Congressman Paul Ryan reminds me of the stereotypical "smarty pants" that we all remember from our days in school. He is convinced that he is the smartest person in the room yet he always manages to get it wrong. Apparently forgetfulness goes hand in hand with this trait, because Ryan has been complaining about deficits and spending even though he voted for 8 straight budgets that increased government spending by over $1 trillion. But that test of his memory isn't the only one that he has failed.
The new blog, Paul Ryan Watch, shows us how Ryan's "roadmap" gimmick actually fails to fix the deficit that he helped create. It is not only a failure in the results department but it also appears to be a failure among his own Republican colleagues. While they may not be attacking his plan, they are hardly embracing it. Why else would Minority Leader John Boehner try to distance himself and the party from it? What? You don't want to run on privatizing and slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits?
Paul Ryan's budgetary and PR problems were not his only recent failures. He also received a failing grade from the NAACP last week. Before any right wingers get instinctively carried away about the organization, you should know that they graded members of Congress according to their votes on things like some of the following:
- Equal pay for equal work
- Expanding health insurance for low and middle income children
- Making home loan modifications easier
- Aggressively addressing predatory lending
- Extending unemployment benefits
Not only did Paul Ryan join his fellow Wisconsin Republicans in failing the test, but he scored lower than both of them. Tom Petri scored a 40%, F. Jim Sensenbrenner scored 20% and Ryan flunked with only 12%. You must really have to try hard to fail a test on that spectacular kind of level. Even Paul Ryan from 2006 scored a 26% on the NAACP test that year.
With all of his failed and wildly extreme approaches to public policy, I can only hope that he fails one more big test - getting any of that right wing bunk enacted.
UPDATE: Even though GOP leaders are running away from Ryan's "roadmap", Michele Bachmann (R-Beck-land) is taking it to its logical and extreme conclusion. Over the weekend, she spoke to a small right-wing group echoing many points from Paul Ryan's "roadmap" gimmick. Naturally she went even further in her comments, taking Ryan's "roadmap" directly to its logical destination. She suggested that we deal with the national debt by "weaning" everyone off of Social Security and Medicare. Please run on that this year! Please!
UPDATE II: Sorry, they just keep on coming. Paul Ryan Watch shows us that not every right-winger is willing to give Ryan a free pass on his past votes for massive deficits (unlike the right-wingers commenting on this blog). Here is the money quote: "While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on." Are Wisconsin right-wingers too in love with Ryan to hold him accountable?