Paul Ryan Convention Speech Rages Against The Machine That Made Him

In this Aug. 29, 2012, photo, Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan addresses the Republican National Conventi
In this Aug. 29, 2012, photo, Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. It was Mitt Romney’s show. But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rocked the house. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the talk of the town. And Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s rising-star status was blinding as he accepted the party’s vice presidential nomination. The Republican Party’s next generation of leaders were in deep supply at the GOP’s national convention as they positioned for future national roles and, perhaps, even their own shot at the White House in four or eight years. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Give Paul Ryan credit -- he knows from dystopian fiction. As a Rand-acolyte, he's essentially been steeping in dark, howling visions of America transmitted to his amygdala from the funhouse mirror in his eyeballs' lenses all his life. And while much of his speech last night was designed to set up Mitt Romney's performance tonight, and thus contained rhetorical flights that I'm not certain Ryan really felt comfortable saying aloud (though, let's face it, it killed with the audience), there were definitely more than a few moments where Ryan found his true voice and delivered the sermon he's probably been delivering since his dorm-room days.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers -- a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

Keep in mind that this came in the same speech in which Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for the 2009 closure of a Janesville General Motors Plant. And Ryan, to his credit, didn't just consign those General Motors workers to their fate and call it some new exciting adventure that they were on with their lives -- he rushed to save the plant, using the levers of government planning to serve these "victims of circumstance."

But, as they say, it gets better:

It's the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at least college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That's how we do it in this country. That's the American Dream. That's freedom, and I'll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

Esquire's Charles Pierce, who has been working the Paul Ryan shift so long that I briefly worried that Ryan's oration would finally be the thing that activated an aneurysm, writes today: "The central planners? Really? Are there tanks in Budapest again? Are Quemoy and Matsu in peril?" He goes on to describe the way Paul Ryan's public professions of Galtian ecstacy are essentially at lifelong war with Paul Ryan himself:

More to the point, during the whole time Paul Ryan was on his own path, his own journey, the American journey where he could think for himself, decide for himself, and define happiness for himself, every rough road was made smooth by his reliance on Social Security survivor's benefits that came to his family upon the death of his father. At least Chris Christie had the self-awareness to mention the G.I. Bill on Tuesday night, when he was talking about his father. The assistance that young Paul Ryan got from "the central planners" as he rose from Janesville, through Miami of Ohio, and to a career in which he never has had a job that wasn't inside, or very close to, the national government was not even acknowledged. He knows, in his Randian soul, that he once was a moocher, that in many ways he remains a moocher, and perhaps it galls him just a bit.

The condensed version of the Paul Ryan speech is this: Supervision and sanctimony of the central planners for him, tiny American flags for everyone else.

Paul Ryan Is the Newest New Nixon, a Moocher Belied [Charles Pierce @ Esquire]

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Republican National Convention 2012