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August 10, 2012

Georgetown Revisited: Ryan Looks to the Heavens

Bag is in summer mode this week, recharging for the conventions. In the spirit of “what goes around, comes around,”  we have curated a group of posts that say as much about where we are or what we’re seeing now as what we saw at the time.   On each, we’ve added a few current thoughts. As always, we are interested in your take. We will be back in real time on the 20th.

What’s interesting about the lobbying for Ryan for the second slot has been the need and desire to graft a real political philosophy onto the otherwise shape-shifting Romney. Although between the two, Romney is nominally far more religious (we’re talking the House of Mormon, not the temple of finance), Ryan is by far the more doctrinaire.

Most interesting about this gazing to the heavens, however, is how well Ryan maintains that self-satisfaction with what’s going on in the balcony. There is going to be a lot of chatter this week about how Ryan’s addition to the ticket is going to rally the base. What this post from April 26 demonstrates is that the rally works both ways.

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Earlier this week, nearly 90 faculty members at the Jesuit university declared in a letter to Mr. Ryan that, “We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.” — Rep. Ryan Takes on Georgetown (WSJ WashWire)

Remind me to look up the meaning of the “upward stare” in the encyclopedia of body language. I’d imagine it says something about “positivity” and “idealism,” or “utopia” or “Shining City Upon a Hill” (with maybe a footnote, if you execute it at the right angle — especially in Georgetown’s stately Gaston Hall — about the merger of church and state). Oh, and did I mention the thrust of the words accompanying this fine Getty portraiture involved Ryan’s rebuttal to Catholic critics who not only take issue with slicing up what’s left of the safety net, and also to the way Ryan markets those economics in Christian terms?

As the Veep aspirant and chief architect for the “austerity” budget looked ever skyward, however, I don’t imagine his gaze lined up here:

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(photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.)

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