Pseudo-GOP intellectual, faux budget hawk, and failed 2012 vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI, pictured), performed a paean during his appearance on this week’s edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press” in honor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to Ryan, if Hillary were President Clinton, all of our current political bickering over the deficit would be much ado about nothing because unlike our current commander-in-chief, she’d make sure a compromise was reached.
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Ryan explained to “Meet The Press” host David Gregory:
“Look, if we had a [Hillary] Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles as chief of staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now, [but] that’s not the kind of presidency we’re dealing with right now.”
Bowles is the current co-chair of the bipartisan deficit reduction effort Campaign to Fix The Debt and previously served as chief of staff to former-President Bill Clinton.
As hysterical as Ryan’s sudden affinity for all things Clintonian is, he isn’t the first conservative to spew this crock of a hypothetical scenario.
A few years ago, former-Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview airing on “Fox News Sunday”:
I have the sense that she’s one of the more competent members of the current administration, and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president.
If memory serves me correctly, these are members of the same party who were ready to unload on then-presumed-Democratic-presidential-nominee Hillary Clinton with all their might back in 2008, the same people who pilloried her over her and her husband’s attempts at health care reform in the 1990s.
And who else remembers the Whitewater fiasco?
Republicans loathed the Clintons and have only played nice lately because Bill Clinton‘s popularity has only soared post-presidency and Hillary currently operates in a largely apolitical role.
Then again, that didn’t stop this from happening only a week ago:
The antics of congressional Republicans last week made it quite apparent that the minute Hillary is perceived as a potential political adversary, the “we love you, Hill,” nonsense goes kaput.
So it doesn’t require that great a leap to figure out exactly what would’ve actually happened had Hillary Clinton defeated Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary and went on to become the 44th president. We’d still likely have GOP obstructionism, only instead of stupid racial jabs being hurled from Republicans, it’d be a bunch sexist nonsense.
More importantly, as it pertains to Paul Ryan, he’d still be in the hypocritical position he’s in now.
No matter who would be president right now, Paul Krugman’s surmise of Paul Ryan would still be spot on:
About the hypocrisy of the hawks: as I said, it has been evident for years. Consider the early 2011 award for ‘fiscal responsibility’ that three of the leading deficit-scold organizations gave to none other than Paul Ryan.
Then as now, Mr. Ryan’s alleged plans to reduce the deficit were obvious flimflam, since he was proposing huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while refusing to specify how these cuts would be offset.
But in the eyes of the deficit scolds, his plan to dismantle Medicare and his savage cuts to Medicaid apparently qualified him as a fiscal icon.
Ryan would continue to be the person his one-time Democratic congressional contender Rob Zerban condemned:
Congressman Paul Ryan can grandstand about the debt all he wants, but at the end of the day, Ryan is a root cause of many of the financial issues our country faces today, says Zerban.
From supporting two unfunded wars, to dumping millions of senior citizens in to the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ while tying the hands of the government to negotiate prescription drug prices, and from fighting for subsidies for Big Oil that his family personally benefits from, to supporting the unfunded Bush tax cuts for his wealthiest campaign contributors, Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy is astounding.
The political, who only days ago Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” was able to roast for his amnesia of convenience:
Another Clinton running the country wouldn’t have altered any of this. In fact, aren’t there plenty of Clinton White House alums working in the Obama administration now?
It’s cute to pretend, but Ryan would continue to be every bit as phony about policy as he is now and just as disingenuous about working toward compromise no matter what Democrat he was dealing with.
If Paul Ryan wants to play political hypotheticals for kicks, that’s his choice. Thankfully, the rest of us aren’t so gullible.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick
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