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September 16, 2010
Ryan Avoids Getting Pricked by Rose
Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan appeared Monday on the Charlie Rose show. Ryan and his two coauthors apparently are out promoting their new book, Young Guns. Both the form and substance of the interview serve as a good model for conservative and libertarian candidates in this year's mid-term elections.
Mr. Rose seems to impose political bias on many of his interviews -- despite being funded in part by taxpayers, tax-deductible contributions, and tax-exempt charitable trusts. On this show, he introduced Congressman Ryan by parroting two Democrat talking points: "dismantling Social Security and Medicare" and "austerity".
However, Rose then gave Ryan an evenhanded chance to respond by rephrasing that leftist dogma in the form of a straw-man question:
It probably was the best question that any journalist -- biased or unbiased -- might have asked the lawmaker, and Ryan responded persuasively. He explained the origin of his "Roadmap for America's Future" and then outlined its objectives:
Note that Ryan also used his response to refute Rose's opening characterization of
him as "dismantling Social Security and Medicare". After Ryan explained the program in greater detail, Rose respectfully conceded:
That might seem like a trivial victory, but Ryan must have realized that he had to refute the very premise of Rose's opening debate gambit or play defense for the rest of the interview. (Good advice for all Republican political candidates)
Then Rose shifted to the issue of fiscal austerity. He attempted to insert some more Democrat "conventional wisdom" into the debate. Here's another false-premise question that Rose seemingly channeled from leftist economist Paul Krugman:
Ryan also refuted that one quite well, first challenging its premise and then suggesting better alternatives:
After a few more exchanges, Rose seemed to realize that he couldn't win a stimulus debate, so he attempted to get Ryan to agree that the recent financial regulation legislation somehow would fix America's economic ailments. He even tried to put words into Ryan's mouth:
You said the regulatory certainty is established now that we have the financial reform.
Of course, that legislation only created more uncertainty and inefficiency, and Ryan responded
There are over 500 regulations that will come out of this new law that haven't been
Later, Ryan summarized by slipping in what sounded like an excerpt from one of his campaign speeches:
So the way I look at it is, it's not as if we have to go reinvent this country. We
That was a concise, effective, and direct attack on President Obama's autocratic views, such as government-granted positive rights, disdain for those clinging to the First and Second Amendments, a plan to bankrupt the coal industry, and fascist takeovers of private enterprises. By this time, Rose seemed to realize that he had lost the debate and could come up with only this ludicrous if-you-can't-beat-‘em-join-‘em defense:
Perhaps Rose's absurd comment actually could be accurate. --But only if one of Mr. Obama's puppet masters loaded a Paul Ryan speech into the president's teleprompter, desperately hoping to fool voters. (Again)
Those viewing Mr. Ryan's interview clip might question whether a guy that looks and sounds like a small-town accountant can be an inspirational leader. After all, just two years ago, 53 percent of Americans seemed to think they were voting for a hip, trendy high school homecoming king, not the next President of the United States. However, over the past two years, as the king demonstrated that he can do little more than play basketball, most Americans now realize they need responsible adults in Washington, and Congressman Ryan appears to be exactly that.