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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Widely suspected of believing in nothing, Mitt Romney’s choice of a True Believer as his running mate plays well as public theater. As a TV performer, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is as winsome as Sarah Palin, and far better at faking sincerity.

Although women are generally smarter about this kind of thing than men, Ryan’s puppy dog eyes and altar boy demeanor make him a formidable cam-paigner. Had he not gone into politics, he’d have made a terrific Irish-Catholic funeral director. Not for nothing did his high school classmates in Janesville, WI elect him class president and, more tellingly, “Biggest Brown-Noser.”

Surely, this polite Midwestern family man couldn’t possibly be the heartless fanatic that Democrats portray. Maybe the most telling passage in Jonathan Chait’s prescient New York Magazine profile of Ryan was the author’s exchange with James B. Stewart, the legendarily inept New York Times business columnist.

(During the great “Whitewater” snipe hunt, Stewart once appeared on “Nightline” predicting Hillary Clinton’s imminent indictment for falsifying a loan application. It turned out that Stewart himself had neglected to examine the second page of a two-page document. You’d be laughed off the sports page for that, but Washington punditry has its own rules.)

So anyway, in pursuit of the sacred illusion of “bipartisanship,” Stewart had written that Ryan’s latest ballyhooed tax reform scheme—he churns them out like the Politburo—had the potential to heal the nation’s fiscal divide, raise greater revenue and increase fairness by treating capital gains as ordinary income.

It’s true that doing that might almost make Ryan’s numbers work; also, alas, that Stewart had simply imagined it.

In reality, Chait pointed out, Ryan actually proposes not raising, but eliminating capital gains taxes altogether—so that a multi-millionaire like, say, Mitt Romney, whose income derives from investments rather than work, could end up paying no federal income taxes at all. An enduring solicitude for the sufferings of plutocrats is the pole star of Ryan’s public life.

Stewart, however, suggested to Chait that Ryan couldn’t possibly be so cynical. He must have been “boxed-in” by right-wingers. He alibied that the Wisconsin congressman “seems very straightforward…He doesn’t seem cunning. He seems very genuine.”

Have I mentioned that Rep. Ryan is a very handsome fellow, with earnest puppy-dog eyes? Seeming guilessness is his singular political talent. That, and a wholly undeserved reputation for intellectual seriousness and lack of personal ambition belied by his rapid rise to power.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • Paul Ryan is Sarah Palin/Michele Bachmann with a brain. Unfortunately, he is using his natural intelligence, eloquence, and the education he got thanks to student loans and scholarships, to turn against those who helped him achieved his goals. His “accounting” skills are limited to putting the screws on the middle class and the poor so that the rich can continue to benefit from the breaks they have been getting. He is the champion of more tax breaks for the wealthy, more subsidies for oil companies, pharmaceuticals, and the agri-business at a time when companies in those sectors are posting record profits, and more loopholes so that people like his new boss can continue to make millions from domestic and foreign investments and pay nothing or almost nothing in taxes. He is the champion of billionaires and the nemesis of waitresses trying to support a child on $20K a year.


    Dominick Vila:

    Great comment, Mr. Vila. I’m kind of surprised that “Obozomustgo” hasn’t taken umbrage at your comment, particularly your reference to “…subsidies for oil companies,….” Obozomust go just loves Big Oil.


    Who calls Ryan America’s Accountant, some clown who failed the CPA examination?

  • tranz2deep

    In short: He’s solely been picked for being extremely white.

  • jarheadgene

    What a guy….used his SSN benefits, from his late father, to help pay for schooling…..Did he really need it? Doubt it, his Family is worth millions. But now that “HE HAS IS” education, to future generations he wants to say your SSN oh…it was in the stock market that just crashed again under another GOP President.

  • highpckts

    He is so backpedaling now!! He will deny voting for anything that will harm his chances to get elected. They all do and the sad thing is, people believe them!

  • CAThinker

    I just hope that the electorate, especially the middle class, can see through this ruse. Mitt can’t keep his story straight, but wants us to trust him – he’ll reveal all after he’s elected… Everyone already knows what Ryan stands for, except Ryan, now that he’s on the ticket. How can anyone believe anything these guys say? But the right wing Talipublican morons that lurk on this board, eat up every word and claim that Obama is the liar. Incredulous…

  • Gina74

    People think that our country is in bad shape now…….Just wait until, if people are stupid enough to elect Romney/Ryan for Pres/VP. Look out WORLD! I cannot believe that people want a muscle bound(brain included) leading the country with Romney. Romney who always wears that devious grin. Reminds me a lot of Cheney, who we all know as crooked…..Neither of these can even see the middle class or poor people in our country, both of which Obama is trying to reach and help.

  • GeriTaran

    I’m all in favor of eliminating the capital gains tax as long as those capital gains funds become taxable as regular income. That’s the meatless bone I’d throw to the charismatic right wing fanatic with the puppy dog eyes.

  • davia55

    HA! does OBAMA own this site? This is total crap lol

    • Joseph Hemphill

      you are free to take your ball and go home, we don’t like you anyway, you’re ugly and you’re Mama dresses you funny and you smell

  • Landsende

    Paul Ryan voted over and over for all of GWB’s policies which created the mess we’re in. Now he wants to institute more teapublican policies to benefit the rich and hurt the middle class. Anyone that supports the teapublican agenda is either rich or a fool. Although he’s hoping it will go away, when is Romney going to release his tax returns so we can see if he paid any income taxes and how much he has squirreled away offshore.