Charles Pierce has covered this topic a zillion times or more (“the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin and first runner-up in our most recent vice presidential pageant”), so I am treading on somewhat familiar ground here, but how the hell did Paul Ryan suddenly become this brilliant political genius who is working the system five levels above everybody else in the minds of the media? Seriously, how did this happen?
Last night’s Lawrence O’Donnell show, which I watched just because I had a beer to finish before hitting the sack, was a perfect example. O’Donnell spent 15, maybe 20 minutes picturing the days’ GOP Summit of All Summits as an event where Ryan brilliantly schooled “Little Donnie” (okay, that as worth the time I spent and is so far the one Trump-like insult that I think is likely to get the insult master’s goat) in every aspect of governing.
Paul Ryan is trying to hang onto his political future. It was seriously damaged when, as Mitt Romney’s running mate, he did not ever carry his own state or even his district and is in serious trouble right now (though the media never mentions it) because he can barely control the House of which he is the putative leader. As Speaker, he’s become John Boehner without the tears and bourbon. O’Donnell’s smirking proclamations of his brilliance were just plain awful…and he’s one of the few people at MSNBC it’s even tolerable to watch these days (if it had been the Chris Matthews interviews Chris Matthews show, guests be damned, I would have dumped the beer and turn off the set.
Then again, it is very likely that the Liberal Media Elite (that’s a joke, son) will work very hard this summer and fall to build up any and all GOP-ers that it can, not only because said media desperately needs a contested election to make it all relevant, but also because it’s what they do. Check out this guy’s blog for ongoing examples of that tendency, because he’s all over it. Here’s an example:
WARNING: A Trump/Gingrich ticket might seem like comedy gold, but I worry about the baffling level of respect for Newt in the mainstream media. Yes, Trump gets a lot of uncritical coverage, but there are also quite very negative stories about him. By contrast, Gingrich’s World’s Foremost Authority act always seems to bamboozle journalists and pundits, at least on broadcast and cable TV. Maybe this time around he won’t be deferred to as the all-knowing Doctor of Thinkology. But if he gets that kind of deference again, even as a surrogate for someone who’s even more of a snake-oil salesman than he is, I won’t be surprised.