As the brilliant Chris Hayes demonstrates, Rep. Paul Ryan is, to be polite, a fucking hypocrite.
The poster boy for free market, pay as you go, anti-government economic intervention was all for Keynesian stimulus before he was against it. But not just in a utilitarian sense. After all, shit happens, things change. People are free to change their minds when confronted with new data or when they revise old thinking with new analyses.
No, Ryan’s problem is at a far deeper level. Hailed as a principled ideologue by the fawning Beltway media, he is rapidly proving himself the embodiment of situational ideology.
Voting for $120 billion worth of stimulus in the post 9/11 recession of 2002, when his party was in power and better situated to reap the political rewards, was just fine and dandy. As Huffpo recounts it:
Bush‘s stimulus, which included an extension of jobless benefits and resulted in checks being mailed to millions of Americans, was signed in March 2002.
“We have a lot of laid off workers, and more layoffs are occurring,” the congressman continued. “And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we have been trying to do starting in October and into December and now is to try and get people back to work. The things we’re trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs.”
But when it was the Obama Administration and the Dems propose the same thing in the midst of a much deeper recession, he mounts his high horse and goes all Randian on us.
The word hypocrisy is derived from the Greek word hypokrisis, meaning playing a part on the stage, or putting on a mask to misrepresent reality. That’s a twofer for Ryan: he’s certainly commanding a prominent role on the US stage, and his good looks make for a pleasing mask. But remove the mask and all we see is empty space, a vacuum to be filled by whatever opportunity for wealth, prestige, and power comes his way.
Which makes him the perfect running mate for Willard, who will likewise say or do anything to get what he wants. Hell, as Jon Stewart observed last week, Ryan even looks like one of Romney’s sons. They deserve each other. Just don’t let them anywhere near the most powerful office in the world.