ABC's Jonathan Karl last week asked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) if his 2012 budget proposal is a "political kamikaze mission" that will "ultimately cost Republicans" their majority in the House.
After Christiane Amanpour played this clip and asked if Ryan is a "visionary or a villain" on Sunday's "This Week," George Will marvelously responded - likely to the dismay of all present! - "Paul Ryan is eight years younger than the President but vastly more experienced and conversant with these issues" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JONATHAN KARL, ABC: What do you say to nervous Republicans who say that this is a political kamikaze mission? You've just given Democrats a big target that may ultimately cost Republicans your majority here in the House?
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): Look at these people, look at these new people who just got here. You know, they didn't come here for a political career. They came here for a cause. This is not a budget, this is a cause.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Congressman Paul Ryan, certainly not one to fiddle around the edges of the financial crisis confronting this country. This week, he unveiled a sweeping budget proposal to cut $6 trillion from the budget over ten years. That is trillion with a “T”. Ryan would also revamp, some would say dismantle, the cherished programs Medicare and Medicaid. Is he a visionary or is he a villain? Whatever your point of view, one thing is not in dispute: Ryan's plan will drive this epic debate.
So, let's bring back our roundtable, George Will, Chrystia Freeland, Ron Brownstein and Donna Brazile. George, you were just talking before we went to a break, how will this change the conversation? It will the Ryan plan.
GEORGE WILL: Paul Ryan is eight years younger than the President but vastly more experienced and conversant with these issues. The Republicans are now bound as with hoops of steel to this plan by Ryan. They really can't avoid it, and the President can't avoid engaging it. Now, the President's initial response was that the Democrats will say this is extreme. This extreme plan by Paul Ryan envisions over the next decade a 34 percent increase in federal spending. It envisions adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. That's how slow the glide plan is that he proposes. Furthermore, on Medicare, Medicare is doomed as we know it, not by Mr. Ryan, but by Mr. Arithmetic. It just doesn't work anymore. And therefore, when he preposes essentially what the bipartisan commission on Medicare proposed more than a decade ago, premium support, which is, no matter what Mr. Hollen [sic] said a moment ago, is essentially what every federal worker has from the man who delivers your mail to Harry Reid who delivers stuff.
Indeed, and what the media are going to do in the coming weeks is from the same playbook they used to prevent Social Security reform in 2005: distract, distort, and misinform.
These folks have been complaining for months that Republicans having just taken control of the House were making minor cuts to discretionary spending while avoiding going after the real meat in the entitlement programs. Some of the more honest ones even criticized the President for doing the same thing in his budget proposal.
Now that Ryan has come out with a plan that does go after Medicare and Medicaid, so-called journalists are going to forget all their previous squawking about there being no adults in the room willing to actually face up to the real budget problems facing the nation and instead demonize Ryan and Republicans for wanting to starve women, children, and the elderly.
It's getting old, isn't it?