GOP THINK: Less is more, but only if you're Paul Ryan and not Tammy Baldwin | WisCommunity

GOP THINK: Less is more, but only if you're Paul Ryan and not Tammy Baldwin

[img_assist|nid=22099|title=Road to perdition|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=254|height=138]Jeff Fitzgerald is only the latest example of the old maxim that one man's trash is another man's treasure. The measure in this case being legislative success.

Fitzgerald, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and candidate for the GOP's US senate nomination, last month dissed Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic nominee for Senate. He said that over her seven terms as a member of Congress, she "only" sponsored 105 bills, with just three of those enacted into law.

Meanwhile, Fitzgerald is among Republican insiders touting the supposedly unparalleled credentials of Rep. Paul Ryan who is running for vice president. Little problem there, though. In HIS seven congressional terms, Ryan proposed half as many bills as Baldwin in the same period, and achieved passage of only TWO of them -- both minor measures. The Janesville Republican's signature budget bill -- his highly touted "road map" to fiscal ruin that he portrays as a fiscal rescue plan, was not one of those two.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Politifact last month concluded that while Fitzgerald's claim about Baldwin was "mostly true," Fitzgerald ignored the fact that introducing legislation that gets enacted is not the full measure of a politician.

True, that. In Ryan's case, at least as Republicans see things, it's even more important that he is a preening, smiling demagogue who earnestly tells voters we have to "save" democracy -- by making spending cuts targeted to destroy the nation's social safety net, jacking up the very national debt he pretends to reduce, and giving additional, large tax cuts to the wealthy. You know, tax cuts for millionaires like Mitt Romney, and like Ryan himself.

Salon's Glenn Greenwald advances this idea in a new piece that examines how the right hyperinflates the virtues of its rather brittle leaders and heroes, when it's not utterly redefining them. In the case of Ryan, he writes:

... the American Right seems to have a particular need to inflate their leaders into beacons of courage, self-sufficiency and virtue, even when their lives are completely devoid of those traits. Paul Ryan is a perfect symbol of America's political class. He is directly responsible for the large deficits and debt which America has compiled, and now seeks to exploit what he himself helped create in order to deny to others the very benefits that were responsible for almost every opportunity and success he has had in his life, with the burden falling most harshly on those who need those benefits the most to have any remnant of fair opportunity. That's the crux of the American elite: making massive mistakes and engaging in destructive behavior and then demanding that everyone - except them - bear the brunt of the consequences.


August 14, 2012 - 8:19am