John/BannedAgain’s Post on Paul Ryan

The Ryan you see today is not the man who for years has appeared as a guest on CNBC. That guy was a “moderate”, nuts and bolts on facts and figures, a charismatic wonk if you will. However not at all, ideologically speaking, on the side of the budget that now bears his name Here’s what I think happened.

The GOP in 2006-08 was an old party, especially in the national leadership, people in their 60s and older. It was full of politicians who had cut their teeth in the Reagan years. The back to back defeats damaged the brand so to speak and paved the way for the sea change that occurred in 2010. Suddenly, much more suddenly than men like Boehner were expecting I’m sure, the GOP was younger, angrier, more ideological and conservative.

As in any civil war, everybody has to choose sides. Ryan being a politician first and a wonk second, chose to run with the upcoming big dogs of his own generation as it were, rather than stay a moderate. He capped this off by putting his name on a budget that was a terrible mistake, because it was another one of those “symbolic” pieces of legislation that had no possibility of passage and which are by their very nature works of faith , not reason.

He’s stuck with the “Ryan budget” now in which the numbers don’t work, but which he’ll have to defend. It’s probably career suicide for him

Incidentally and hopefully the same sea change is about to occur for the Dems in 2014-16. They are an exceptionally old party at the leadership level, notwithstanding the president. Men and women who came to the fore in the Clinton years and who are now in their 60s and 70s. In the next two elections, all the Reids, Bidens, Clintons, Hoyers, Dingells Levins and Rangells will retire or be swept out by a younger generation of Dems, hungrier, more combative, more liberal in a watershed move.

May we all live in interesting times.

Posted on behalf of bannedagain because he doesn’t have the capability of creating a post himself, which is his own damn fault.

146 Responses

  1. John, why do you keep saying Ryan is charismatic? I do not perceive him that way at all, but in honesty have not watched him live very much. You have an interesting view of him.

    For the record, I think lms said yesterday that she could not be here today, and I know michi is working today.

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  2. george

    I think you know what I meant. Overall the numbes don’t work, not that reigning in governmnet spending isn’t a good goal.

    There aren’t going to be any tax cuts for any group in foreseeable future. the numbers don’t work. Everyone in every class is going to see a tax increase, or we just throw up our hands entirely.

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  3. okie:

    If you get away from the ideology, the camera loves him like it did Palin. The slight cockiness, the self assurance, the commanding presentation. Now you may not like or agree with what is being said, but he is the anti-Romney in that he appears very happy in his own skin.

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  4. john, you are most welcome.

    Say, could I interest you in a position as Editor of a small political blog comprised of a wide variety of misfits? It would empower you to post.

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  5. troll, it’s as much how you get there as it is the bottom line. (English teachers need not respond.)

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  6. okie:

    What would anyone think of a blog that would have someone like me as an editor?

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    • If you think you’re going to convince me that you care what anyone would think . . . then think again. But I do have to admit that the salary is not so good.

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  7. Have you read the New Yorker piece on Ryan? I haven’t gotten to it yet, but apparently I must do so.

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  8. Ok, you got me there.

    In a side note, I have been posting on Benen’s blog where not surprisingly I have acquired yet another cao-like stalker. (yes it’s my often arrogant sometimes condescending attitude that causes these things, I know).

    Like cao she will follow me to any post to write sputtering personal attacks often in capital letters, having nothing to do with the subject.

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  9. “troll, it’s as much how you get there as it is the bottom line.”

    Okie, the following demonstrates that there is no meaningful difference in the budget when it comes to discretionary spending. In this instance, are you sure that it’s the “how you get there” that you think it is?

    “The president warns that Ryan’s spending “cuts” would “gut” the social safety net. And, it is true that Ryan’s budget knife falls more heavily on domestic discretionary spending than does the president’s – but only relatively. Over the next 10 years, Ryan would spend $352 billion less on those programs than would Obama, an average of just $35.2 billion per year in additional cuts. Given that domestic discretionary spending under the president’s budget will total more than $4 trillion over the next decade, Ryan’s cuts look less than draconian.”

    And it was Obama who was pitching the idea of raising Medicare eligibility to 67.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/11/993488/-Obama-reportedly-proposes-raising-Medicare-eligibility-age-to-67

    Also, Obamacare, cuts Medicare by, ok, a puny 1/2 trillion.

    Banned,

    Ryan’s budget purports to get to surplus in 2040 and eventually to paying down debt w/ by around 3%GDP, Obama’s budget projects an eventual increase of deficit spending to 6% of GDP.

    How is it that Ryan’s budget dooms Romney (and I believe Obama will win, it’s impossible to unseat a non-primaried incumbent) but Obama’s budget does not doom him? Talk about unrealistic. Which budget was actually passed by a legislative body?

    Would I be much more aggressive than Ryan, sweet Jesus yes, I’d phase out all entitlements in 15 years and reduce discretionary spending by at least 10% per year. On the other hand, what is the current Administrations plan? The one than was unanimously defeated in the Senate?

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  10. george

    I was specifically referring to the revenue side in which the Ryan budget is simply impossible, (as Obama’s will ultimately prove to be also)

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  11. If you want to see an even lower group of IQs than the worst day ever on PL, go here and read the comments:

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/11/13233794-the-go-back-team?threadId=3539381&commentId=68824917#c68824917

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  12. OT:

    A curse upon all peoples who create Excel spreadsheets and think they’re being clever by merging cells, forcing formatting, using funky beige, blue (four different shades) and green (five different shades) colors to try to demarcate information, and other sins known only to the truly insane.

    Not to channel cao, but I’m going to kill this guy when he gets back from vacation!

    /rant

    Back to your regularly scheduled discussion(s). . .

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  13. Don Juan, if it’s of any comfort, this is a pretty good idea of what I imagine your Donna looks like. . .

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  14. michi

    It’s August. Why are you working? If this was France, you would be on a clothing optional beach right now.

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  15. George

    Finish the thought if you please. Do you agree that we will have to raise taxes across the board?

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  16. My question still stands, how is his budget “career suicide” but Obama’s budget was not “career suicide” for him.

    I guess more importantly, define “career suicide.”

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  17. And to answer your question, I do not believe that taxes have to increase to get our fiscal house in order. I do believe however, that taxes will go up significantly with no beneficial effect whatsoever to our economic situation. Quite the contrary, it will make things significantly worse.

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  18. George:

    Ok, I can’t make the growth numbers work in anything I’ve seen in our current debt to GDP ratio. If we can’t cut entitlements like Medicare, which we can’t, and we can’t cut defense because it’s the last bastion of good manufacturing jobs in the economy, then I’m not sure how we get across the great divide.

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  19. Don Juan–

    Because my French colleague–who undoubtedly is on a clothing optional beach right now–left me a nightmare of a spreadsheet that I’ve been requested (“told”) to put into some sort of reasonable form.

    A pox on him!!

    At least I’m able to work on this from home, which means that I opened the first beer about three hours ago.

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  20. We as a country have to come to the realization that entitlements of any kind always lead to bankruptcy. Any sort of “reform,” short of a phase out, is essentially putting paint on rust. We have to significantly increase taxes on the middle class and / or borrow just to maintain what we have, no amount of major tweaking makes this problem disappear. As the entitlements eat up more of the budget, borrowing (which has been amply demonstrated time and again) reduces GDP. Increasing taxes on the middle class to a level that will , again, just maintain these entitlements will decrease GDP. We have to become responsible for our own retirement and our own healthcare.

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    • We as a country have to come to the realization that entitlements of any kind always lead to bankruptcy.

      Do you have an example, or a string of examples, in mind?

      borrowing (which has been amply demonstrated time and again) reduces GDP

      Again, I don’t know this to be true in any general sense.

      You may be right on both counts. I don’t have information that supports the assertions, however, and am at a loss to either agree with or argue with them.

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  21. No fan of the borrowing, but I would disagree with this:

    “As the entitlements eat up more of the budget, borrowing (which has been amply demonstrated time and again) reduces GDP”

    It seems to me that the two entitlements Medicare and SS contribute vastly more to our GDP than comparable money that might be spent elsewhere. Those two (along with defense) are areas of our spending that go much more exclusively to Americans and American companies than the spending of younger people. You can’t outsource medical care (though you can import doctors and nurses) and the major purveyors of medical equipment are American companies. Furthermore those on SS are far more likly to spend their money on local restaurants and businesses, then they are on those things which subsidize other economies like consumer electronics and new autos.

    Agree?

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  22. Well, I think Japan is a great example of borrowing destroying GDP. Further, it demonstrates that a thriving economy requires growth, Economic growth requires population growth. Population growth + entitlements equals a situation where entitlements eat more and more of the budget. Communist models are an extreme, inevitable example of this. The more entitlements grow, the more power and spending is centralized. The more power and spending is centralized the less efficient the spending gets. Keynes, I think, was wrong in that there is no multiplier effect of government spending, it’s like a black whole, all matter surrounding it does not get pulled in immediately, but eventually it does. For every dollar taken in by the government (either through borrowing or taxation, only something less than that dollar goes out. Communism demonstrates how quickly centralized spending collapses.

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    • George, I’ll have to lean toward Don Juan’s view: there was good evidence of a multiplier effect fifty years ago but less so now because of globalization, so health care, retirement, and defense, followed at a distance by local infrastructure [however funded], local education, food stamps, and unemployment compensation, are the most “productive” spending, whether in surplus or deficit. That because the public expenditure is likely to be largely re-spent within the USA more than once in the FY. I doubt we get to the near 4 private dollars spent in the economy for every federal dollar spent, even for food stamps, that economists freely claimed in 1962.

      I would contrast, and not compare, a command and control economy with a capitalist one.

      Japan has a critically aging population with nowhere near replacement either by births or by immigration.

      I think legal immigration has been the fuel of the ability of the US to stay ahead of the 8 ball, btw – coupled with, and bound to, both US productivity and the general strength of the dollar.

      I think after the boomer bump passes the demographics of OAB gets better for about 20 years – I read that somewhere, but I don’t remember where.

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  23. Banned, I’m still curious how Ryan’s budget is career suicide for him while Obama’s budget is not. If Ryan’s budget is so toxic, the R’s should lose the House right?

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  24. George

    Because in simplest terms, one is already president and one is not. All the things that we have discussed this week vis a vis civil rights versus national security might have been stone cold killers for Obama had he said them before he was elected, but he did not let us know who he was in that regard.

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  25. Didn’t Ron Wyden endorse the Ryan Plan? Or at least the Medicare part of it? it can’t be *that* radical if Wyden is on board.

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  26. Here’s an interesting, though very short, look at the so-called multiplier effect written by Robert Barro.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574440723298786310.html

    Banned, so, again shouldn’t the House’s vote on Ryan’s plan result in their losing it? Also, Ryan’s seat wasn’t considered vulnerable by Democrats until this morning. Again, how can that be in light of his budget plan?

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  27. george:

    Oh I don’t mean that Ryan will lose his seat. I meant he has killed himself in the race for the presidency/ The more specific he has to be, the worse it will be for him in 2016 at least in my opinion. I think that Ryan is a sharp guy who being young got caught up in the moment and went for broke.

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  28. Has Wyden committed “career suicide” by signing on to Ryan’s Medicare plan? Or is it just slowing the rate of the growth of government slightly less than Obama’s plan that will doom him?

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  29. If Wyden was running for the presidency, I would say he probably had

    Also I read your srticle but it seemed to discuss the stimlus not entitlements, so I’m not sure if we’re doing apples and oranges.

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  30. Which article? The comparison of Obama’s budget to Ryan’s “career suicide” budget or the anti-multiplier effect / Barro article?

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    • banned:

      He’s stuck with the “Ryan budget” now in which the numbers don’t work, but which he’ll have to defend. It’s probably career suicide for him

      That seems highly unlikely to me. Even if it is true that Ryan’s numbers don’t work, if it was “career sucide” to be in the position of having to defend a budget plan in which the numbers didn’t work, I can’t think of a national politician whose career wouldn’t already be dead, starting first and foremost with our current president.

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  31. Well, Don Juan, being in a foul mood from dealing with this spreadsheet all day I went ahead and posted a comment on Benen’s blog that’s probably going to earn me the Wrath of Donna.

    But I haven’t commented on that blog in over a year (going back to when he was on Washington Monthly and they did a site overhaul that resulted in a commenting system only slightly less painful than WaPo’s), so I can still enjoy reading him without commenting and not miss it. 🙂

    I tried, bud, but I don’t think she’s going to accept my points, either. At least there’s a nice Canadian who was sticking up for you!

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  32. Thank you. Since her comments were not based in reality, reason is not going to change her mind.

    That blog is ful of toxic people, she’s not even the worst. The one guy tells other posters to kill themselves, remisniscent of someone else we know.

    The funny thing is, I only tried it because Greg linked to it so often. The MItt’s Mendacity thing is overblown drama, but I agree with some things he wrote this week and said so. Overall, I was surprised by some of his work, and suprised on the down side by how incredibly bad the posting is.

    I’m actually done with the place, but it would be unlike me to allow the appearance that I had been chased out by a hockey goon, an anlogy I think she missed. LOL

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  33. LOL, indeed!

    I think I’ve said it here before, but moving to the Maddow Blog killed his commenting section. He was great when he had his own blog (“The Carpetbagger Report”) and pretty OK as the Political Animal at WaMo, but man, the riff raff that comment on the Maddow Blog make the PL look normal. I noticed that something like 90% of his regulars stopped posting within a month of him moving over there. Ah, well, at least we have ATiM!

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  34. Banned,

    So, you now are saying that it’s not “career suicide” for Ryan to have his budget, but that it might hurt his potential Presidential election chances in 2016?

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  35. george

    yes, that was what I meant, which obviously I didn’t say very well.

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  36. Here is my typical snarky remark about Ryan:

    Only in the Republican party does a guy with a BA in economics for a decidedly mediocre Midwest cow college garner a reputation as a fiscal genius. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    On a far less snarky note, Ryan embodies a GOP tradition of selecting young attractive lightweights as vice-presidential candidates that goes back at least to Dan Quayle if not Richard Nixon. Democrats on the other hand tend to pick running mates that add a little gravitas and respectability to the ticket. Please feel free to name the counter-examples.

    As for the Ryan ‘Budget’, the actual numbers are a complete smokescreen to hide the true intent which is to privatize Medicare and foist Medicaid back onto the states. Thousands of words on either side of the debate have been written already but the phrase ‘ending Medicare as we know it’ pretty much sums it up. As someone a few years shy of the magic 55 grandfather-in age it frightens me considerably.

    As for 2016, Ryan’s aspirations are not to be taken seriously. Christie is the hands on favorite and he was smart to sit on the sidelines this year. On the Democratic side, he will be facing either Cuomo or O’Malley, both of whom have been implicitly campaigning for at least a decade.

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  37. “Democrats on the other hand tend to pick running mates that add a little gravitas and respectability to the ticket.”

    Biden?

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    • Biden?

      Sadly, yes. Biden had spent 36 years in the Senate and had run for President once or twice himself. Gore also fits this general rubric, having served eight years each in the House and Senate.

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  38. Hmmmmm.

    GHWB wouldn’t be considered a young, attractive, lightweight–but then maybe the lightweight would be the top of the ticket that year. At least, that was the way he liked to portray himself.

    John Edwards was young and attractive, but did have some gravitas (if that’s the right word) as a trial lawyer who had made loads o’dough before turning to politics.

    And I am probably totally exposing my ignorance here, but if O’Malley has been implicitly campaigning for the Presidency for a decade he/she is spectacularly bad at it, because I have no idea who that person is!

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  39. Brent–

    Gray hair. And FP.

    OK, not gravitas. Although, if you remember his speech before the group (I’m blanking on the name) of family members who were survivors of veterans who committed suicide. That was gravitas in it’s best form.

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  40. I have no idea who that person is!

    You will. Nobody had heard of Clinton before he began his run. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has his own Irish folk-rock band (O’Malley’s March) and looks devastating in a sleeveless black tee shirt. Here is a blog item I wrote about him several years back as evidence.

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  41. yeloo:

    you’re out on an island about Biden. I’m not sure even his own family would use that word about him.

    As far Ryan goes, welll there’s the fact that Jared Benstein, the number 2 man on Obama’s Economic Council isn’t actually an economist at all,and you see how well that turned out. (though i heard he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, just before the election)

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  42. O Malley is ok but I live here and i never heard about him mentioned in presidnetial terms. When it comes to the Dems though, younger is definitely better.

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  43. Banned,
    Let’s rephrase it then. Republicans select running mates with less experience and Democrats pick ones with more. I understand Biden is an affable national joke but you don’t spend over three decades in the Senate without picking up some political acumen if only by accident.

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    • yello:

      I understand Biden is an affable national joke but you don’t spend over three decades in the Senate without picking up some political acumen if only by accident.

      Unless, of course, you are someone like Joe Biden.

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  44. yello–

    In the spirit of your blog item, I will say that from my point of view, tis a pity he’s married (else I’d move to Baltimore).

    But I guess that would make me a stalker–not pretty.

    Is he really that good? I would’ve picked Deval Patrick as more of an up-and-comer (and nationally known)

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  45. “On a far less snarky note, Ryan embodies a GOP tradition of selecting young attractive lightweights as vice-presidential candidates that goes back at least to Dan Quayle if not Richard Nixon. Democrats on the other hand tend to pick running mates that add a little gravitas and respectability to the ticket.”

    Obama served a little over 2 years in Congress before he annonced for the presidency. Ryan has served 7.5 times LONGER in Congress than Obama did.

    Do you know who Paul Ryan is?

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  46. While I got you on the line, Don Juan, I’m beginning to wonder if your penchant for drawing stalkers doesn’t say more about you than them. The comment sections of most blogs are cesspools unless the denizens themselves have done some community building. People are always blaming the tenor of comments on anonymity but I know many blogs which have great dialog with anonymous commenters but they tend to center around ‘regulars’ who have a vested interest in keeping the tone civil.

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  47. I mean I voted for the guy, but certainly Obama is the lightest lightweight to ever hold the office based on prior experience, outside of Lincoln.

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  48. It’s not just years of service but also type of office. Ryan is a House member and has never faced voters outside his Wisconsin district. In this respect, Romney as a former governor ‘outranks’ Ryan despite having less total time in elected office.

    Obama was Senator from Illinois, a state with 20 electoral votes. But he was a first term Senator which is why he selected the far more experience Gore. Like I said, the correlation is imperfect and exceptions abound.

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  49. yello

    Agreed. As I wrote above, I am sometimes arrogant and or condescending sometimes tongue in cheek, and sometimes seriously, mainly because it is my style of writing. I know I drive people nuts who just want to pretend that we are all equal in terms of ability and nobody knows any more than anyone else.

    but I am not saying that is true of the people here

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  50. Ryan is chairman of the House budget committee Obama had literally never run anything in his life ( Harvard Law Review, excuse me)before he became president

    It’s not that one has the right answers and one the wrong ones, but man oh man you brought up experience and that is the last category in the wolrd you can use to compare

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  51. You are seriously missing my point. I’m not arguing that Obama’s 2008 resume wasn’t paper-thin. I’m agreeing with you. But I’m not pitting Obama against Ryan.

    House member is not as high ranking an office as Senator or Governor. Gerald Ford was the last Congressman to become President and he spent time as un-elected VP. The last vice presidential candidate to be a House member was Geraldine Ferraro (a selection which undercuts my thesis).

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    • yello:

      I’m not arguing that Obama’s 2008 resume wasn’t paper-thin. I’m agreeing with you. But I’m not pitting Obama against Ryan.

      It appears to me you are knocking Republicans for selecting relatively “inexperienced” people to run in the number 2 slot while you laud the Dems for selecting even more inexperienced people to run for the number 1 slot because they choose national jokes with tons of experience to run alongside him.

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  52. Yes, I think he shouldn’t run with Romney, but it’s too late now!

    Anyway, enjoyed chatting with you again!

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  53. I was thinking about reading Grunwald’s The New New Deal, but now I’m not so sure.

    In his Five Myths about the Stimulus, he writes:

    “4. Unlike the New Deal, the stimulus will leave no legacy.

    Nostalgic liberals often complain that the stimulus lacks iconic Hoover Dams and Skyline Drives. ”

    I don’t know why, since niether of them were actually New Deal projects, (nor the Golden Gate Bridge nor The Empire State Building either)

    “It extended high-speed Internet to underserved communities, a modern twist on the New Deal’s rural electrification, and modernized the New Deal-era unemployment insurance system..”

    Actually if you Google it’s been a pretty horrible boondoggle of no service and wasted money. Unlike the real deal REA, these areas could have satellite internet access literally any time they wanted and most of the kids were probably already getting it on their smart phones anyway.

    So I probably won’t be reading that book after all if this is the quality of his work.

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  54. Scott,

    It was an observation. Not a judgment. I neither knocked nor lauded. I just find it interesting that Republicans feel the need to add cross-generational appeal while Democrats try to us a veep to paper over resume deficits.

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  55. yello:

    It was an observation. Not a judgment.

    Rubbish. Even someone from a “mediocre Midwest cow college” knows that the adage “in the land of the blind the one-eyed man in king” is a negative judgement.

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    • yello:

      BTW, you should be aware that that particular “mediocre Midwest cow college” has actually already produced one US president.

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  56. Even someone from a “mediocre Midwest cow college” knows that the adage “in the land of the blind the one-eyed man in king” is a negative judgement.

    That was a separate independent opinion of Ryan. While I am dismissive of Ryan individually (and I did telegraph that it was a deliberately snarky assessment), it does underscore the larger general trend I was observing. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the matchups of the past elections.

    Romney/Ryan vs. Obama/Biden
    McCain/Palin vs. Obama/Biden
    Dubya/Cheney vs. Kerry/Edwards
    Dubya/Cheney vs. Gore/Lieberman
    Dole/Kemp vs. Clinton/Gore
    Bush I/Quayle vs. Clinton/Gore
    Bush I/Quayle vs. Dukakis/Bentsen
    Reagan/Bush I vs. Mondale/Ferraro
    Reagan/Bush I vs Carter/Mondale
    Ford/Dole vs. Carter/Mondale

    So out of the past ten elections I would say that on the Republican side the Sith Lord Master/Apprentice paradigm (no value judgment, just a convenient pop culture analogy) plays in seven of them, Dubya/Cheney being the most obvious huge reversal. Ford/Dole is a toss-up.

    While on the Democrat side, the Young Buck/Elder Statesman pair-up plays in eight out of ten. The outlier here is Mondale/Ferraro. I would call Kerry/Edwards a match of equals.

    Note that roles can be reversed such as Bush I being Reagan’s youth play only to be followed by Bush I going with Quayle.

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    • yello:

      That was a separate independent opinion of Ryan.

      And one that obviously informed your “observation”.

      Setting out the list just shows how bizarre your judgement is.  When Edwards ran for VP he was 51 with 5 years of congressional experience.  Gore was 44 with 7 years of congressional experience.  Mondale was 48 with 12 years of congressional experience.  Ferraro was 48 with 5 years of congressional experience.  Every single one of them was younger than the presidential candidate with whom they were running, and every single one of them had less congressional experience than Ryan has now.  

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  57. BTW, you should be aware that that particular “mediocre Midwest cow college” has actually already produced one US president.

    I had not known that. Thanks for the trivia. To have Benjamin Harrison as its most distinguished alumni speaks volumes and only serves to reinforce the ‘decidedly mediocre’ part of my description. Here is the Wikipedia listing of Miami-Ohio’s rankings:

    U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s undergraduate program 90th among national universities, and 40th among public universities. U.S. News also ranked the university 3rd for best undergraduate teaching at national universities.[5] Forbes ranked Miami 243rd in the United States among all colleges and universities and listed it as one of “America’s Best College Buys”.

    That is not to say that great minds can’t come from small colleges or that Ivy Leagues only graduate geniuses, but our last four presidents have had some sort of Ivy affiliation.

    However, one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century also had a degree in economics from a decidedly mediocre Midwest cow college. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to rank and categorize the alma maters of the other previous presidential and vice presidential candidates.

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    • yello:

      To have Benjamin Harrison as its most distinguished alumni…

      Actually that honor belongs to Paul Brown.

      As an aside, I find it strange when people place such high stock in university credentials. It may make some sense to judge a person by their university’s credentials when they are 22 and haven’t actually done anything in their life. But once they have actually had a job and accomplished something, it strikes me as little more than a stupid appeal to elitism.

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  58. yello

    I’m happy you’re here either way.

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  59. I’m happy you’re here either way.

    Thanks. Sometimes I don’t know whether I am pissing into the wind. I wouldn’t comment here if I thought I was just tossing pearls before swine. ATiM is full of very smart people of very disparate ideologies. I hope to someday break the impression that I am some sort of moonbat lunatic rather than the moderate extremist I self-identify as.

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  60. And one that obviously informed your “observation”.

    My personal previously unexpressed observation pre-dated the pick of Ryan as it had become very apparent that both Quayle and Palin fit this precept. As the old Time Magazine cliche went, it takes three examples to write a cover story on a trend.

    Both of your quibbles are with tickets I expressly said didn’t fit the pattern.

    The outlier here is Mondale/Ferraro. I would call Kerry/Edwards a match of equals.

    Both Mondale and Gore were selected as veeps to give cred to small state governors without a national reputation.

    Ryan is a Young Turk in any plausible narrative. All of the gushing hagiography being pushed out there emphasizes that Ryan became House Budget Committee Chair over people with far more seniority. That he is a Young Man Going Places and a Rising Star is his huge intagible advantage over more staid options like Pawlenty.

    Even in the head-to-head, you can’t possibly argue that Ryan’s fourteen years in the House comes anywhere close to Biden’s 36 years in the Senate.

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  61. Actually that honor belongs to Paul Brown.

    Paul Who? Never heard of him. Did he get anything named after him or something?

    I find it strange when people place such high stock in university credentials.

    That is not to say that great minds can’t come from small colleges or that Ivy Leagues only graduate geniuses,
    {snip}
    …one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century also had a degree in economics from a decidedly mediocre Midwest cow college.

    Do you even read what I write?

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    • yello:

      Both of your quibbles…

      Both? I provided 4 exceptions to your claimed pattern, which account for 6 of your 10 listed elections. You may be the only person I know of who thinks that a pattern can be said to be established when more than half of the evidence runs counter to the alleged pattern. No doubt, however, your intellect towers over the likes of Ryan.

      Even in the head-to-head, you can’t possibly argue that Ryan’s fourteen years in the House comes anywhere close to Biden’s 36 years in the Senate.

      A complete non-sequitur. Your thesis, and the purpose towards which you made your list, was not simply that Biden has more experience than Ryan.

      Do you even read what I write?

      I do. Would that you spent as much time thinking about what you write as I spend reading it. Your original was plainly premised on the notion that where he went to university is a significant indicator of how he should be judged. If you don’t really believe that (I’m guessing you almost certainly do) then just say so and admit that your original was a stupid comment.

      Like

      • Hi, all – this “debate” on credentials, experience, etc. seems irrelevant to me for this election. In my lifetime the only folks who had “credentials” for being POTUS were either sitting POTUSes or Ike or Bush 41. FP is the exclusive bailiwick of the POTUS and domestic policy is primarily in the hands of Congress today.

        We train every damned new POTUS on the job for FP unless s/he was the SecState, SecDef, NSA, CIA Director, or four or five star in a foreign command.

        Having been governor is almost useless. Having been Senator is almost useless. Having been a junior officer is almost useless. Having run a business or having been a law prof is almost useless.

        Smart, nimble, able to absorb stuff – that helps. RWR had a great second term IMO because he finally absorbed what Schulz and Powell were teaching him. WJC had a good second term b/c he absorbed FP and defense policy. To be clear, both RWR and WJC were huge setbacks in FP in their first terms. Truman was a quick study who relied a lot on Marshall and Acheson, to our benefit, and who hated Stalinism, also to our benefit. FDR learned OTJ. Ike did well in FP from the start and so did Bush 41. LBJ, far and away the most skilled legislator and politician in my lifetime, never understood FP.

        I think Jack Kemp was a great American and I think he would have been a terrific VP. I think JB has been a good VP. I think he understands FP, but his gaffe prone mouth that runs all the time also means he probably should not be a diplomat.

        I think Ryan could be a good VP, but I think WMR would be a bad POTUS. No diplomacy chops at all. Seeming virgin on FP.

        I know it is a narrow focus, but I think Gates, HRC, and Condi will all be too old/or disinterested/or unwanted in 2016; so I am hoping Petraeus or someone with that breadth of experience in FP national security runs, not, say, the D gov of Montana and the R gov of NJ. Then we will have that huge retraining exercise again.

        Like

        • mark:

          but I think WMR would be a bad POTUS.

          Your list has a very notable hole in it. In 2008 did you think BO would be a good or bad POTUS? Do you think BO has been a good or bad POTUS?

          BTW, I agree re the credential argument. I have argued before that almost no one is “qualified” to be president on day one.

          Like

        • Scott – I began 2008 as a McC supporter and donated over $500 to him. In the end, I did not vote for him – a combination of his surrounding himself with neoconservative FP advisers and the Palin choice.

          I thought BHO would have a steep learning curve of FP, although he had been Lugar’s protege, and that was a plus. When he kept Gates, and even more, when the FP was shaped more by Gates’ advice than anyone else’s, I believe we avoided a bullet during BHO’s first two years, and I give him a B+ on FP.

          IMO, it is no small failing as a domestic leader that he started with a modest health care idea – let everyone buy into fed employee health insurance – and then followed Baucus into the maze of ACA. I know it was not true, but the perception that he obsessed over ACA to the exclusion of the economy is one he contributed to. I walked around for a year saying “why not W-B” and be done with this circus?

          On civil liberties, he sucked. Thus my support of Johnson in 2012.

          On domestic finance, well, he followed his experts, Sommers/Geithner. That wasn’t so good, as it turned out.

          Like

        • Mark:

          Thanks for the detailed response. On FP, I largely agree…things could have been a lot worse. On DP I don’t think the same can be said.

          If I thought Johnson had any chance whatsoever, I might consider him. As it is, he doesn’t, and his presence can only redound to Obama’s benefit. I think a vote for Johnson is in effect a vote for Obama. And that I cannot do.

          Like

  62. Only in the Republican party does a guy with a BA in economics for a decidedly mediocre Midwest cow college garner a reputation as a fiscal genius.

    Twenty years ago, at least, Miami was considered one of the few Public Ivies. You’d have been lucky to have been admitted.

    I guess it takes some who graduated toward the bottom of his class at the University of Delaware and went on to be caught plagiarizing at a third-rate law school to get your respect as an intellectual force.

    Like

  63. To the extent such things matter, the greatest financial regulator ever Carter Glass, never even finished high school and the greatest financial disaster ever on the Dem side, Larry Summers, was a wunderkind at MIT.

    Having listened to Ryan for many years, I think we can say he knows the numbers as well or better than anybody on either side. However just like experienced football analysts reach different conclusions on who is going to win the game, economists in general reach a jaw-dropping variety of conclusions all using the same numbers.

    Like

    • banned, so how would you characterize Ryan’s use of the 2.5% unemployment figure as an assumption in the model for his first proffered Ryan Budget if he knows the numbers so well? If he knew the numbers so well, he would have known that was an impossibly unrealistic assumption. Does that leave it to be characterized as something other than an intentional attempt to grossly mislead?

      Like

    • As it turns out, we couldn’t. The minute we came close we lost the political will and plunged ourselves even further into permanent debt.

      Like

  64. I didn’t see that particular assumption but yes that rate is not going to happen. As I said at the top, the numbers don’t work overall. For that mater, they don’t work in any budget that has been or will be presented by either side, because the Ameican people won’t accept two basic pinciples a) the everyone will have to pay more taxes, b) that Medicare in particular cannot be “fixed” it can only be realistically budgeted for.

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  65. Okie:

    Apparenlty it drops by 2.5 initially not is based on 2.5:

    “If Rep. Paul Ryan’s newly unveiled 2012 budget is signed into law, this is what Ryan’s economic forecasters say will happen: The unemployment rate will plunge by 2.5 percentage points. The still-sinking housing market will roar back in a brand new boom. The federal government will collect $100 billion more in income tax revenues than it otherwise would have.

    And that’s just in the first year. By 2015, the forecasters say, unemployment will fall to 4 percent. By 2021, it will be a nearly unprecedented 2.8 percent.”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/budget/ryan-plan-pushes-optimism-to-the-outer-limits-20110405

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    • banned, I’m referring to his original budget offering. Not going to research it, but I believe he was forced to revise it because of the immediate outcry over his use of that unemployment figure.

      Like

  66. As a reminder, during the end of the Clinton years, economists were discussing the equally crazy idea that we could pay off the national debt:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/10/21/141510617/what-if-we-paid-off-the-debt-the-secret-government-report

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  67. “By 2021, it will be a nearly unprecedented 2.8 percent.”

    Still a blindingly rosy scenario.

    Like

  68. Actually even Paul Krugman believes this is possible, but not desireable because of inlfation:

    “Let me run this backwards. I believe that if we tried to keep unemployment at 3 percent for a prolonged period, we would experience accelerating inflation. So I guess I do believe in a NAIRU. Where is it? Probably around 5, although there are worrying signs that prolonged mass unemployment may actually be pushing it gradually up.”

    http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2012/05/paul-krugman-at-fdl-on-currency-issuer.html

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  69. Noe this guy says full employment is anywhere between 4-5% 2000s consensus, but that target rate is a moveable feast and today some say 6.5-7%

    http://www.ncsu.edu/project/calscommblogs/economic/archives/2010/07/a_new_full_unem_1.html

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  70. We currently have 2% inflation and 9% unemployment. the risk of stagflation notwithstanding, it would seem to be just an academic exercise to reverse those numbers. I’m still awaiting the much promised round of hyperinflation which will wipe out my debts. It would also whittle away the national debt.

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  71. ” I’m still awaiting the much promised round of hyperinflation which will wipe out my debts. It would also whittle away the national debt.’

    No it woudn’t becuse we operate at a deficit not a surplus. So you would have to acquire new more expnsive debt at the same time you are paying off older cheaper debt unless you blaance the budget at the same time.

    Like

  72. From Greg:

    “Lizza reported that several major economic development projects financed by federal money are underway in Ryan’s hometown. There’s the Janesville Innovation Center, which will “provide entrepreneurs with commercial space in which to launch their ideas.” This is being funded by a $1.2 million stimulus grant, Lizza notes.

    That’s not all. As Lizza notes, the federal government is contributing over $10 million to a new facility in Janesville that will produce a medical tracer that used to be made outside the U.S. The new plant could employ some 150 people.”

    The facility actually costs 194 million, as happens so often the Federal government is contributing 5% of the cost while getting 95% of the credit. (this is why local and state law enforcement often hate the FBI btw)

    http://www.pointonecommercial.com/2012/new-companies-coming-to-the-area/

    Like

  73. To Michigoose:

    Is he really that good?

    O’Malley’s March is a very good band that can play everything from traditional Irish tunes to U2.

    Like

  74. yello:

    FMK. Where did Cokie end up on your list??

    Like

  75. Marry. I’ve had crush on her for a long time.
    Peggy Noonan got the Kill slot which left only one place for Gavin Newsom. He’s so pretty.

    Like

  76. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    You can have Cokie–I’ll take her hubby. Much as I love Diane Rehm and her interviewing style, it’s almost as good when Steve subs in for her. We’ll have to ask lulu about Gavin and what to do with him.

    Is it just me, or was PL practically civil this weekend?

    Like

    • re: PL – When I looked at it late Friday afternoon it was an impossible morass and I did not look again. You have piqued my curiosity.

      edit: I looked at the most recent three hours of comments and it was all name calling and substance free. ‘Goose, you must have looked during the eye of the storm.

      Like

  77. Greenwald slays Ryan’s image as the Randian icon of the right. He’s another one of those “it’s okay for thee but not for me” politicians regardless of which college he attended.

    Perhaps most ludicrous of all is the notion that he’s some sort of advocate for restrained federal government power. As Antiwar.com’s John Glaser documented today, Ryan has continuously voted in favor of measures to expand all sorts of intrusive federal power, including making the PATRIOT Act permanent, enacting the Military Commissions Act to provide indefinite detention with no habeas corpus rights, implementing the Protect America Act to massively expand the U.S. Government’s power to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants, supporting a federal Constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the right to marry along with a law banning the ability of gay couples in D.C. to adopt children and the continuation of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, a Constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning, and almost every proposed measure to restrict abortion rights.

    The ACLU — which has been continuously scathing in its criticisms of President Obama’s civil liberties record — issued a report on the potential Vice Presidential nominees (including Joe Biden) entitled “A Heartbeat Away from the Presidency, Light Years from Civil Liberties,” and said yesterday that Ryan has “uniformly harmful views on five key civil liberties issues including a humane immigration policy, LGBT equality, reproductive rights, torture and indefinite detention and fair voting access” (he did, however, vote against the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions, signed into law by President Obama at the end of 2011, as well as for a bill to include “sexual orientation” in the list of factors that cannot be legally used in job hiring). Whatever one wants to say about Ryan’s record, it is the very opposite of constraining the power of the federal government to intrude into the lives of individuals; indeed, it’s a testament to massive expansion of intrusive federal government power in almost every realm.

    Like

  78. What’s been interesting about the narrative on Ryan over the years is the angle that he’s a Randian. The only groups that seems to believe it are the media and those on the far left. He is and always has been a traditional Conservative.

    Like

  79. But George, he had a copy of Atlas Shrugged in his office. QED.

    Like

  80. Despite Ryan’s earlier claims to the influence Rand had on his political views he has now “clarified” his attachment.

    More recently, however, Ryan distanced himself from Rand, whose atheism is something of a philosophical wedge issue on the right, dividing religious conservatives from free-market libertarians. This year, with his political profile rising, Ryan stressed not only that he had differences with Rand’s atheism—a point he had made as far back as 2003—but went so far as to denounce her whole system of beliefs, describing his early attraction to her writing as little more than a youthful dalliance. He admitted that he had “enjoyed her novels,” but, as Mak notes, he stressed that, “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.”

    Ryan’s sidestep from Rand was politically essential. As a Mormon, the last thing Romney needs is to alienate the Christian Right further by putting an acolyte of an atheist on the ticket. So it was not surprising that Romney made a point of stressing Ryan’s Catholicism during his announcement of Ryan today, introducing him as, “A faithful Catholic” who “believes in the dignity and worth of every life.”

    Like

    • lms (from Greenwald):

      The contrast between (a) how Paul Ryan is depicted by worshipful Republicans and media figures alike — as a principled fiscal conservative and advocate of Randian self-sufficiency

      Are there any examples of R’s or media figures portraying him as an advocate of Randian self-sufficiency?

      Like

  81. Exactly where does an Objectivist fit on the Libertarian/Social Issues conservative graph? Ryan’s big break with Rand seems to be over religion. He has one. He is decidedly against marriage equality and seems to be pro-life even though this isn’t one of his hot button issues. Where does he differ from, say, Rand Paul (there are way too many similar names in this corner of the marketplace of ideas)?

    I’ve just seen so many accusations and refutations – deficit hawk, small government advocate, traditional conservative, Randian, zombie-eyed granny-starver – that they all seem to run together.

    Like

    • yello:

      Exactly where does an Objectivist fit on the Libertarian/Social Issues conservative graph?

      Depends on the issue.

      He is decidedly against marriage equality…

      I hate it when people do this, ie ignore the very thing that is in dispute by characterizing the position of their political opponents in terms that presume their own position has been established. It is such a cheap and dishonest way of presenting an opposing position. Anti-abortion people do it when they portray pro-choicers as being in favor of killing babies, and pro-choice people do it when they portray pro-lifers as being against women’s rights or against “reproductive freedom” (a la Greenwald from lms’s link). And yello does it above by pretending that the concept/definition of marriage necessarily includes same sex couples, which is in fact the very notion that is in dispute.

      Like

  82. Lots of media figures, not too many R’s I imagine. It’s Ryan’s own words that linked him forever to Ayn Rand………………………..too bad. You’re a fan also aren’t you?

    “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” …

    At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand’s writings when he told his audience that, “Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill … is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict–individualism versus collectivism.”

    Like

    • lms:

      Lots of media figures

      Who, I wonder? Like McWing, I suspect the only people who really portray him as an advocate of Randian self sufficiency are his critics…like Greenwald. I’d guess that Greenwald is just making things up.

      Like

    • lms:

      You’re a fan also aren’t you?

      I am.

      Like

  83. Scott, the issue is marriage equality for gays, and Ryan is against it. And part of reproductive freedom is the right to legal abortion and he is also against that.

    Like

    • lms:

      Scott, the issue is marriage equality for gays…

      No, it isn’t. The issue is the definition of marriage, not equality. Under a traditional definition of marriage, both hetero- and homo-sexuals are allowed marry someone of the opposite sex, and not allowed to marry someone of the same sex. There is no inequality. Some people want to change that definition, which is fine, but to assume that the definition already includes same-sex couple in order to then portray the issue as one of equality is simply an attempt to avoid the real issue and win the argument by default.

      And part of reproductive freedom is the right to legal abortion…

      Only if one assumes that the thing being aborted has no right to life. If it does have a right to life, then “reproductive freedom” no more implies a right to kill that thing than the right to happiness implies the right to kill your neighbor who is bothering you. Again, by assuming that the thing being aborted has no right to life, you are ignoring the very issue under dispute.

      No one is opposed to “reproductive freedom”. The dispute is over whether and when rights obtain in the product of reproduction that has already occurred. Pro-choicers who portray their opponents as objecting to “reproductive freedom” are simply not being honest about the debate.

      Like

  84. http://www.atlassociety.org/libertarianism-and-objectivism-compatible

    objectivism is a philosophy while libertiarisnism is largely restricted to political goals/positions. there’s overlap but the objectivism criticism is that libertariansism is wrongly focused only on politics.

    Like

  85. I happen to think that one can be a traditional conservative as well as understand that many political issue come down to individualism vs collectivism. I’m probably the most radical here, from a political perspective, and yet I tend to believe in a very strong US defense and very muscular US foreign policy. My reasons tend to be more along the lines of using it (which we have) to facilitate trade and keep shipping lines open. I’d rather have the US do it than anybody else. If we can liberate some people while serving our interests, great. But I’m also pro-choice and would like the State to remove itself from the marriage issue entirely, so, go figure. Point is, Ryan panders to certain groups and votes and governs like a traditional conservative. I’m curious as to how this can be news to anyone.

    Like

  86. One last point. It’s funny to watch the left and the media poke holes in Ryan’s supposed Randianism. It’s obvious they’re mistaken (or being disingenuous) as to his political persuasion as well as what motivates the Republican base. On the one hand they have to try and convince the low info voters that he and Romney are The Most Radical Repbulicans ever in the history of, well, ever, while at the same time try to depress the Republican base turnout by showing how Ryan is not a true Randian and is a milquetoast moderate.

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  87. while at the same time try to depress the Republican base turnout by showing how Ryan is not a true Randian and is a milquetoast moderate.

    It seems to me you’re the one trying to convince us he’s nothing more than a typical conservative, although I don’t know if that’s milquetoast or not.

    Do you think Republicans, voters not politicians, will endorse Medicare as a voucher system? I think that’s a radical way to fix Medicare and I’d wager liberals aren’t the only ones.

    Like

  88. Lms, I think the Republican base knows Ryan is a traditional conservative and that Romney is a milquetoast moderate. That’s why it’s funny watching the far left and the media try and paint Ryan as a traditional conservative, not a Randian. As I wrote, they do not have an understanding of the Republican base. And from my political perspective, while I like Ryan, he is a moderate.

    Like

  89. Scott

    I’m sorry but it seems to me you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. Obviously those who support the rights of gays to marry are trying to change the definition of marriage to equally include same sex couples. That equality is implied in their advocacy. And as far as I know right now abortion in the early stages of pregnancy is still legal and the definition of life is still under debate. Reproductive freedom includes abortion as a reproductive option so consequently it’s right to life advocates in this case who are trying to change the rules and take away a reproductive freedom.

    I’m not saying the debates aren’t justified just that Ryan opposes both the equal rights of gays to marry, or if you prefer redefining marriage to include same sex couples, and the reproductive rights of women to have an abortion.

    You’re trying to define the terms favorably for Republicans or Ryan as much as I’m trying to define them favorably for Democrats or myself…………………so what.

    Like

    • lms:

      Obviously those who support the rights of gays to marry are trying to change the definition of marriage to equally include same sex couples.

      But they are not trying to include, for example, incestuous relationships. So therefore, according to your logic, they are against marriage equality.

      You’re trying to define the terms favorably for Republicans or Ryan as much as I’m trying to define them favorably for Democrats or myself

      That is totally untrue. In fact I am somewhat ambivalent about both issues, but if I was trying to employ the same rhetorical tricks in favor of “conservative” positions that you/Greenwald/yello are employing in favor of your positions, I would characterize you, for example, as being in favor of killing babies and the destruction of marriage. I am just as opposed to those false characterizations as I am to yours.

      Like

  90. I think Republican voters, and many non-Republican voters will endorse Medicare as a voucher program. I posted a link last week to some Democrat polling showing Ryan’s Medicare plan polls best in the over 65 group. I’m guessing because he exempts them and of a misguided belief that in “reforming” Medicare it can be saved for future generations. While that philosophy is, in my opinion, wrong, I’ll take it for now and switch from voucher to cash/recipient keeps some/all of unspent sums later. “Baby Steps” to follow up on the What About Bob reference from Scott.

    By the way, anybody here a fan of the movie Raising Arizona?

    Like

  91. McWing, I’m missing your point re the Drum piece.

    Like

  92. “it’s right to life advocates in this case who are trying to change the rules and take away a reproductive freedom.”

    My two cents — if anything, it’s technology that’s going to define abortion rights as viability for premies gets better. It was 28 weeks when Roe was decided. Now, It’s 50-70% chance at 24-25 weeks, and about 25% chance at 23 weeks. And i’ve heard of cases at 22 weeks gestation. So what was not a life in at 28 weeks in 1973 now has a chance to survive at 22 weeks.

    Like

  93. I’d like to see that poll again McWing if you get a chance. Last year Seniors, 65 and older, opposed the voucher system overwhelmingly according to at least a couple of polls I saw. I’d be curious what changed their minds as they’ve always known they would be exempt.

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  94. Scott, I don’t think my characterizations are false.

    Like

    • lms:

      Scott, I don’t think my characterizations are false.

      Neither do people who characterize the pro-choice position as favoring baby-killing. But the fact remains they are each opposite sides of the same rhetorical attempt to smuggle a disputed premise into the debate and thereby win it without addressing the real issue.

      Like

  95. Lms, here’s a Kaiser poll from April that’s interesting. I’ll find the other one as soon as I can.

    Click to access 8180-T.pdf

    Like

  96. Scott, I’ve been trying to decide what I think is the best, or at least the most memorable line from the movie. So far, “The government do take a bite, don’t she?” is in the lead, but there are others, many, many others.

    Like

    • McWing:

      My favorite dialogue was this one:

      Parole Board chairman: They’ve got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called “recidivism.”
      Parole Board member: Repeat offender!
      Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
      H.I.: No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.
      Parole Board chairman: You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
      H.I.: No, sir, no way.
      Parole Board member: ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
      H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
      Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?
      H.I.: Yes, sir.
      Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

      Like

  97. Nova, I have no problem defining life in the best term possible for viability. I think a lot of people see a very narrow window of opportunity for abortion and don’t object to reasonable restrictions and while Scott doesn’t use terms like “baby killers” others do. I don’t believe my characterizations of denying gay couples marriage equality or women reproductive freedom quite live up to that characterization.

    Thanks McWing, I’ll look at it.

    Like

  98. Slightly off-topic, Dale Carpenter posts about Judge Kay’s recent decision on SSM.

    Like

  99. “very narrow window of opportunity for abortion”

    right — my thinking is that technology in the next 20 years is going to reduce that from a half-open window to just a crack. what happens if/when viability hits 15 weeks? doesn’t it, at some point, reach a tipping point were viability is no longer the defining characteristic?

    Like

  100. and i’m just spit-balling here.

    Like

  101. Thanks again McWing

    Both polls are interesting. Is this significant on the second one though? I’m seriously asking as I’m not that much of a poll watcher or analyst. It always seems the way the questions are worded is more important than anything else. I liked the Kaiser poll because we could really see the questions and the breakdown.

    SAMPLE: Sampled 1,000 Likely 2012 Voters in 54 Republican-held Battleground Districts

    Like

  102. Here’s the Demokracy Corp poll.

    http://www.democracycorps.com/Battleground-Surveys/july-battleground-survey/

    They asked about the Ryan budget in two different ways. One way showed support, the other show lack of support. It’s another good reason to name Ryan as VP as Mediscare was always going to be the centerpoint of the Obama campaign (well, that and racism, but we’ve flogged that one previously) so why not put the Republican’s best explicator out there to do it. Also, having had Wyden previously sign on will be interesting in that he’s going to have to seriously backpeddle now. I see it happening in the next two days.

    Like

  103. FWIW, a friend at a provider group ran a bunch of focus groups on Medicare and Medicaid. The level of misinformation and outright ignorance is astounding. I mean “buried the needle” bad. Like, as soon as you turn 65, the government pays for everything.

    [edit: and people hate Medicaid, cause that’s for lazy poor people]

    Like

  104. nova:

    doesn’t it, at some point, reach a tipping point were viability is no longer the defining characteristic?

    For those not on either end of the spectrum (life beginning at conception or at birth), viability will likely remain a defining characteristic. Practically speaking, I can’t imagine fetal viability below 15-16 weeks gestation as organ development is still very early in the process. For example, the lungs have barely begun to arborize at that point and likely won’t support sufficient oxygen exchange for life, even if the infant is placed in an oxygen chamber.

    Like

  105. The level of misinformation and outright ignorance is astounding

    That is a huge problem with polling I think, not to mention voting, and ignorance isn’t exactly a badge of honor is it?

    Like

  106. Mike:

    For example, the lungs have barely begun to arborize at that point and likely won’t support sufficient oxygen exchange for life, even if the infant is placed in an oxygen chamber.

    They won’t (one of my former bosses has spent his life doing this type of research. They use lambs because they’re almost exactly the same size as a human infant at the different stages of development); in fact, that’s really the viability cut-off at 24 or so weeks right now. Remember the science fiction movie where they had people breathe in a liquid so that they could walk around underwater and get gas exchange? That’s the type of technology that has to be developed to support (and I think has actually been developed to a certain extent) those ultra-early premies.

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  107. “That’s the type of technology that has to be developed to support (and I think has actually been developed to a certain extent) those ultra-early premies.”

    That’s what i’m getting at. Mike and Michi taught me something today — but i think there will be a technological solution for such a roadblock. now whether that counts as viable?

    Like

    • I have no time for blogging today but y’all are seriously good commenters. Every one of you. All your comments today. Passed the last five minutes at lunch reading and enjoying.

      Thanks.

      Like

  108. My second favorite line (maybe),

    Gale: Why ain’t you breast-feeding? You appear to be capable.

    Like

  109. nova:

    i think there will be a technological solution for such a roadblock. now whether that counts as viable?

    That’s the question regardless of the technology: how do we define viable? Survival outside the womb with the most advanced technology and procedures that have shown measurable success (n=1)? Does withholding those procedures constitute killing/murder of the fetus?

    Is viability resource dependent? Gestational age of viability is different if you are in NYC with access to the best care compared to being in the middle of nowhere with only a regional clinic available. Is that a factor?

    I suppose at some point we may have widely available gestation machines (a la The Matrix) that perform every function of the human uterus in terms of fetal development, obviating the need for pregnancy (and thus abortion). Then we’ll only need to argue over whether a fertilized oocyte is “life” or not.

    Like

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