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I just did a quick Nexis search, and discovered that the query “(Paul Ryan) and serious” produced 314 hits in the last 48 hours.

Browsing through a couple of dozen of them I discovered that Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a serious proposal, which seriously engages with our serious budget problems.

Now here’s what puzzles me: chairs of congressional committees issue legislative proposals all the time. This proposal obviously has no chance of going anywhere. Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and privatizing Medicare (the centerpiece of the whole thing) is no more likely to be approved by either entity than a proposal to change the motto on our currency to From Each According to His Abilities; To Each According to His Needs would get serious consideration if Sarah Palin were president and the Tea Party had 52 senate seats.

So why are “we” (meaning, I suppose in the first instance the Village) all talking about this?

. . . Reading the comment thread in Scott’s post below, it suddenly seems clear that having a “national conversation” about this Winger fever dream is a classic goal post shifting move, whereby the Catfood Commission suddenly becomes David Broder’s the ghost of David Broder’s favorite example of moist, tender and flaky moderate consensus goodness.

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