Thursday, August 16, 2012


Well, I guess there's a difference between a thinker and a doer. Paul Ryan thinks a lot. Republican thinkers think he's a thinking man's thinker. The man is a thinking machine, spends lots of his free time thinking. He thinks in the morning, he thinks right after lunch, he thinks his way through dinner and part way into dessert. Of late, he's been thinking of ways to distance himself from his atheist hero, Ayn Rand. More recently, he's been thinking up ways to pretend he never said those things he said -- deemed brilliant and bold and super-thinky by the RWS™ -- about drastic and damaging budget cuts to pay for battleships and billionaires. (Romney, of course, has been thlinking away even harder. And, proving that only a few people are always wrong about everything, even Grover Norquist, that grabber of Rs by their short tax-hairs, disagrees with both of them on military spending!)

Meanwhile, it turns out that all that thinking hasn't left the Congressman with much time to do the stuff that legislators actually do:
After a year and a half on the job, Ryan reached a milestone: He passed his first bill. It renamed a post office.

Four years later, Ryan got another bill passed. It lowered the excise tax on the parts used to make arrows.

This is the sum total of Paul Ryan’s changes to U.S. code. After 2006, Ryan’s focus was on a committee — the Budget Committee — whose main job is to produce theoretical statements of policy, not actual law. He has not passed a law since.

Exhausting, all that thinking and subsequent disenthinking. If he didn't accomplish anything legislatively, and doesn't think he can defend his efforts to voucherize Medicare, cut Medicaid and all the other programs for those who need them, like student loans and other frivolities, then on what basis should we think he's the best-thinking thinker of the Republican Party?

Well, it's not that in doing nothing while saying a lot -- most of which he's unwilling to defend now that he's the second face of the national representation of two-facedness -- he's alone among R congressmen. In fact, he's their perfect avatar. Or so I think.

[Added: I think he's been having to rethink what he thinks he thought, thinking about stimulus money, too.]


  1. Ummm,
    and this is only because I wasted hours in my youth watching Perry Mason ReRuns..
    Your Honor, Counsels(Your) remarks were Im-Material, Ir-reverent, and In-Competent!
    How many bills did Senator Obama pass??
    and a good Lawyer never asks a question he doesn't already know the answer to...

    Frank LLC

  2. These are just his own bills right? Any idea how many bills a typical congresscritter writes which get passed?

    Just doing some back-of-the-envelope math: this site seems to indicate about 400 laws get passed per congress, which it shows as a two year period. There are ~400 congresspeople, so in 13 years, a congressperson on average should author (sponser? I apologize for my lack of American civics) five and a half bills.

    2 vs. 5.5 doesn't seem like a big deal. And based on what I've read about Ryan, it sounds like you'd want as little output as possible.

  3. And how many years has Ryan been in Congress? And, your dishonor, I believe it's your comment that's irrelevant, seeing as how we're talking about Ryan's record. But, as long as you bring it up, Senator Obama was never hailed as the greatest mind of the Democratic Congressional delegation, although, in his case, he probably was.

  4. The above was addressed to Frank, by the way.

    Timmyson: it's in the context of touting the man as the intellectual center and force of the party. A post office and tax on arrow parts? Add that to ideas away from which even he's running, it makes considering him a cerebral powerhouse sort of laughable. Which was my point.

  5. Okay, I see where you're coming from.

    Still, I feel like if you interpret "cerebral powerhouse" in the context of the Republican caucus...

  6. And that was the point of my final paragraph.

  7. Your Honor!,
    Mr. Burger, I mean Schwab is not answering the question!...
    I move he be held in Contempt with a large cellmate named "Tiny"...
    Let me go all Steven Hawkins and answer Al-ja-braicly...
    (Synthetic Robotic Voice)
    "The Number of Bills Senator Obama passed is equal to his number of Nobel Prizes minus the deficit accumulated in his term in trillions of dollars"
    i.e., "Zero"

    Frank 2.0

  8. Mr Drackman, if you continue to distract from the issue under adjudication, the court will ask the bailiff to have you forcibly removed.


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