Will the Dem victory in the NY 26th make the GOP retreat from Ryan? Henry Olsen notes the loss of blue-collar voters, while a local Buffalo reporter vividly portrays the maladroit GOP contender.
The politics of the Ryan roll-out did not boost my confidence in the possibility of its success. Talk about the importance of "beginning a debate" is really an invitation to demagoguery, as was the case in the 26th. Churchill said that in wartime truth needed a bodyguard of lies. In this war the other side had the lies, while Ryan had a kind of inconvenient truth. Simply unveiling a controversial budget plan and expecting reasonable debate to ensue is an act of self-immolation.
"Will the Dem victory in the NY 26th make the GOP retreat from Ryan?"
Well, one way or the other it would help illuminate the innate level of stick-to-it-ness of the GOP establishment....which would be useful to know in and of itself.
It will work to the benefit of pious frauds such as Newt Gingrich, who will promise to "cut waste," or Obama, who will promise to make the rich "pay their share." Neither will, of course, make any difference in a Washington culture that heralds the recent Boehner-Obama deal as a major step forward in deficit control.
I am increasingly of the opinion that American self-government has run its course. Most people don't read or even watch any sort of news. If a Republican suggests serious spending cuts that threaten middle-class welfare programs, they will vote Democrat. If a Democrat proposes raising taxes (that is, on anyone but the "rich," defined as "anyone who makes more than I do," they will vote Republican. The final crisis will be allowed to hit with full force, because proposing to take reasonable measures to head it off will mean political suicide.
In the meantime I intend to drink heavily.
Very good comment by Ken Thomas and very good post by Henry Olsen.
Let no one dismiss this as a unique situation. It's trouble, my friends.