One of the most bizarre charges leveled against Congressman Paul Ryan from progressive journalists and pundits is that his reputation as a serious, knowledgeable policy guru is a sham. Exhibit A, it’s claimed, is that his budget pushes tax simplification – which has been derided as a tax cut for “the rich” – without getting too specific on the details.
We got another example today with Alec MacGillis’ profile done over at The New Republic. The meat of his argument comes in a discussion with Rep. Blumenauer:
All of which is to say that Ryan is not some sort of high-minded intellectual, taking in the world’s problems with an independence of mind and openness to new information. He is an ideologue with a politician’s talent for sticking to party orthodoxy in the face of contrary evidence. “He has a real talent for staying on his talking points,