Ever since Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP, there’s been an awful lot of even-stranger-than-usual stuff coming from the mouths/pens/computers of Democrats.
One of the oddest is a column by Maureen Dowd, which basically says that Ryan shouldn’t look so nice and smiley and handsome because he’s actually a mean sonofabitch.
I kid you not:
[Ryan]‘s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in. He has a winning air of sad cheerfulness. He’s affable, clean-cut and really cut, with the Irish altar-boy widow’s peak and droopy, winsome blue eyes and unashamed sentimentality.
Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?
But twisted as that is, it pales in comparison to Ezra Klein’s latest effort, which is less colorful but decidedly more convoluted. In Klein’s fevered imagination, Obama not only wanted Ryan to become the de facto leader of the Republican Party because Obama thought his views would be easy to run against (which Obama may indeed have believed), but the president has actively worked for several years to build Ryan up and then tear him down with this very aim in mind.
Therefore, according to Klein, Ryan is Obama’s creation (the title of his piece is “How Obama Created the Greatest Threat to His Presidency”):
Here’s the weird thing about Paul Ryan being named to the Republican presidential ticket: It’s all part of Barack Obama’s campaign plan — a plan that’s working better than his strategists could have hoped.
You need to read the whole thing to get the flavor of it. The summary version is that Obama knew that Ryan’s detailed plan would not appeal to the American people, and that initially even Republicans agreed with him on that, so way back in January of 2010 Obama started praising Ryan and building him up for a while. Then he slammed Ryan and his plan hard, forcing the Republicans to rally around both. And now all of Obama’s careful efforts have borne fruit in this nomination.
The problem, of course, is that Klein realizes that Romney-Ryan may actually win, a disastrous result by Klein’s lights—made even worse by the fact that, according to Klein, without Obama’s machinations leading to Romney’s picking Ryan (stay with me, folks), Romney probably would have governed as a centrist but now will be severely conservative.
Obama’s playing four-dimensional chess, for sure. I’m not certain what Klein’s playing.