OK, Dionne, I've had about all I can take of this Beltway civility crap. Subsequent to enumerating Paul Ryan's wishful sins against humanity, you write:
None of this takes away from Ryan’s charm or seriousness.... He is great to engage with and really believes what he says.
You know who else was charming, engaging, and really self-believing, E.J.? Hermann Goering. And though the Luftwaffe's chief was actually less ideological than Ryan--"Now you've got your fucking war!" screamed a horrified Goering to Foreign Minister Ribbentrop in 1939--he could chatter away on enchanting white clouds of goofpowder about his party's coming utopian solutions.
Yeah, Herm was engaging, all right. But you know what the thumpers say, even if they can't seem to appreciate its contemporary profundity: "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness." And charm.
What Ryan is good at is exploiting the willful gullibility of the Beltway media, using a soft-focus style to play into their desire to have a conservative wonk they can say nice things about. And apparently the trick still works.