Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Here's a line from the speech Paul Ryan will deliver tonight at the Republican convention:
I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old -- and I know that we are ready.
And, well, what do you know: to Politico, Ryan's claim to be a spokesman for his generation isn't an unproven assertion -- it's a fact, as we learn from this story, published to coincide exactly with the release of the speech excerpt:
At 42, Paul Ryan is one of the youngest members of a major party ticket in recent political history.

That fact isn't lost on the Republican Party's newest generation.

Young politicians and leaders here say Ryan’s nomination as vice president is a boon to the party's hopes of exciting the youth vote won heavily by President Barack Obama in 2008. And far from shying away from discussions about Medicare that Ryan inspires, next generation GOPers say they're ready and excited to debate entitlements.

On its face, the Ryan selection is a boost for Republicans hoping to dig into Democrats' youth vote advantage because he's young and energetic.

"[Ryan] is somebody who's closer in age to me than he is to his opponent, Joe Biden," said College Republicans President Alex Schriver, who said he "could not be happier" about Romney's VP choice....
Are Schriver and the other young Republicans quoted in the Politico story genuinely excited about the Ryan pick? Do they really see him as one of their own? Do they honestly think he talks about entitlements in a way their generation understands, and we old codgers just don't get?

Who knows? They've certainly been told to sell this story line as the speech approaches. And Politico's Emily Schultheis and Juana Summers (actual reporters!) have taken this careful recitation of talking points as sincere and heartfelt and spontaneous. Therefore it is! Right?

Hey, why have a candidate or campaign surrogate sell a talking point as a talking point when you can urge rank-and-file delegates to pretend it's an authentic expression of their generational zeitgeist? Fake that and Politico will play along. Soon it'll be a meme, and we'll have stories with titles like "The Millennials: Dumping Obama for Ryan?" Those stories won't have to be based on any genuine sentiment -- just on gullible pseudo-journalism like this.


UPDATE: NBC News regurgitates the same talking point:

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In a lot of ways, Paul Ryan is a bridge, a conduit to the GOP of tomorrow, and at just age 42, he's injected a lot of youthful energy and enthusiasm that's being felt far and wide.
Cut (after some footage of Ryan) to an even younger delegate than the ones quoted above.

You know who's really injected youthful energy into the GOP (even though the GOP doesn't seem to want it)? Ron Paul. That old guy actually draws enthusiastic kids. Ryan? I don't think so. His fans are the same old senior-citizen white Fox News watchers. To paraphrase what was once said of Al Gore, he's an old winger's idea of a young winger.

1 comment:

Victor said...

Yeah, Ryan's "a bridge."
Unless you're one of the 1-2%.

I've seen this act before.
In the selling of that old codger, Ronald Reagan.
And that noted "Compassionate Conservative," George W. Bush.

And we all know how THAT's worked out.

At this point, I'm not sure even a live boy or a dead girl will stop the mythologizing of Paul Ryan.
The counter-argument will be, "Well, Bill Clinton got a blowjob 15 years ago - so BOTH sides do it!"