New York Times columnist Paul Krugman mocked the Republican Party generally, and the House Freedom Caucus in particular, for begging Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to fill the House leadership void by becoming the next speaker.
"What makes Mr. Ryan so special?" he asked. "The answer, basically, is that he's the best con man they've got." Krugman noted that Ryan has successfully "hoodwinked" the national media into believing he's a serious-minded centrist, especially on fiscal issues, but that he'll likely turn down the position because "it would be hard to sustain the con game from the speaker's chair."
That's because, as Krugman wrote:
To understand Mr. Ryan’s role in our political-media ecosystem, you need to know two things. First, the modern Republican Party is a post-policy enterprise, which doesn’t do real solutions to real problems. Second, pundits and the news media really, really don’t want to face up to that awkward reality.
On the first point, just look at the policy ideas coming from the presidential candidates, even establishment favorites like Marco Rubio, the most likely nominee given Jeb Bush’s fatal lack of charisma. The Times’s Josh Barro has dubbed Mr. Rubio’s tax proposal the “puppies and rainbows” plan, consisting of trillions in giveaways with not a hint of how to pay for them — just the assertion that growth would somehow make it all good.
And it’s not just taxes, it’s everything...