This has as much to do with the President’s rant against Paul Ryan yesterday as much as it does the lack of other options on our side. John Boehner is rapidly losing support for his budget deal that doesn’t quite look like much of a deal, and the only Presidential candidate that getting any press lately is Donald Trump, who…honestly, I’d be here encoding hyperlinks all day with examples of why he needs to just stop.
That said, President Obama seemed to launch his re-election campaign against not any of the candidates or the Speaker of the House, but against the Chairman of the House Budget committee. Paul Ryan introduced his budget, “the Path to Prosperity,” last week. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny it’s not a serious plan and a clear direction for the country.
Mr. Obama did not deign to propose an alternative to rival Mr. Ryan’s plan, even as he categorically rejected all its reform ideas, repeatedly vilifying them as essentially un-American. “Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America,” he said, supposedly pitting “children with autism or Down’s syndrome” against “every millionaire and billionaire in our society.” The President was not attempting to join the debate Mr. Ryan has started, but to close it off just as it begins and banish House GOP ideas to political Siberia.
Mr. Obama then packaged his poison in the rhetoric of bipartisanship—which “starts,” he said, “by being honest about what’s causing our deficit.” The speech he chose to deliver was dishonest even by modern political standards.
Besides the usual class warfare rhetoric and being, as Ryan puts it, “a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen,” the President of the United States decided that instead of presenting his competing vision, when on the attack against a Congressman while he watched from the front row and spent the rest of the day responding and responding some more.
Is it my imagination, or did Paul Ryan just becomes the most powerful Republican in the party? And is there any of us who think that’s a bad thing?