Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan Believes In America, At Times

Four years ago, I compared Michelle Obama and Rush Limbaugh.   Philadelphia Daily News writer and blogger Will Bunch had raised the possibility that an Obama administration would investigate the crimes committed by President George W. Bush.    Limbaugh condemned the idea as  "just an effort to embarrass and harm Bush (which) would be a direct assault on the United States and its government."    Michelle Obama had more (in)famously remarked, four months earlier, "People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and... for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

Of course, Michelle Obama is far more laudatory, having initiated a needed "Let's Move" campaign, as well as not being a bigot and snake oil salesman.    Nonetheless, both had conflated the greatness of the country with political preferences, Rush with marching lockstep with a conservative Republican president and Michelle with the American people opting for "the change we have been waiting for."

In steps Representative Paul Ryan, who expresses a similar sentiment on American exceptionalism.   The congressman, who never has represented an area larger than a congressional district, told a crowd of roughly 1,000 Tea Party supporters at a rally in Racine County, Wisconsin on June 6th "On Tuesday we save Wisconsin.   On November 6th we save America."

Sorry to undeceive you, Paul, but America doesn't need "saving."    A touch-up here and there, a radical change in a couple of places (such as the increasing concentration of wealth possessed by the wealthy), but no saving.

It is an odd view of the country, especially of someone running on a ticket headed by a guy who prattles on about "American exceptionalism" and claims his opponent doesn't believe in it.    The greatness of the nation, and the existence of an American exceptionalism, does not rest on who is in charge.  

Conservatives, especially Tea Party supporters, are fond of claiming possession of the U.S. Constitution, implying they, and they alone, revere the document.   Funny, then, that one of the heroes of the American right, Paul Ryan, has so little regard for the Constitution and other foundations of the American republic that he believes we now need to be saved because the President is from the wrong party.

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