Sibling Rivalry (of a sort) in Wisconsin

Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan is either a few days old or several years old now, depending on whether you’ve been paying attention to him since he first won election.

So far, reaction falls into a few basic categories:

  • It’s a horrific (and probably fascist) attack on the elderly, the poor, America, childhood, and rainbows;
  • It’s a good first step toward actual constitutionalism, but only a first step (a.k.a. the Smitty Doctrine);
  • It’s a negotiating ploy that purposely goes to extremes in order to end up somewhere in the middle;
  • It’s a political document meant only to flush out the fact that Democrats prefer tax increases to spending cuts.

Or, a fifth possibility:

  • It’s the single greatest piece of legislation written since Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

Not to be too much of a homer, here, but I lean toward that last one.

Here’s the thing: it’s just a bit too coincidental that Ryan’s plan follows so closely – bang bang, barely three months apart – behind Walker’s. It’s just a little too neat.

Are Ryan and Walker colluding? Maybe. Or maybe it’s something more basic. A little back-home sibling rivalry, perhaps.

For years, Paul Ryan has been one of the nation’s rising young conservative turks. Smart, wonkish, boyishly handsome, willing to touch the Political Third Rail, and tough enough to live through it.

But then Governor Walker introduced his bill and, suddenly…Chris Christie? Who’s that? There’s a new conservative sheriff in town, and his name is Scott Walker.

Suddenly, the title of Grand Conservative Turk rested entirely around the shoulders of Wisconsin’s governor. Cue Paul Ryan: oh no you don’t. Anything you can do, I can do better. Try this on for size!

Kinda makes me wonder what Ron Johnson’s thinking up now.

(Cross posted at The TrogloPundit)

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