Before releasing his budget publicly, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave Senate Republicans a private briefing about the plan in early April. During that meeting, Sen. Rand Paul, a Tea Party-backed freshman from Kentucky, challenged Ryan in front of the rest of their party, according to two GOP aides briefed on the meeting.
Sen. Paul said Rep. Ryan's plan did not do enough to cut spending and relied on too much deficit spending for too long, according to the aides.
Ryan gave it right back to him. The budget committee chairman went directly after Sen. Paul’s five-year budget plan, which he had clearly studied closely. Ryan’s criticism went roughly like this: yes, he said, you slash the Department of Education and make fast, dramatic cuts, but you don’t deal with entitlement spending. In the out years the deficit would sky-rocket, he said, making an air chart with his hand moving through the air and pointing sharply upward.
This reminds me of how the French Revolution progressed -- as time went on and things deteriorated further and further, the Girondists -- who, when the Monarchy was still in control, had represented one of the more vocal "radical" blocs in the country's political discourse -- suddenly found themselves representing the rightwing as true hardcore believers like the Jacobins rose in stature. The same dynamic played out during the first decade of Soviet Russia, too -- Bukharin goes from being a radical Bolshevik leader pre-1917 to embodying the right-most flank of early Soviet economic thinking with the New Economic Policy.
So, too, do we have Paul Ryan, of all people, standing as the clear better choice in a two-sided debate! Again: Paul Ryan! I think this must be the inevitable outcome of when a powerful, utopian philosophy like libertarianism has corroded and decayed into plodding, brain-dead ideology. Politics crawls ever-deeper down the rabbit hole until Danton, Bukharin, and Ryan are the guardians of reason, the good guys. All I can say is thank God for checks and balances.
(Cross-posted at eliaisquire.com)