May 25, 2011
Paul Ryan “Listening” and the Point of the Flag
No surprise I missed these photos (given the media mostly did, too) when they were taken last month at a Paul Ryan “listening session” with his constituents. As we know, however, it sometimes takes some time for things/memes/sentiments to shape up. With last night’s Democratic bellweather win in NY-26, however, these photos –easily missed in late April — assert and start to clarify the dynamic between the Republican agenda (dismantle Medicare, choke off the government) and the public, particularly seniors.
I don’t think I need to elaborate that much on the body language, either Ryan’s or the audiences, except to say that the gesture just above — the little sashay move with the “but I don’t think you get it” grin and the “you gotta check the whiteboard” signal — really does seem to telegraph the “all-too-not-really-listening” nature of how Ryan, the GOP House and, yeah, our Marketing Corporatocracy operates.
Finally, I just love the placement of the flag in the first photo in the post. Given how much the GOP, and let’s face it, both parties, manipulate Old Glory, the fact it’s poised here in defense of the citizen (as truly rare as that is, and straight from the genitals!) is as inspiring as it is telling.
(photos: Jeffrey Phelps/AP. caption: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks during a listening session Tuesday, April, 26, 2011 at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wis. The Republican plan to fundamentally restructure Medicare and cut social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid has at times been a raucously tough sell as its supporters head home and meet with their constituents, including Democrats organized against them. Even the architect of the plan, Ryan, has been booed, though many of those attending four meetings Tuesday in his home state of Wisconsin were supportive.)