I suspect that there’s a legend in the making — one that will come to dominate the conventional wisdom if the GOP does badly next year — which goes like this: Republicans were too noble. They committed themselves to a serious, well-crafted policy plan, but were oblivious to the political realities.
...the Ryan plan is, in fact, a self-serving piece of junk. It doesn’t add up — in fact, it would probably make the deficit bigger not smaller. And far from representing some kind of sacrifice of political interests in the service of the greater good, it’s a right-wing wish-list on steroids: sharp tax cuts for corporations and the rich, savage cuts in aid to the poor, and a gratuitous privatization of Medicare. And again, it’s technically incompetent along the way.
...while the ideas in the Ryan plan poll terribly with the general public, there was very good reason to expect them to poll well with the punditocracy. For a year before the plan was unveiled, Ryan was the absolute darling of Beltway insiders; any suggestion that he was in fact a flim-flam man was greeted with anger. And let’s remember that for about two days after the plan was unveiled, it was greeted rapturously, even by some alleged liberals. [today]