Paul Ryan and The Right
by Russ the Pillar
Since Mittens was not popular among the right-wing side of the
Republican't party, he needed a Tea Party mascot.
That's where Ryan comes in.
A friend sent me to a website meant to show how badly Ryan has been
treated by the "Liberal Media,"
and to correct the record. Here are my comments about the "10
most outrageous attacks":
10. An NPR commentator said the House was wasting time with their
budget, because there was no chance it
could pass the Senate. Randy Hall (the author of this NewsBusters
piece) says it's the job of the House to start
the budget process. While this is true, it's the job of the House
to pass a realistic budget, then to negotiate it with
the Senate. The Ryan "budget" was truly, as NPR guest Doyle
McManus said, "going nowhere" because it was
actually an attempt to "restructure the tax system," not a real
budget. Everyone knew at the time that it was no
more than a political stunt.
9. David Gregory, host of Meet the Press, asked California
embarrassment Darrel Issa if Paul Ryan were
"a little too incendiary," providing traction for the left to lampoon
the Romney campaign. How is that an
outrageous question? David Gregory is not some flaming liberal,
he's a reliable voice for the Republican party.
This question is a perfect example, letting Issa claim that Ryan is "a
person of substance."
8. CNN reported on a group of nuns pointing out that the Ryan
budget does not follow Catholic priorities,
and didn't ask Ryan (who claims to be Catholic) for a response.
Since when is reporting on news an "outrageous attack?"
7. Norah O'Donnell, on CBS, insisted that extending the Bush tax
cuts would be a tax cut. She laughed about
Ryan's statements that keeping these cuts was "tax policy" and "tax
code," but insisting that they were not "cuts."
Yes, political language is a little fluid. The normal claim is
that, if a law is passed, then you do something to
affect that law, you have changed the law -- not "kept the law as it
is." By that standard, the Bush tax cuts were
supposed to expire in 2011. Extending them was extending a tax
cut, or changing the existing law to cut taxes
-- but perhaps not, in exact parlance, itself a "tax cut." On the
other hand, if this relatively minor bit of semantics
is one of the "10 most outrageous attacks on Paul Ryan," people aren't
exactly giving him a hard time.
6. Thom Hartmann (inexplicably misspelled "Martmann" in the first
line), a relatively liberal radio host who is
also a psychotherapist, said that Ryan is a sociopath. Hartmann
then went on to explain that, to a psychologist,
a psychopath is one who believes everyone else is an object to be
manipulated -- sort of like how Ayn Rand
(Ryan's heroine) comes across in Atlas Shrugged. It really looks
like Ryan believes this; even going back to
his high school yearbook, where he was listed as "biggest brown-noser."
5. Ed Schultz, moderately liberal commentator on MSNBC ("The ED
Show"), commented on a clip by Ryan
that Obama is using the politics of fear to sow "social unrest and
class resentment," saying that Ryan's comments
are "inciting civil war" and show that "Republicans want violence to
take place in our society. Perhaps a bit over
the top, but that's The ED Show. Randy Hall's proof of how
"outrageous" this "attack" is was simply to refer to
Ed Schultz and Alan Grayson as "lunatics." A point here: if
Democrats are told that someone is inciting civil war
and sowing social unrest and class resentment, they will write letters
to the editor. If Republican'ts are told the
same thing, they are more likely to call for "Second Amendment
4. Bill Maher refers to Ryan as a "heartless, smirking
bastard." "Heartless" is a good description of his policies,
"smirking" a good description of his presentation. I suppose it's
fair to claim that Ryan isn't a "bastard" if you
want to speak genealogically, but as a comment on his personality it's
certainly available as an opinion.
3. Alex Wagner, a relatively liberal MSNBC political analyst,
looked at the ridiculous Ryan budget passed by
the House (see #1), saying "Some Democrats are calling it Christmas in
March." Randy Hall states this
"outrageous attack" (which is actually political news reporting) as,
"MSNBC host exults in future Democrat
attacks on Ryan budget." Not what really happened, as you can see
if you even click his own links.
2. Paul Krugman looked at the Ryan budget's replacement of
Medicare by a declining-value voucher system,
and pointed out that tens of millions of the elderly would no longer be
able to afford health care. Noting that this
would lead to premature death, he stated, "To be a little melodramatic,
the voucher [program] would kill people,
no question." Actually a statement of fact, and he even called it
"melodramatic." Yet Randy Hall's description
of this "outrageous attack" is "Krugman accuses Ryan of wanting to
'kill people, no question.'" Again, not what was said.
1. In May, 2011, The Agenda Project (a moderate to left political
action committee) visually compared Paul Ryan's
budget to pushing an elderly woman off a cliff. Randy Hall claims
the headless, suited man in the ad is a "Paul Ryan lookalike."
I didn't think so, but then I
usually assume Paul Ryan has a head. Hall goes on to claim that
this is among the
most offensive political ads in recent memory. I don't agree; ads
showing Obama as a witch doctor, or conflating
Kerry with Osama bin Laden are pretty offensive. The "outrageous
attack" was that the media ignored this ad.
Oh, yeah, while "ignoring" it they also "laughed it off" and asked Ryan
about it. Which? Also, Hall brings up
the zombie meme of Obama cutting $700 billion from Medicare, and
compares it to the Ryan budget cutting
even more. The difference, folks, is Obama was able to cut $700
billion from Medicare by funding it with the
Affordable Care Act; people don't lose coverage (like they would under
Ryan), they get it from a different law.
A lot of this stuff is just plain wrong; some is straight-out
The rest of it calls pretty mild criticism "outrageous attacks."
What a wimp!
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