The Return of the Ryan Myth

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 19 2012 3:54 PM

The Return of the Ryan Myth

Jennifer Steinhauser writes about Paul Ryan and finds the same thing I've been seeing. Republicans still love him. They think he's going to be more influential than ever before. Even the on-the-other-hand graf hints at Ryan's popularity.

Not all Republicans are quite so charmed by Mr. Ryan. He has engendered some exasperation among appropriators and other members who have been forced to apply his stringent budget numbers to their spending bills.

Which Republicans? We do not know, because they do not say. The guy just lost the vice presidency and his home state, becoming part of the first presidential ticket since 1972 to bomb so badly at home. But he is taking none of the blame for that. Steinhauser:

Mr. Ryan, who declined to be interviewed, was largely silent during the campaign about his call for changes to the Medicare system and for vast cuts to government services, as outlined in his House budget.

Define "largely silent." Did Ryan talk about Medicare reform constantly? No. Did promise not to cut Medicare by $716 billion like that nasty Obama guy did? Yes, as did every Republican in a close race, who by voting for the Ryan budget had voted for that cut. Ryan did talk about premium support on the trail, but for him to remain extra-viable as a national figure, it needs to be believed that he was muzzled by Romney and that the electorate never got a chance to vote on the Ryan plan.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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