May 25, 2011-- Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan And The Conservative Consensus
I can't find that old video of President Obama referring to Paul Ryan as "serious" and giving Village credibility to his corporate-written harebrained schemes to reverse the New Deal, destroy Medicare and privatize Social Security. It was one of the first indications I had after the 2008 election that Obama was in way over his head. Paul Krugman's 2010 columns on Ryan's ignorance and unseriousness helped put the lie to Obama's idiotic assertion. Krugman's classic Flimflam Man OpEd:
One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.
Which brings me to the innovative thinker du jour: Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Mr. Ryan has become the Republican Party’s poster child for new ideas thanks to his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan for a major overhaul of federal spending and taxes. News media coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable; on Monday, the Washington Post put a glowing profile of Mr. Ryan on its front page, portraying him as the G.O.P.’s fiscal conscience. He’s often described with phrases like “intellectually audacious.”
But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.
...So why have so many in Washington, especially in the news media, been taken in by this flimflam? It’s not just inability to do the math, although that’s part of it. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense. And last but not least, there’s deference to power-- the G.O.P. is a resurgent political force, so one mustn’t point out that its intellectual heroes have no clothes.
But they don’t. The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
Has Bill Clinton been taken in too? Or is he part of the scam? Last week we saw Clinton endorsing one of the most corrupt conservatives running for Congress anywhere, Maryland multimillionaire loan shark, John Delaney. Want to feel sick to your stomach? Just watch this video on Clinton offering to help Ryan with his plans to kill Medicare the day after Democrats won a Republican seat in upstate New York based almost entirely on opposing Ryan's Medicare plans:
It's less than a minute long, caught surreptitiously on someone's cell phone... but it speaks volumes about the corporate money-driven conservative consensus that rules Washington, a consensus that allowed Clinton and Rahm Emanuel to succeed in passing George H.W. Bush's tragic NAFTA legislation and that allowed Obama to continue George W. Bush's policy of bailing out criminal banksters-- instead of jailing them. That's why Blue America is a progressive PAC, not a Democratic Party PAC and it's why you'll see us fighting against corrupt conservatives regardless of political party. Our primary targets right now, for example, are a Republican corporate whore in California, Buck McKeon, and a Democratic corporate whore in Pennsylvania, Blue Dog Tim Holden. Corrupt members of DC's conservative consensus are frantic to save both their necks. Their constituents are having second thoughts. And as for the Flimflam Man himself... he has his very own Blue America page, Stop Paul Ryan. Have you visited it lately?
One question before you go... Many Democratic candidates have been urged by the DCCC to send out letters to their supporters like this one from Ann Kuster. Does it appear to put them at odds with Bill Clinton?
In the next two weeks Congressman Bass and the Tea Party Republicans will once again try to dismantle Medicare. At the exact same time a right-wing advertising campaign from American Action Network will be targeting New Hampshire seniors, claiming Congressman Bass will ‘protect’ their healthcare.
Let’s be clear: Last year Congressman Bass supported the Ryan budget, and in doing so voted to end Medicare while preserving tax cuts for millionaires. And when Congress votes on the budget again this month, we have every reason to expect he’ll do the same.
Our seniors and their families deserve to know the facts. I intend to set the record straight-- but to do it I’ll need your help.
Can you contribute $3 or more so I can stop Congressman Bass hiding from his record?
The Ryan budget would retain tax cuts for the wealthy, while replacing Medicare with a voucher system that would almost double healthcare costs for seniors. We need a budget that is fair-- a budget that creates jobs, rebuilds the middle class, reduces the deficit, and protects the services our elderly rely on.
These are my priorities-- but Congressman Bass' support of the Ryan budget demonstrates that he does not share them. When Congress votes on the budget again this month, New Hampshire seniors and their families deserve to know where he stands.
Together we can ensure that the voice of our seniors is heard, and the services they deserve are protected.