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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paul Ryan, the Catfish-Wrestling Cult Leader

The New York Times' latest smear of America's leading conservative Republican.

How nice of the New York Times to start their latest front-page Republican hit piece, this time against House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, by describing him as something like an anarchist, OCD, catfish-grabbing redneck cult leader, with other Republicans following his "marching orders" to destroy America's entitlement systems.

In case you weren't sure of the laugh-out-loud bias of Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, get a load of this belly-slapper: "[Ryan] also strongly favors a repeal of President Obama's health care law, even though his own prescriptions for Medicare…are similar to the Obama plan's for insurance expansion."

Meanwhile, the House Budget Committee's website has a detailed page on the differences between the Ryan "Path to Prosperity" and the Obama path to entitlement insolvency.

A GOP aide, responding to The American Spectator's inquiry, offered this: "The contrast between the two approaches couldn't be clearer - the President's health care law puts 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare through the Independent Payment Advisory Board; the House-passed Path to Prosperity empowers 50 million seniors by making them and their doctors the nucleus of the health care system. True choice and competition is incompatible with a centralized government agency setting prices."

Ryan's September, 2011 speech at the Hoover Institution also makes plain that his view of rational health care policy could not be more different from Obama's.

But the facts be damned! I have a story to tell, and it includes catfish and weight-lifting and Lunchables!

Apparently, it is also "not…clear whether [Ryan] has in interest in compromising or whether his sole goal is a Republican victory that is sweeping enough to enact his own vision."

So, Paul Ryan is, according to Mr. Weisman, not just a wannabe Olympic weight-lifter and political version of David Koresh, but also a tyrannically-oriented narcissist. One can't help but wonder whether Weisman noticed that his description of a single-minded focus on winning fits the current resident of the White House to perfection.

Weisman continues on this line about Ryan: "He does not drive stakes into the ground, he said, but he also made clear that compromise should come on his terms."

Anyone remember Nancy Pelosi? From Roll Call magazine in January, 2009: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) parried GOP assaults on Democrats' $825 billion stimulus package Thursday and refused to slow the bill down to give more time for Republican input. 'Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes we won the election, but that doesn't mean we don't want sustainability or Republican support,' Pelosi said. "

Anyone remember Barack Obama's plea to Hispanic voters in 2010 to "punish our enemies"?

So much for Democratic "compromise."

Back to the cult leader characterization: when talking about Paul Ryan's vote against the Simpson-Bowles Commission plan, Weisman says Ryan "voted no, taking every House Republican on the panel with him and preventing the guarantee of a vote in Congress." But of the seven commission members who voted against the plan, four were Democrats, including two of the three Democrat members of the House represented on the Commission. (In other words, Jonathan, in case your math skills are as challenged as your reporting skills, the majority of House Democrats on the commission voted against the plan, and the majority of votes against the plan came from Democratic commission members.)

In March of this year, when Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) offered an amendment to the Ryan Budget which would have "utilized Simpson-Bowles recommendations for establishment of the budget for FY 2013 and to set forth the appropriate budgetary levels for FY 2014 through FY 2022," the measure failed on a vote of 38-382, with only 22 Democrats voting in favor.

Then Weisman gets (even more) personal, noting with obvious disbelief that "those who know [Paul Ryan] cannot seem to dislike him." The evidence he offers for such goodwill toward Ryan is a scathing attack from former Congressman David Obey (D-WI) who says that Ryan is "oblivious…to the pain his policies would cause people."

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