Republican Rep. Paul Ryan has some nerve…
It’s true that while knuckle-draggers like Rush Limbaugh attack the pope as a Marxist, Ryan has praised him, which I guess takes a tiny bit of courage since normally Republicans don’t like to buck the leader of their party. “What I love about the pope is he is triggering the exact kind of dialogue we ought to be having,” Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “People need to get involved in their communities to make a difference, to fix problems soul to soul.”
But he couldn’t suppress either his right-wing politics or his supreme capacity for condescension for very long. “The guy is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina,” Ryan said (referring to the pope as “the guy” is a nice folksy touch.) “They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.”
Beltway journalists would have us believe Ryan’s love for the guy from Argentina is triggering genuine new interest in helping the poor. “My bet is that he’s on Pope Francis’ team,” a former Romney-Ryan advisor told BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins, for a worshipful Ryan profile headlined “Paul Ryan finds God.”
I admit, I have been immune to Ryan’s various efforts to brand himself as a bright and innovative Republican over the years – and I continue to be. Let’s recall: The guy who impressed Ezra Klein as a serious albeit deficit-obsessed budget wonk turned out to be terrible at math – his heralded “Roadmap,” the Ryan budget, busted out the deficit for years and didn’t balance the budget until 2040, thanks to its generous tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.