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Monday, September 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — If Paul Ryan were a liberal, conservatives would describe him as a creature of Washington who has spent virtually all of his professional life as a congressional aide, a staffer at an ideological think tank, and, finally, as a member of Congress. In the right’s shorthand: he never met a payroll.

If they were in a sunny mood, these conservatives would readily concede that Ryan is a nice guy who’s fun to talk to. But they’d also insist that he is an impractical ideologue. He holds an almost entirely theoretical view of the world defined by big ideas that never touch the ground and devotes little energy to considering how his proposed budgets might affect the lives of people he’s never met.

In making Ryan his running mate, Mitt Romney guaranteed that this election will be about big principles, but he also underscored a little-noted transformation in American politics: Liberals and conservatives have switched sides on the matter of which camp constitutes the party of theory and which is the party of practice. Americans usually reject the party of theory, which is what conservatism has now become.

In the late 1960s and ’70s, liberals ran into trouble because they were easily mocked as impractical ideologues with excessive confidence in their own moral righteousness. They were accused of ignoring the law of unintended consequences and of failing to look carefully at who would be helped and who’d be hurt by their grand schemes.

Since I’m a liberal, I’d note that these criticisms were not always fair. Many of the liberals’ enduring achievements — from civil rights to environmental laws to Medicare — grew from the boldness their confidence inspired. But, yes, there was arrogance in liberalism’s refusal to take conservatism seriously.

Conservatives, in the meantime, gained ground by asking tough and practical questions: Will this program work as promised? Does it bear any connection to how the world really works? And, by the way, who benefits?

  • William Deutschlander

    Ryan is an extreme therorist whose therories do not have any relativity to the real world.

    Romney / Ryan the end of Democracy in the U S A!

    Why wouldn’t Romney like Ryan, under Ryan’s budget & tax plan Romney would pay “0” in taxes.

  • AliceR51

    Romney,acording to his videos Ive seen, seems NOT to understand or know what he says.He has changed his comments on many issues.Its so funny to watch them,as pple asked im & he answered then,hr later asked again & still a different answer? Why should you give a different answer to same question?Will I endorse this-yes,will I endorse that no,same question repeated,different answer?He insuklted other countries ,without flinching.duh.I watched the videos -dumb. He asked stupid questins about health care of other countries..Why would they care of OUR healthcare?They have thir own.Ryan is helping Romny put us in a BIG deep hole.

  • To answer your question look at the house and the invroment that ryan and romney where brought up in and went to the finest schools and never ever have to worry about money or anything they wanted. The real world is that middle and the poor had to worry about food on the table. Most people do not understand what is like to be in a situation like as what is going on today. Even the poor and middle class don’t understand it. My father was a drunk and my mother had to work all her life to put food on the table. No one in their right mind that no’s whats going on in these households. People like ryan and romney have no idea what is in the minds of these people.

  • sigrid28

    I agree that it SEEMS that conservatives have embraced theory and principles (over values and convictions) by selecting Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate and adopting his plan. But what if this is just a cynical ploy by the wealthy backers of the Republican agenda to try to paper over the growing recognition that Romney stands primarily for his social class and that he’s running mainly to add the presidency to his list of accomplishments. Chewing over Paul Ryan’s impractical ideas that confirm Tea Party values may preoccupy the Republican base long enough to keep them from seeing what Romney and his kind really have in store for them. It may not be winning the presidential election. For the super rich, bigger stakes are involved.

    I’m afraid it is not just Romney who thinks he can have it his way all of the time. To this company also belong the Koch brothers. Paul Ryan claims he is a public servant, but he is really their servant. That is why he may do things that are not to his own advantage, like joining a losing ticket.

    As for Romney and his cohorts, why not give away the presidency? They can always buy another. Am I the only one who is made uneasy by elites tossing a bone to the Tea Party, many of whom they secretly despise? By preoccupying the Tea Party with a losing election, these wealthy donors hiding behind Super PACS are free to use their vast discretionary funds to take over state legislatures, the congress, and the senate in other races they CAN win, buying up new Paul Ryans one by one.

    Rich Republicans have another plan for Democrats, too: to throw them off-guard by suddenly making it easier to re-elect Obama. They hope uncertainty about the election will keep Democrats from investing in other elections they have to win to regain power. By using their millions to put GOP obstructionists in legislatures, who will make it impossible for the Obama administration to do anything, once again Republicans will be able to claim he has done nothing.

    Here is a heck-of-a race to watch: Can a small cabal of entitled millionaires and billionaires eliminate the ability of the many to overpower the few, even though we live in a democracy? They are banking on the hope that even though they are out-numbered by the middle class and the poor, this 99% can be tricked and distracted into relinquishing power long enough to lose the strength in numbers altogether. This will allow the privileged elite to obtain anything their hearts desire.

  • imabrummie

    And here we have it, the evidence of the dumbing down of America with Mitt the Moron and Pathetic Paul! This pair of idiots would be funny if it were not for the fact they are aiming to be the leaders of a nation with nuclear weapons at its disposal!

  • onedonewong

    Seeing as how neither barak and biteeme have ever help a job he’s head and shoulder above those 2 moroons

  • HJB

    Ryan’s budget will not be theory once it is put into action! A theory is an unproven statement. Action is then performed within the restraints and controls of the budget. What we need to change this country is proper action.