Paul Ryan has flummoxed the left. They know he’s evil, and yet he seems like such a nice guy. Therefore he’s doubly evil, because his smiling facade houses a soul so dark.
Did you know that Ryan’s a hater? Yes indeed, as described by no less an authority than (as Dowd admiringly writes):
…Tom Morello, the Grammy-winning, Harvard-educated guitarist for the metal rap band Rage Against the Machine, [who] punctured Paul Ryan’s pretensions to cool in a Rolling Stone essay rejecting R&R (Romney ’n’ Ryan) as R&R (rock ’n’ roll).
Morello’s statements in his role as (Harvard-educated!) political commentator were apparently important enough not only for Rolling Stone to publish, but for Dowd to highlight at the beginning of her NY Times column:
[Ryan] is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,” Morello writes, adding: “I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically, the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
Dowd goes on to evoke the many ghosts of hated GOP VP-nominees past. Ryan’s like Sarah Palin because he uses the word “awesome.” He’s like Dan Quayle because he’s young enough to be Romney’s son, as Quayle was to Bush senior. And he’s like Dick Cheney because he sounds reasonable but that’s merely an example of “la belle indifférence, or “the beautiful calm” of hysterical people” (and note that Dowd uses the term in a manner that demonstrates an almost total ignorance of what it actually means; see this].
And then there’s the usual reverse-racist crap du jour about “white guys,” so popular in these enlightened days:
Republicans find the tableau of two rich white guys — same shirts, different generations — comforting.
Actually, it’s Democrats like Maureen who find it comforting to think so.
It’s often said that conservatives believe liberals are stupid but liberals believe conservatives are evil. If Paul Ryan is one of the most conservative members of Congress, ergo he must be one of the most evil, even if his demeanor and words and personality and history project nothing of the sort. But that’s the beauty of it, according to Dowd, whose last paragraph begins this way:
Beyond the even-keeled Ryan mien lurks full-tilt virulence.
Full-tilt virulence, thy name is Dowd.