Today in a Youngstown soup kitchen, Paul Ryan approached a young boy, maybe around six years old, who appeared to be there with the volunteer staff.
"What's your name, son?" Ryan asked.
"Jason," the young boy said.
"Hey, Jason! Were you-- were you volunteering here?" Ryan asked.
Jason nodded yes.
"This is really important," Ryan gently lectured young Jason. "It's important that you do this-- that you learn how to help other people."
Then, Ryan took his family-- including his own sons, about the same age as young Jason-- back into the kitchen.
Ryan is a pretty fast guy, so when he saw a sink and some clean pans, it didn't take him long to roll up his sleeves (literally), get himself and his family decked out in aprons, and make a show of helping out by "washing" clean pans that didn't need washed.
He acted it out to the hilt, as many of us have seen by now. He searched around for a scrubbing pad, lifted up a gallon jug of dish detergent, inspecting the label closely as if to discern the detergent's ability to cut through the toughest baked on grease, while cameras clicked. He poured a bit of it on his pad, and then, being careful to tilt the pan away from the camera as to hide the spotless shine, made a brief show of scrubbing the already pristine surface. He then rinsed off the wasted detergent.
Mission accomplished, Ryan must have thought. No matter that the Ryans were not actually helping people, or even rubbing elbows with others who were helping people, giving moral support. See, sons? You don't really have to actually help! If you make the appearance of helping, it's just as good!
If Ryan put on a good act in his attempted deception, it is no surprise. When he proposed his budget-- his signature creation in over a decade in Congress-- it was designed to give the appearance of a serious proposal to solve America's fiscal problems, but it was not. It was a fraud, designed to make Ryan appear that he was being constructive, when in fact he was not. The budget was merely a prop in the continuous campaign to obstruct President Obama, a man who really is committed to helping the American people.
I'd warn young Jason that some adults are full of stuff, but I bet he already knows. He looks pretty sharp.