Fever Dreams

Paul Ryan (left) and Mitt Romney

Well, then.

Vice President Paul Ryan.  Just let that one roll off your tongue, and suddenly you realize something even more deeply dysfunctional than previously expected has happened to America.  Although the Village press, with David Gregory the most nauseating among them but hardly unique, has fallen into a collective swoon for the “young,” “bold,” and “wonky” Wisconsin right-winger, the whole spectacle is pretty embarrassing.   Left unmentioned, but nonetheless hanging in the air like a ripe fart is the fact that the guy looks like he’s playing Dracula in a more than usually shoddy high school theatrical production, and his “ideas,” such as they are, are so politically toxic that many in his own party previously scurried away from them like cockroaches when the lights come on.

This is the bitter fruit of the right-wing echo chamber’s astonishing success at creating an alternate reality wherein stealing from Grandma to further enrich parasitic billionaires is a good thing, and what “the American people,” really want is to have their ailing, impoverished parents move in with them so David Koch can buy his current trophy wife her 87th sable coat in hopes of getting a blow job.  After repeating such errant nonsense ad nauseam for decades, Republicans aren’t even bothering to lie anymore; they think they’ve sold this plutocracy idea on its merits.

Call me crazy, but I think this might be a bit of a miscalculation.  Better yet, though, such a boneheaded pants-dropping on the part of the Republicans may accomplish what tossing them out on their asses in 2006 and 2008 couldn’t: making Obama and the Democrats actually stand up for the programs they’ve been just as eager as Republicans to gut.   By choosing Ryan, Romney has forced Obama to campaign from the left, and it’s about time.  Despite the stunning (though rapidly receding) successes of the New Deal and the Great Society in creating the world’s only broadly prosperous middle class, Democrats have spent the years since apologizing for it all, much to the chagrin of those tossed under the bus.

Meanwhile, a fairly alarming plurality of Americans have been robbed of their retirement, stripped of their decent-paying jobs, and watched as their children’s future ebbed away in a tide that quite noticeably hasn’t lifted all boats.  Republicans have every incentive and opportunity to obscure this glaringly obvious fact; Democrats now can only do so at their peril, as we’ve seen.

By choosing Ryan, Republicans have finally laid all their marked cards on the table, which is to me all but inexplicable, except that as a group, they must watch way too much Fox News, and wind up believing it.  Someday we may look back and give Paul Ryan credit for “saving” our vestigial social safety net; he is about to drag President Obama, kicking and screaming, into what Howard Dean called the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

And not a moment too soon.



  1. michlib says:

    Amen, Hag. THIS is the debate that must be had. No more Orwellian Frank Luntzisms from here on, out with it, Gray Old Plutocrats. I’d just love to see the Teabilly fringe’s reaction when they go out with a voucher and try to get private insurance for 78 year old granny with high blood pressure. Then let’s hear the bleating about “the greatest helth care system ” in the world. LMAO

    • You’ve made a very good point, michlib. It is the “Teabilly fringe” who will be most hurt by the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan. Yet, it is this group who has unconsciously become indoctrinated into this way of thinking.

      This really shows the incredible success of the rightwing propaganda machine since the rise of St. Ronnie. These people have no idea that they are being fucked. Yet they willingly bend over when someone like Paul Ryan says that it is time to do so.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Sadly, by the time that happens, it will be too late. My fondest, but pretty faltering hope is that having to run against these clowns will give Obama a belated but deserved kick in the ass. Call me guardedly optimistic.

      • michlib says:

        For once in my life, I’d like to see the Democrats grab the low hanging fruit and use it as a cudgel against these miscreants !

  2. avelna says:

    I hope you’re right, but the rumor going around that Obama is going to name Erskine Bowles to be his next Secretary of the Treasury – the same guy who thinks that Paul Ryan is the second coming of Christ and agrees with him that the social safety net ought to be shredded – doesn’t make me very hopeful. The Dems will spin a good story about how they will save us all from the evil Ryan-Romney Repubs while intending to essentially screw us over the in same way. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just become too cynical.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I don’t think you’re too cynical. All Obama and the Dems have to do is stay one baby step to RR’s left, and win in a walk. The bright side, as it were, is that we’ll be slightly less screwed than we would have been had Romney not picked Ryan.
      Pretty thin gruel…. Pun intended.

  3. RUKidding says:

    Hate to say it, but I think the choice of Ryan as Veep is yet another way to push the Orverton window further rightward. As amazing as it seems, Ryan’s GenXer generation pretty have been indoctrinated into lock-stepping with Ryan’s Ayn Rand panty-sniffing so-called “supply side economics.”

    There is NO rational way to “think” about this bc none of makes any sense. Alice through the Looking Glass, indeed.

    GenX (with apologies to that generation) grew up being heavily indocrtinated by Reagan’s “Shining City on the Hill” propoganda. Many of them initially raked in HUGE buck$$ from the dot.com boom. Some then promptly lost out from the dot.com bust but managed to eek ahead somewhat. But then they lost it big-time (along with the rest of us in the 99%) in the housing bubble criminal shake down of 2008.

    I’ve had a lot of conversations with GenX relatives, friends and acquaintances. I am no longer surprised by how many of them fetishize supply side “economics” along with deregulating everything as the ANSWER, AMEN.

    Ryan will do nothing more than push Obama further rightward, which is *exactly* where he, and his 1% handlers, want him to be. I do not see this pushing Obama or the so-called “Democrats” to the left, although they are now famous for making liberal “noise” during the general election. It’s just Kabuki Show.

    Obama has been more secretly and subtlely touting the same rightwing rip off of the 99% with his Catfood Commission.

    Sadly, whether RMoney or DMoney “wins” this election, we in the 99% are fucked big-time. All I see are lots of articles that hell-bent on pitting GenX, in particular (but GenY, Z, whatever, are clearly invited along for the ride), against the Boomers. Making Boomers seem like amoral slackers with our collective LAZY hands out having the raw *temerity* to, you know, have some expectation of collecting Soc Sec and using Medicare, which – gasp! shriek! – we PAID into.

    Ryan was no big surprise. Now the babbling moronic “pundits” are in hog heaven writing their screeds shrieking at us morans about how verily great Ryan will be for this beleagured nation of ours.

    Nope. No mistake. GenX will LOVE this douchebag and they will totally *respond* like good little Dittoheads to the “message” that he’s preaching: screw the Boomers. Gimme my “privatized” soc sec, where I can invest in the Wall Street Casino on my own (hear it ALL the frickin’ time, believe me)! w00t!

    In the end, I think the 1% will see to it that there main man, Obama, “wins.” Not that it makes much difference….

    • cocktailhag says:

      I think the real problem with gen Xers is that they’re so poorly educated, and they were the first generation to abandon newspapers.
      As a group, baby boomers (I was at the tail end) learned civics, history, and literature to a much greater extent than those who followed; such an education creates better critical thinking and citizenship.
      It’s no mystery why the right has never liked public education, and today, they don’t like education at all.

  4. loretta/retz says:

    Ok, this is purely a subjective judgment, based in part on my being a musician, thus more sensitive to pitch and tone; and in part being a writer (or at least a lover of good writing when I have nothing to write about), and in part being a red-blooded American woman, but I find Paul Ryan utterly unattractive; not necessarily repulsive, but forgettable and annoying. I would never had liked him in high school, I would have likely despised him in college, and I am completely nonplussed at the notion of his being a sex symbol.

    Look, Romney is a handsome guy. I won’t deny him that. But Ryan is a dweeb. Someone with the nasally, used-car-salesman voice, fast-talking infomercial con man, googly eyes that look croosed, big ears, sinewy build, and a face that reminds me of Opie Taylor. He looks dumb. He is not in the least bit cute.

    This whole “sex symbol” spin is likely homoerotic, at best.

    • cocktailhag says:

      On the homoerotic front, Ryan, albeit with a bag on his head, would be the more satisfying lay. Get a load of those ears and that schnoz; data I’ve painstakingly compiled over 30-odd years indicates those features bode well for what’s downstairs.
      Romney’s much more handsome, but only in still photos, many of them old.
      Since they’re both total assholes, and probably equally terrible in bed, I’ll take the one that might produce a hot photo or two.
      But that’s just me.