Live from La Farine: Scott Lemieux sends us to Jonathan Chait on the unprofessional hagiography the New York Times and Jennifer Steinhauer are committing for Paul Ryan:
"Yah, okay, I'll have my girl send you over a copy, then": "Chait highlights perhaps the most ridiculous part of the NYT’s embarrassing Paul Ryan hagiography Erik highlighted earlier...:
...The magical-realism version of the Ryan platform involves heaping doses of empathy and wonkishness... not in any concrete commitments but in promises lying somewhere over the horizon. The key passage from today’s Times story: ‘For example, if the Republican nominee does not provide an alternative to the Affordable Care Act — something Republicans have failed to do since it passed in 2010 — Mr. Ryan intends to do so, just as he will lay out an anti-poverty plan.’ Note the ‘intends to,’ a phrase that captures Ryan’s uncanny ability to have his assurances taken at face value. Republicans have been promising that they were on the cusp of unveiling a party-wide alternative to the Obama administration’s health-care reform since the debate began in 2009, but they have never quite managed to do so.... In January 2014, Ryan promised he would develop a Republican plan that year.... March.... April.... The next year, Ryan renewed his commitment to reveal his plan very, very soon.... February, 2015, Ryan announced the plan would be out by the end of March.... June came.... By December 2015, Ryan proclaimed the need for a Republican plan ‘urgent.’... January.... Later that month.... Task forces, committees, listening sessions — there is just so much to do.
The reason the dog keeps eating the Republicans’ health-care homework is very simple: It is impossible to design a health-care plan that is both consistent with conservative ideology and acceptable to the broader public....
The fact that Republicans can claim to have an ACA replacement and anti-poverty plan forthcoming and be taken at face value by credulous journalists is about as pure a distillation of the felt necessity to present a ‘shape of the world, views differ’ perspective as you can find. ‘I fully intend to put forward a replacement for Obamacare, really’ is not even a complicated scam. It’s the most obvious and pathetic one: ‘my check’s on the mail’ and ‘my Audi’s in the shop’ from a man who has never made a payment on his loan and has been driving a ’03 Geo Metro since you met him six months ago. But it’s an iron law among a certain kind of journalist that there must be a Serious, Moderate Major Republican, and when the competition is the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Paul Ryan gets the gig purely by default.