Finally, someone else is saying what I've been saying for some time now; Ryan is not a wonk, but an articulate partisan Ayn Randian knucklehead.
Paul Krugman said it best in the following Ryan take down:
There are many negative things you can say about Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader. But you have to admit that he’s a very articulate guy, an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about.
So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait. Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist … He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.
And since conservatives can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening to opportunity in America, they’re left with nothing but that old-time dog whistle. Mr. Ryan wasn’t being inarticulate — he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.
"An expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about"? I think Paul Krugman has hit the nail right on its' head. And so, in a way, has Paul Ryan. The problem is cultural, but the culture that's the problem is not the inner-city culture that's focused on how to survive in a hard, hostile world, it's the upper-crust and upper-crust wannabee urban and suburban culture that wants to pretend that they have nothing to do with the plight that the city-trapped poor find themselves in. And the way they do that, the way they avoid responsibility for undercutting the urban tax base, hobbling city government, exporting jobs and limiting public transit options is by blaming... the poor themselves! For falling victim to the forces of the rich and their middle class enablers! Isn't that tidy? Though as a recovering alcoholic friend of mine used to say, when you point the finger at someone else there are three fingers pointing back at you...ReplyDelete
Personally I'll believe that the inner city poor lack a culture of work when one of those wonderful job creators we all hear so much about can't find enough employees to keep a city business that pays fair wages open. I've heard money excuses and logistics excuses and even family transition excuses but never anything as lame as Paul Ryan's cultural excuse. Which, oddly enough, the anti-Milwaukee GOP-choke ring political culture that has raised Paul Ryan to the position he is in today eats right up. Because he just has to sound like he knows what he's talking about, as long as he lets the right people off the hook.