Knocking It Out of the Park
Yeah, I agree. The best convention coverage is coming from Charlie Pearce’s blog at Esquire*. He rings all bells, most days. Sample:
… I think it was when he went to tears, one dab at each eye, while talking about his mother, that it became extraordinarily clear to me that there’s a lot of old Dick Nixon in young Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Janesville, Wisconsin. It was always floating around the edges of my perception as I listened to his well-crafted, competently delivered, and virtually substance-free acceptance speech on Wednesday night. There was the crass connection to “the working men and women,” like himself. The way his voice drops and his eyes glow when he starts talking about the America in which he grew up, where he flipped burgers and washed floors and dreamed very big dreams. There is the obvious effort to… connect, a gift for a simulacrum of empathy that is just inches away from actual sincerity, but which sells on the screen like someone who truly cares about you, his fellow struggling Americans. But it wasn’t until he started tearing up that it all came together for me.
The difference, of course, is that Nixon was deeply, authentically marked by deep and authentic poverty and deprivation. He came by his ultimately self-destructive neuroses honestly. He earned every wound that he imagined the smart people of the world — the Jews, those damn Kennedys — had inflicted on him. He actually worked a job outside of government, and outside the Washington universe of government-dependent think tanks. He once actually had to earn a living. Paul Ryan hasn’t lacked for a job since he left college as the golden child of Wisconsin Republican politics, riding his family connections into a job with then-Senator Bob Kasten. …The Politics Blog
You mean you don’t have a beach house?
… He assailed President Obama for cutting Medicare — cuts that Ryan now finds unconscionable but had proposed to maintain until a few weeks ago, but never mind — for what he called “a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for.”
This is actually true — one of the few clear truths in a speech sorely lacking them. But what does this mean?
Obama was indeed trying to turn access to health insurance into an entitlement. Ryan and his fellow Republicans have made various gestures toward the notion of some kind of plan of their own to provide access to health insurance for people who can’t afford it, but they have never been willing to devote the necessary resources. Here was Ryan actually assailing not the method but the goal, implicitly conceding his position that health insurance is not an entitlement but a nice thing everybody would like but not everybody can have, like a beach house. …Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel