Ryan Lizza Is So Serious That He Wrote A Billion Word New Yorker Piece On Paul Ryan Without Once Using The Word "Sociopath"
I would love to be able to report that when you look up "sociopath" in the dictionary, you find a photo of Paul Ryan. But you don't; instead you find a definition of him:
A person with antisocial personality disorder. Probably the most widely recognized personality disorder. A sociopath is often well liked because of their charm and high charisma, but they do not usually care about other people. They think mainly of themselves and often blame others for the things that they do. They have a complete disregard for rules and lie constantly. They seldom feel guilt or learn from punishments. Though some sociopaths have become murders, most reveal their sociopathy through less deadly and sensational means.
Or perhaps this definition fits even better:
A sociopath is mainly identified by there being something very wrong with a person's conscious. They either 1) have a conscious with "holes" in it, 2) they don't seem to have one at all or 3) they are able to completely neutralize their sense of conscious into a perspective that they aren't doing anything wrong.
One thing is for sure: Sociopaths only care about themselves and only see themselves as being "real" or truly human. Everybody and everything outside of themselves are twisted in their mind into mere objects to be used to achieve personal fulfillment.
A sociopath often believes that they are doing nothing wrong or doing something greatly good, due to their egocentricity and grandiose sense of self-worth. They will cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please at any expense of anyone in their lives; predators who satisfy their lust for power and control through superficial charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence.
Obviously this all comes together perfectly for you if, like Ryan, you were ever a devotee of Ayn Rand's tawdry adolescent novel Atlas Shrugged, upon which his entire intellectual development was founded.
(Let me suggest skipping Atlas Shrugged and going straight to Stephen Goldstein's much better novel, Atlas Drugged, which has quite a few stand-ins for Paul Ryan himself as characters.)
Lizza's ponderous Ryan feature starts off badly, with an assurance that Ryan's "mastery" of the budget is almost legendary. Only for Inside-the-Beltway dolts... like Ryan himself, a third rate flim flam man who has managed to take in some 4th rate pundits-- and who don't know much about economics. He does know a lot of greed, selfishness, Madison Avenue marketing techniques and how to persuade gullible journalists and dumber politicians he's a serious figure. Ryan, Ryan assures us, "is embarrassed by the Bush years" and quickly glosses over the fact he "was a reliable Republican vote for policies that were key in causing enormous federal budget deficits: sweeping tax cuts, a costly prescription-drug entitlement for Medicare [the entitlement was strictly for Ryan's financiers on Wall Street, the drug companies and Big Insurance], two wars, the multibillion-dollar bank-bailout legislation known as TARP." Poor boy says he was miserable voting for all those
Unlike most members of Congress these days, Ryan is relatively accessible to reporters. “The key to understanding me is really simple,” he said. “I am not trying to be anybody other than who I actually am.” Even his ideological foes comment on his friendliness and good nature. After his sophomore year in high school, back in 1986, he worked the grill at McDonald’s. “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” he said. “And now I’m in Congress!”
Last night Ken, contrasting Ryan's miserable sociopathy to the Great Society's enacting of Medicare in 1965, remarked-- unprompted-- that Lizza's puffery was an embarrassingly toadying paean to the increasingly egregious Paul Ryan. "[T]he piece reads as if it came straight out of Frankenryan's PR shop. It's pretty much PRyan's own view of himself and the world he lives in, faithfully transcribed by RyanL as if it were true." Ken and I and Chuck Schumer and Nom Coleman and Bernie Sanders all went to James Madison High School so most of us are pretty much on the same page here. Ken was excited to find the inevitable Ayn Rand walk-on:
His father's death also provoked the kind of existential soul-searching that most kids don't undertake until college. "I was, like, ‘What is the meaning?' " he said. "I just did lots of reading, lots of introspection. I read everything I could get my hands on." Like many conservatives, he claims to have been profoundly affected by Ayn Rand. After reading Atlas Shrugged, he told me, "I said, ‘Wow, I've got to check out this economics thing.'
So we have a budget written by a cretin who was inspired by someone who brags about her utter contempt for Jesus Christ's and his message and everything that's even remotely beneficial about religions. And as Ken points out, "He read and read and read, and managed never to get deeper into 'this economics thing' than the cartoon world of his beloved Ayn." Ken also found the what might pass as the soul of the piece, or the punchline:
When I pointed out to Ryan that government spending programs were at the heart of his home town's recovery, he didn't disagree. But he insisted that he has been misunderstood. "Obama is trying to paint us as a caricature," he said. "As if we're some bizarre individualists who are hardcore libertarians. It's a false dichotomy and intellectually lazy." He added, "Of course we believe in government. We think government should do what it does really well, but that it has limits, and obviously within those limits are things like infrastructure, interstate highways, and airports." But independent assessments make clear that Ryan's budget plan, in order to achieve its goals, would drastically reduce the parts of the budget that fund exactly the kinds of projects and research now helping Janesville.
"Um, oops!," he offers. "...[T]his is the man who would at least like to be thought of as the brains, economically speaking, of the House Republican caucus. It's my understanding that PRyan is a lot less popular among House Republicans than RyanL seems to think. Nevertheless, it remains entirely possible, given sufficiently disastrous 2012 election results, that a Republican-controlled White House and Senate as well as House could shove into law some version of PRyan's economic 'reforms.' If there's anyone who isn't terrified by that possibility, I don't know what it would take." At this point, I have to urge all of our readers to take seriously the possibility of helping us defeat PRyan and replacing him with sincere progressive Rob Zerban. You can do your bit here
Jonathan Berstein, sitting in yesterday for Greg Sargent on the Washington Post was also charmed by the "As if we’re some bizarre individualists who are hardcore libertarians” line and pointed out the fatal flaw, RyanL seems to have missed, that PRyan "wants to have it both ways, and far too many deficit hawks let him. Ryan has sold his budget on the basis of deficit fears. Lizza reports that Ryan and other Republicans successfully sold the Ryan plan as the 'only solution' to avert fiscal armageddon."
But Ryan’s budget doesn’t do that-- it isn’t any kind of solution to budget deficits at all-- unless it does what its own numbers inescapably say it will do and completely eliminates the entire federal government except for the military, Social Security, and health programs. If he really does, contrary to what his budget says, want to keep “infrastructure, interstate highways, and airports” along with veterans’ programs, the FBI, the border patrol, and all the other things that the federal government does now-- well, then the deficits remain. And that’s not to mention that Ryan and Mitt Romney also support an entirely unrealistic tax “reform” plan that amounts to huge, specified tax rate cuts that would help the rich and vague, unspecified plans to end many tax credits and deductions, something that’s very unlikely to actually happen since those provisions are extremely popular.
Ryan’s budget leaves all the pain until after the election-- pain that’s only necessary in order to achieve the low tax rates, especially on the rich, that Ryan and other Republicans deem essential. Either Ryan’s fiscal vision really would dramatically cut government, or his numbers don’t add up. In short, Ryan is either a radical or a fraud.
A reminder? Rob Zerban.