Paul Ryan is the golden boy. Conservatives love and defend him (see: Gingrich Lambasted Over Health Care Comments and Gingrich Attack Inexplicable etc.), liberals–to show how reasonable they can be–grudgingly describe him as intelligent out of one corner of their mouth while slanderously attacking his policy proposals out of the other (see: throwing Grandma off a cliff).
Recently, TIME named Ryan a person of the year runner-up. In the piece, titled “The Prophet,” David Von Drehle writes, “it was Ryan who brought President Obama down from his cloud of happy talk about windmills and high-speed trains to acknowledge that America has a plateful of peas to choke down after its binge at the dessert bar.” Finishing, “what Ryan had this year was the courage to look the future in the eye. It is a seer’s work to glimpse around the corner and sound the alarm.”
This week, Politifact called the Democrats’ attack on Ryan’s Medicare reform plan the “Lie of the Year.” In 2011, Politifact debunked the claim that Ryan’s plan would eliminate Medicare, end health care for our seniors, etc., “in nine separate fact-checks rated false or pants on fire.” Of course, Politifact is quick to mention that, “with a few small tweaks to their attack lines, Democrats could have been factually correct.” Nonetheless, left-leaning blogs and media-types were outraged: “Is Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ a lie itself?” asked The Week; “Memo to Politifact: Conservatives Lie about the Stimulus All the Time,” whined Media Matters; “Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year is True” said DailyKos; and, the oh-so-clever Mediaite wrote “Politif**ked: Why Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Is Not Just Wrong, It’s Irresponsible,” Good grief!
So, why did TIME and Politifact, not exactly bastions of conservative thought, feel so magnanimous towards the gentleman from Wisconsin?
The left is rewarding Ryan because he’s not running for president. Liberals everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief in August when Ryan announced that he would not enter the race. Ryan is likeable, he’s principled, and he’s smart without being condescending–Gingrich and Obama should take lessons. Most importantly, Ryan can discuss the complex policy issues confronting our nation in forthright language that neither oversimplifies nor understates the gravity of the situation. After watching the circus that is the GOP primary race, the left is so thankful to Ryan for staying in his Budget Committee Chairman box, rather than posing the most legitimate threat to Obama, that they will even go so far as to validate some of his positions.
Can someone please ask Paul Ryan one more time if he’s a hard no on a presidential bid?