On Learning the Lives of Others

Paul frickin’ Ryan, you guys:

It would be easy to use stuff like this to ridicule him for his tone-deafness, his white-guyness, his sheltered cluelessness. But Ryan, by his own admission, is receiving his sensitivity training in real time. He has charged headfirst into the war on poverty without a helmet; zealously and clumsily fighting for a segment of the American public that his party hasn’t reached since the Depression-era shantytowns that lined the Hudson River were named after Herbert Hoover. It is frequently awkward and occasionally embarrassing, but it is also better than staying on the sidelines.

I dunno, I kind of have a problem with a dude who is in Congress in the year of our Lord 20FUCKING14 getting a cookie for deciding to be awake. “By his own admission” Paul Ryan is becoming awesome? Wow, what a humbling he is subjecting himself to, in the press, loudly and for all to see. Except I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of, being a grown-ass man who was almost in second-in-command of the country’s economic policy, who still has to be taught how the world works.

We all need to know how people who aren’t us live. But it’s not an exotic trip that requires a guide (or a bunch of cameras), going to parts of goddamn America, seeing the strange poor people and how they function.

I would take this shit, say,from a college sophomore. You know why it’s not acceptable for Paul Ryan’s defenders to say hey, he’s trying?

Because so are the people his policies punish, and he doesn’t give them an ounce of the credit he’s demanding for himself.