On the Good Ship Malaprop, Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as “the next President of the United States”. Poor Mitt — he’s just not ready for prime time. Ryan is, though.

Ryan is a snake-oil salesman, and like any good snake-oil salesman he comes across as a regular guy, a guy who just wants to put you onto a good deal.  This is oddly refreshing after the vacuousness of Romney and Obama. They are spokesmodels for corporate America and come off like spokesmodels — hollow and robotic. Obama’s lofty rhetoric, that once reminded you of the rhetoric of a great preacher of the old school, fails to impress anymore, now that we know he’s just blowing smoke up our asses.

Ryan comes across as a human being, a flim-flam man but not a robot or a pasteboard pastor. This will be a two-sided sword for Romney — Ryan may inject some humanity into Romney’s campaign but that humanity will simultaneously make Romney look even more synthetic than he already does.

But Ryan is good. He will wipe the floor with Biden in their debate. He will remind people of Obama’s synthetic persona even as he reminds them of Romney’s synthetic persona.

He has suddenly made the race interesting.

4 thoughts on “PAUL RYAN

  1. Sorry to disagree, Lloyd. This election, like all elections, only appears to be a story, or rather two competing stories.

    In one story, the evil plutocrats are attempting to take all the goodies for themselves and squash everybody else under their fascist heels (Meet John Doe?). In the other story, the seemingly noble prince has been revealed to have feet of clay, and is either a hapless idealist, or a Socialist, or a crook, or an equally venal tool of the plutocrats in his own right (The Great McGinty?)

    Either way, it’s all good fun, and we can have a great time watching the show. And we can happily criticize the performances. So-and-so is implausible. So-and-so needs a better script. So-and-so will provide a nice jolt of energy in the third act.

    In fact, though, this election is all about who gains real power (as all elections really are). Read the Ryan budget. This guy’s snake oil really does say screw the poor. Obama may not be your cup of tea (he’s a politician, for God’s sake; the only arguably saintly politician in recent memory was Gandhi, and he got his brains blown out!) but there’s a real credible difference between the two parties’ platforms.

    Sorry, ironic detachment ain’t cutting it here. There are too many poor people who will suffer if this snake oil actually gets poured down all our throats.

  2. Obama stands for the gradual takeover of America by corporations, Romney stands for the immediate takeover of America by corporations. Both approaches are going to result in the takeover of America by corporations, at which point both the poor and the middle-class will be irreversibly screwed. I’m of the opinion that only a massive economic crisis will reverse this process, and one is coming — sooner or later. Probably sooner under Romney than Obama. So if you want to drift on a bit longer, waiting for the inevitable apocalypse, Obama is your guy. I don’t see the appeal of this passive approach, myself, and think it involves a dangerous sort of denial, but I understand it.

    • Personally, I’d ABSOLUTELY like to put off the apocalypse you envision for as long as possible! I’m fifty-seven, Bill’s sixty-two, and maybe we’ll get to live out the rest of our lives with some kind of affordable medical care and a roof over our heads (if we’re lucky). If I had children, I might feel differently, but somehow rushing towards a cleansing Armageddon doesn’t sound like a great idea for little kids either.

      BTW, I don’t think Obama “stands” for the gradual takeover of America by corporations, anymore than he “stands” for gravity or the fact that the sun rises in the morning. America’s been in the proceses of being taken over by corporations at least since WWII (military-industrial complex, anyone?) We’ve only just noticed it recently.

      I love you, but you’re so American! (and no, I don’t mean that as an insult) Americans love the idea of washing everything away and starting over again (better). Europeans (like me) have seen a lot of things washed away and generally it just results in the streets running with blood for a while and then the same old people (kings, dictators, corporations, call them what you will) come roaring back.

      If this be tending my own garden and ignoring everything else, then so be it. Voltaire knew enough to at least be ambivalent about the idea of a French revolution. Jefferson, on the other hand, thought it was a great idea for the tree of liberty to be watered in blood.

      Then again he had Monticello to go back to and hole up in.

  3. Well, I certainly don’t relish the idea of an economic apocalypse — it will be more horrible than anyone can imagine, and it will wreck my own life, as an old man living on a pension, which will become worthless. I just don’t see any way around it or any virtue in postponing it. I don’t think it can be postponed until the end of our lives, which still have a ways to go, I suspect, and I’d rather face it at 62 than 72.

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