Atlas Chugged

Every runt eventually gets his comeuppance. Paul Ryan is getting his served on a silver platter, and it couldn’t have happened to a “nicer” guy. The former VP candidate for and intellectual soul of the Republican Party is being torn to shreds over his latest budget, which, it seems, has more holes in it than a mound of Swiss cheese stuck in a mouse trap.

According to Noam Scheiber of the New Republic, Ryan is being assailed not just by the Left, but, oddly enough, by the Right. The Heritage Foundation and Larry Kudlow of CNBC have taken him to task for using Obama’s tax increase and certain “accounting gimmicks” to get his budget to balance.

But the real kicker has been the fall from grace within the mainstream media who, it seems, have finally discovered what anybody with half a brain already knew: that the legend that is Paul Ryan was nothing more than a myth.

Which begs the rhetorical question for the ages, what took them so long? Yes, the specter of a Republican who was articulate, seemingly intelligent and sane must have been alluring. After all, it’s such a rare occurrence these days; one could hardly blame the press for being smitten at first.

First impressions notwithstanding, a simple calculator and a bit of common sense should’ve been all that was needed to unravel the scam that Ryan was perpetrating. I mean, when your first attempt at drafting a budget, which claims to make the deficit a priority, doesn’t balance until the year 2040, it should be fairly obvious that balancing the budget is NOT what you’re up to.

So what was it that finally woke up the lame-stream media from its four-year, self-induced coma? In a word, it was none other than Ryan himself. Seems the Boy Wonder just couldn’t help himself. He had told so many whoppers over the last few years – including several rather large ones during the presidential campaign – that he got greedy and careless. Noam Scheiber explains: 

The problem with Ryan’s new budget—in which he reverts to his pre-campaign position on Medicare cuts—is that it more or less concedes the whole campaign, with its righteous defense of Medicare, was a charade. Among the Washington press corps, this is a major no-no. Depending on the circumstances, reporters may be happy to enable these reinventions, but they are loath to acknowledge their role in them. Ryan basically rubbed their noses in it. Even Politico, whose coverage most resembles ends-justifying scorekeeping, seemed to bridle at the transgression. The last five paragraphs of its main Ryan budget piece catalogued his history of Medicare flip-flops. The closing riff quoted a centrist budget wonk—the kind of person Ryan has made a career of courting—essentially outing him as full of it.

In short, Ryan bit the hand that had been feeding him. So eager was he to craft a budget that would appease the most rabid of his caucus, he left a trail of breadcrumbs so enormous even a blind man could find it. The dim bulbs who covered, fawned over and, yes, made him what he was, could no longer ignore the smoke and mirrors any more. The monster they helped create, they are now in the process of taking apart.

It’s about f***king time!

Hopefully, the next time some “con man,” as Paul Krugman once referred to Ryan as, starts peddling snake oil on the steps of the Capital building, the main-stream media won’t wait so long to call him out.



Author: Peter Fegan

Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants' fan and reluctant Mets' fan. My favorite motto? I'd rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.

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