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.


7 thoughts on “On Learning the Lives of Others

  1. I like to think that he’s so inconsequential that in the future people won’t remember which was which between Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, and always say the wrong one on quiz shows.

  2. I call bullshit. This is a guy who ran on being a poor, hardworking kid who made good, and has for years wanted to yank the ladder up after him.
    And, he’s a liar. Every time he’s been cornered with his own earlier statements, which he’s conveniently forgotten, he’s yelling, “nope, not me!” So, how can one now believe he’s “trying” to understand? He’s already proven himself to be a charlatan, a lover of the rich and powerful, and an all-around moral cretin.
    The little fucker is coming up for an election, fer chrissakes. Of course he’ll say and do anything, and what’s easier for a politician of his ilk to feign concern. Fuck him with his taxpayer-subsidized mansion.

  3. The article says he’s working *with* the poor. No, he’s observing them, like animals at the zoo.
    They talk to him about Fortune 500 companies and background checks? and he agrees that convicts should have a chance with those companies but they need to know someone who can give them an in. In the same convo, they talk about not wanting to work for 7 bucks an hour and he remains silent. If he actually gave a shit, rather than toting around a film crew so he can have footage of him being compassionate, he might have had a discussion about minimum wage instead of Fortune 500 co’s.
    He will defend his budget cuts and say he’s been to the mountain top and that all that needs to happen is for charity orgs to step up, everything will be OK.
    I don’t care how many words someone wants to write about it, it’s bullshit. He wants/needs cred to run his next campaign and by golly, he’s gonna have film of it.

  4. There is so much that a congressman has to learn, I can’t connect with the idea of learning reality as a matter of “on the job training”.

  5. Can we call “beat sweetener” on the article’s author? Coppins apparently once worked for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, but if that was within the past five years or so that’s nothing to brag about. Ryan deserves to be sneered at, not praised.

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