Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Questioning Ryan Plan Isn’t Sacrilege

In Roll Call Stuart Rothenberg writes that, “elevating Ryan to a point where it’s somehow sacrilegious to criticize him or question some of his arguments — or even to suggest that he must save his party by jumping into the presidential contest — isn’t healthy for Ryan or his party.”

What Rothenberg clearly has in mind in his “sacrilegious” reference is Newt Gingrich’s comments about Ryan’s plan, which Gingrich referred to as “radical” and “right-wing social engineering.” The response to what Gingrich said was so strong because the comments themselves were so irresponsible (to say nothing about them being at odds with what Gingrich had said a few weeks before). If Gingrich had simply said he believes the entitlement crisis is real but he has honest differences with Ryan’s approach — and then laid them out in a careful way — it would have caused relatively little stir.

Indeed, if Tim Pawlenty or others offer alternatives to the Ryan plan, my guess is that many, and perhaps most, conservatives will share my view: let the debate begin. If there are flaws in either Ryan’s arguments or his math, by all means let’s hear them. And most conservatives – including Paul Ryan himself – wouldn’t be bothered one bit by the words of Senator Bob Corker, who said this about the Ryan plan during the Senate debate about it earlier this week: “I don’t think there’s anybody in this room that would say it’s an article of faith.”

To take the conservative reaction to Gingrich’s comments and to extrapolate from them that any departure from Ryan’s plan, or any counterarguments to his case, are “somehow sacrilegious” isn’t really accurate. It in fact perpetuates a caricature, which is why it’s too bad that Rothenberg, a serious political analyst, wrote what he did.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.