In what is surely the leading nominee to date for dramatic understatement of the year, FoxNews.com reports that Paul Ryan's latest budget, debuting tomorrow, "would have a better chance of passing the Republican-controlled House than the Democrat-controlled Senate."
There are literally hundreds of billions of reasons for that--among them, an untreatable case of obsessive-compulsive disorder--but the principal reason is that Speaker John Boehner tasked Budget Chairman Ryan with conceiving a GOP reelection script rather than a budget document.
Ryan, being partial to Ed Wood's oeuvre, as well as being as talented as Ed Wood, has thus produced an abominable science fiction-horror work absent any suspense and all taste. We've already seen this thing, many times over. But to the GOP it never gets old.
"It" being, of course, the repeal of ObamaCare. Yes, it's back, right there in Ryan's script; the GOP's monstrous thirtysomething tic that just won't die, because its campy camp followers won't let it. Merely chanting the words--Repeal ObamaCare!--is for the Republican base a groin-tingling act possessed of rapturous significance and doctrinaire reassurance. All is right with the world, as long as their directors give them the bogeyman of ObamaCare to fear and loathe.
Yet we should acknowledge that this time around Paul Ryan, in his promotion tour, is giving us a little something a bit special: a whole new theory of elections and representative democracy. From "Fox News Sunday":
CHRIS WALLACE: [ObamaCare] was a big issue in the campaign between Romney-Ryan vs. Obama-Biden. They think they won....
RYAN: I would argue against your premise that we lost this issue in the campaign. We won the senior vote.
I confess I find Ryan's theory intriguing. Presidential elections aren't broad mandates, or even the choosing of a national leader; they are instead statistical chop-shops in which the losers become the winners--the true and legitimate voice of The People, as defined by select audience reactions to alternative endings.
Many critics will bemoan tomorrow's release with pompous outrage and stuffy sophistication. But I, for one, shall enjoy "The Day of the Ghouls." It's vintage Ryan.