Paul Ryan's Drunk History Of Paul Ryan, The Bravest Smartest Wonk In The Whole Wide World
Since nobody else is likely to write a hagiography of Paul Ryan ever in history, the departing speaker of the House took to the Twitter machine today to post a series of videos telling America all about how he devoted his career to the greatest -- and only -- political achievement of the Trump Administration: passing the Big Fat Tax Cut for Rich Fuckwads Act of 2017, which ballooned the national debt, made disgustingly rich people more disgustingly rich, and led to a wave of stock buybacks with virtually nothing "trickling down" to the average worker, but that just means the tax cuts weren't big enough, doesn't it? We can hardly wait for the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" version, because this narcissistic crap is nearly as unwatchable as the Galt's Gulch Junior Academy staging of Atlas Shrugged.
Crom only knows how much taxpayer money went into making these self-serving little videos; they're all watermarked "speaker.gov," so they belong to You The Citizens. But no, you can't try to sell your share on eBay to exchange for a broken doll for Christmas. Ryan clearly viewed the videos as an Important Event, and even posted a "teaser trailer" for the series of short videos yesterday so we could all look forward to today like a bunch of fanboys. And who knows, maybe some Young Republicans somewhere put on their Ayn Rand costumes and held a viewing party. If so, we want pics.
So let's dive in and watch some of this historic series, which Ryan's people have given the vague but maybe-inspiring title "Decades in the Making." Hey, at least that's sort of honest, since it also applies to the Class War the GOP has been waging on behalf of corporations and the super-wealthy since Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, long before Ryan even started saving up his late father's Social Security death benefits so he could go to college and dream of slashing the safety net, for AMERICA!
Here's the first full chapter of the epic, "Episode 1: The Idea," which ignores all that history and seems to suggest Paul Ryan was the one guy who came up with supply-side economics all by himself when he was elected to Congress in 1998:
As propaganda crap, it's fairly well-constructed: Starts out with a lot of news reports from right after the tax cut's passage last year, when some companies were very loudly giving themselves handies for letting some employees have big bonuses. The clips even include Wal-Mart's raise for workers, although haha, it wouldn't dream of including the mass closures of Sam's Club stores announced the very same day. There's triumphant music and everything is WONDERFUL, and then we go back to the days when it all started, when Paul Ryan first dreamed of gigantic tax cuts for corporations and the already wealthy. It was all just a dream then, and does the video even mention Ronald Reagan, the Laffer Curve, or any of that voodoo economics stuff? Why would he? He's too busy Steve Bannoning himself -- it's all Paul Ryan, the lonely crusader for tax reform, complete with John Boehner providing elder-statesman credibility (and maybe toking up between takes).
Part II: "The Wilderness" is all about Paul Ryan's brilliant 2008 performance in proposing a huge budget reform plan that went absolutely brilliant while Republicans had no power. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, another guy beaten in the midterms this year, describes it as if Ryan had become a monk: Ryan "disappeared for months" except for floor votes, and then brought out his bold plan to slash taxes, Medicare, and Social Security, WHAT A GENIUS!
Oh, sure, and it never passed, and Ryan's dream of eviscerating Social Security and Medicare to pay for a tax cut remains so toxic no one will touch it, but by golly, he was bold and brave and admirable! He said what everyone else was afraid to, because at the time they didn't want to look like barbarians.
Blah blah blah the videos continue and we won't make you watch them; they're all just puffery anyway. One video zips past Ryan's failed vice-presidential run with Mitt "Mr. Charisma" in 30 seconds, with nary a mention of that time he went to a homeless shelter and washed already-clean dishes for a photo op. Paul Ryan may want to forget Dishwatergate, but we never will.
We also learn that becoming speaker of the House was kind of a bummer, since it took him away from his first love, undoing the safety net, but then he discovered the joys of leading the GOP in fucking up everything Obama tried to do, and that was nice for him. But finally, after twenty years of Fox News, Republican culture wars, and a leeeetle bit of Russian help, Donald Trump became president and the DREAM CAME TRUE!!!
We lost on healthcare, hooray! But at least the House passed it, and then that dead guy fucked everything up in the Senate and we moved on to tax cuts and we rammed that fucker through, hooray again!!! This is where some of the crazy nitpickers point out a bit of history not included in the bill, like the GOP's very conscious decision to pursue a tax cut at the cost of abandoning that silly "fiscal conservatism" stuff they'd made their brand (and ignored when convenient) since Reagan.
The beautiful new tax cuts added a trillion and a half dollars to the debt, and everyone in the GOP loved it because now that the looting was accomplished, they could go get private sector jobs and rake in their rewards, hooray thrice! Leave it for the next term for Republicans to finish the job by looking at that great big deficit and decide we must slash Grandma Millie's Medicare, which we simply can't afford because of free-spending Democrats!! Here, watch the beautiful outcome, and please don't pay too much attention to the flat wage growth, the worries about a recession, and lord knows don't think about the Democrats kicking your asses in 2018. Everything is glorious and will stay glorious if you're Paul Ryan!
Again, there are some Negative Nellies out there, like Washington Post columnist Matt O'Brian, who says Ryan is high on his own supply and the supposed economic boom just hasn't materialized.
That can't possibly be the case, though, since didn't you see the video? We're all getting so rich and it will never end!
Also, Evan adds this important note: "There should be a Chapter 7: What Doesn't Happen In Janesville Doesn't In Fact Stay In Janesville (THIS IS THE SEX PART, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW) chapter." We are, of course, merely speculating.
[Paul Ryan on Twitter]
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.