From the resonant depths of populist profundity, here, reports the Hill, is the penetrating advice that Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan is hearing from the cosmic barkers of democratic hooey: "Stick with broad themes; don’t be negative; and smile and look like Ronald Reagan."
He can do that tonight. In fact, I could do that tonight. The hell, you say, you could do that, too. In which preposterous cases, we're all authentic contenders for the presidency of the United States.
They kid us not. Ryan could "be on the shortlist for vice president," says former GWB and McCain adviser Mark McKinnon; indeed a few splendid minutes of galloping simplicity with a million-dollar smile and the obscure Wisconsin congressman "could easily be presidential material somewhere down in the future," he added.
Tom Jensen, of Public Policy Polling, agrees. "Tuesday’s speech," paraphrases the Hill of Jensen's gushing, "could vault the Wisconsin lawmaker into contention for the 2012 presidential race."
And GOP "strategist" Ron Bonjean, an early identifier and molder of former Speaker Dennis Hastert's sparkling charisma, chimes in with a similar observation: "If he knocks it out of the park, some within the party faithful may want him to explore a run."
But enough with the superficialities. Here's McKinnon again, this time on the substantive guts of that which Paul Ryan should spill: "He should not get mired in the details of the roadmap, but provide a clear and compelling conservative economic argument building on — but contrasting with — the president’s proposal."
That elegant advice is presented perhaps less vividly than we'd like, but what I think it means is this: Without conspicuously gainsaying what the popular president just said -- that being let's move forward through public-private cooperation, to be reported on MSNBC as let's lean forward -- Ryan should suggest our return to the macroeconomic dark ages, which, QED, will somehow skip us right back through to that ancient, golden age of what never was.
In other words, a lollapalooza of enchanting fantasy, charming humbug, and the grossest of reactionary misdirection.
You know what? I might just defy my viewing tradition of 'Gilligan' reruns in lieu of ritualistic theatre and watch this SOTU address after all. Because if I don't, how could I ever follow the opposition's exciting plot twists in "SOTU: the Sequel"?
And of course there's tea time with Michele Bachmann, piling farce upon ritual and rubbish. Then enter the Marx Brothers, "A Night at the Opera."