focus on entitlements has always made him one of the left’s potential candidates for the role of The New Hitler, but he never quite fit their attack narrative over the past two years of violent, troglodytic tea-party airheads. He’s famously wonkish and soft-spoken, and occasionally even prominent Democrats — including The One himself — have praised him for his thoughtfulness in trying to deal with sustainability. Even his cameo in this DNC ad from last summer about kuh-ray-zee Republicans seemed perfunctory more than anything else. But now here we are on the day of the SOTU, with Drudge touting Ryan as a new star waiting to be born, and so the time has come for Democrats to kookify him in earnest before his nutty notions about long-term fiscal solvency actually start sinking in. Go, Party Of Ideas, go!
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the master political strategist for Senate Democrats, wants to turn Ryan into a bogeyman that voters think about whenever they hear about a Republican proposal to cut federal spending…
“This is an initial volley in a three-day effort — 72-hour window — to try to muddle Paul Ryan’s foray onto the national scene,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide. “We want to make the House Republicans or Republicans at large own his roadmap and what it would entail for Social Security.”
Democrats hope they can make Ryan’s debut on the national political stage as disastrous as the rebuttal Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) delivered in 2009. Jindal’s stilted performance, which the media skewered, immediately quieted talk of him as a presidential contender in 2012…
“In an unsettling development for America’s seniors, ending Social Security and Medicare is now the official position of the Republican Party,” said Jon Summers, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
I served with Rep. Ryan on the 18 member Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and learned firsthand from the personally congenial Ryan just how dark his vision of America’s future is for all but the super-rich…
Considering his zeal for propping up the super rich, I wasn’t surprised when the Washington Post revealed that Budget Chairman Paul Ryan “has taken $1.4 million from banks, hedge funds, investment houses and other financial services companies.” It’s a two-way street between Ryan and his Wall Street pals — but the shrinking middle class, the poor, and others who benefit from bedrock American support programs including seniors and those with disabilities just keep hitting road blocks.
The Republicans led by Ryan are determined to keep serving only their wealthy constituency and push the rest of America down a dangerous road that threatens what has long been a consensus vision of our country as the land of opportunity for all.
A reminder via Peter Suderman about this dark, dangerous vision for America’s future: Ryan’s roadmap is designed to be implemented so gradually that it wouldn’t balance the budget … until 2063. And yet here we are with Democrats in a full-court press to nuke him upon arrival on the national scene before he can so much as breathe the word “unsustainable.” This is why, incidentally, I can’t sign on to Tom Coburn’s post at The Corner this morning about how silly it is for grassroots conservatives to complain about media bias after Arizona and seating at the SOTU when we should be having serious conversations with Democrats about the country’s fiscal future. Hey, Tom: Tell that to them, okay? He actually holds up, as an example of a liberal who’s serious about problem-solving, his friend Chuck Schumer — the same guy who gamed out this 72-hour strategy to turn Paul Ryan into a “boogeyman” whose ideas are beyond the pale.
Ryan’s office has released excerpts from tonight’s rebuttal. Read those while I get our evening’s open thread ready.