The Weekly Standard does its saccharine best at portraying a rail-splitting, tail-gunning Paul Ryan as the Man Who Won't Be King, because he's just too blindingly virtuous.
Before proceeding, grab a barf bag ... Got it? OK. Now read on:
For Ryan, being president has never been a lifelong ambition. His consideration of a presidential bid came not because of any desire to be president and, in many respects, came in spite of his inclinations against one....
In the end, Paul Ryan is a conviction politician. Although he’s known for being cerebral, he makes most of his decisions by listening to his gut. The same instincts that told him to push forward with entitlement reform in the House Republican budget last spring are telling him to take a pass on the presidential race.
So in his deficit-increasing deficit-reduction plan, it wasn't really Ryan's half-baked cerebellum or cockamamie ideology that told him to further liberate plutocrats and exacerbate seniors' burdens. It was his "conviction" talking -- in this case, a distinction from entrenched, inexorable ideology that escapes me. Yet it's comforting, is it not, to learn that the House Budget Committee chairman suppresses his intellect when dealing with all those fussy numbers and just goes with his gut. (True, yesterday I referenced the use of instinct in political campaigning -- but on budgets?)
Was that, however, what Ryan was really doing when, as the Weekly Standard concedes, he "consulted with top Republicans, including Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, as he contemplated his political future"?
Something a trifle more than professional instinct was in play here, I imagine. Rove, no doubt, told Ryan he's out of his reactionary mind if he thinks his attempted assassination of Medicare is a resplendent rap sheet for the White House, and Luntz let him know that assorted focus groups have uniformly cast him as the Second Coming of Beelzebub.
Yet the Weekly Standard's deification of Ryan and its ideological distortion of all known facts proceed. Because that's what the Weekly Standard does.