Paul Krugman sees Rep. Paul Ryan as a con man. The label could have been created for Ryan who, like many con men, has no idea of who he really is. Kind of an idealist, a fox who really, really believes he can spend the night with his feathered friends in the henhouse and not eat even one of them. Trouble is, he chose the wrong con. "Honest, Serious Conservative"? What?
Ryan's not very good at stuff like math -- a handy skill if you're setting out to be a budget con.
His genius, if you can all it that, was in realizing that there was a role — as I said, that of Honest, Serious Conservative — that self-proclaimed centrists desperately wanted to see filled, so that they could demonstrate their bipartisanship by lavishing praise on the holder of that position. So Ryan did his best to impersonate a budget wonk. It wasn’t a very good impersonation — in fact, he’s pretty bad at budget math. But the “centrists” saw what they wanted to see. ...Economics and Politics
One commenter at Krugman's blog makes a good point. Don't get mad at Ryan, ridicule him. He deserves it and ridicule is far more effective than anger.
Obama may not be a good negotiator (we shall see), but he is really good at ridicule. He doesn't so much try to get people to be mad at his opponents (as Republicans and Romney in particular try to do), as he gets people to laugh at his opponents. And this works so well, because in general, Obama's opponents are a joke.
They are a joke. We've trapped ourselves into dealing with them seriously when, with effective and sustained ridicule applied nationally as well as locally, they'd disappear like dust devils, leaving barely a mark along the road.
There is a way of organizing ridicule. And now, according to Daily Intel, there's a question about how Obama should use his massively successful voter database.
He wasn't very successful (hardly tried, I'd say) at rounding us up and use our numbers during his first four years to fight for his agenda. Will he also waste us during the second term?
Or will he organize something he himself would not call "massive ridicule teams"? Over the next four years, we could be a well-organized effort -- state by state, county by county-- to oust the pestiferous radical right from our local school boards and our state legislatures, as well as from Congress?
Obama plans to appeal to his 2012 supporters to help get his agenda through Congress, but he's only had limited success with that in the past, the Journal notes. The Democrats could maybe use the database for other races, but since it was built around the appeal of Obama, to be used with his data team, it's not necessarily going to translate. And the database becomes more obsolete every day it's not maintained. If you've got ideas for what to do with it, the Obama team is all ears. ...Daily Intel