On Meet the Press this morning, Republican strategist Mike Murphy called Rep. Paul Ryan the "bravest man in Washington" for being willing to go after "entitlements" even though as he admits, it may not be politically popular or "fair." I don't know
May 23, 2011

On Meet the Press this morning, Republican strategist Mike Murphy called Rep. Paul Ryan the "bravest man in Washington" for being willing to go after "entitlements" even though as he admits, it may not be politically popular or "fair." I don't know about anyone else but if I hear one more of these talking heads repeat that it is somehow the "adult" or "grownup" or "serious" to throw working people, seniors and the poor under the bus so we can continue these military occupations and continue with tax cuts for the rich, I'm about ready to break my television screen.

Note to the beltway Villagers and T.V. pundits like Murphy, Chris Van Hollen is right here. There's nothing "brave" about them taking care of their wealthy campaign contributors. What would be brave is any of them admitting we can't balance our budget if they all refuse to raise revenues and by that I mean raising taxes on those that can afford it. As Van Hollen noted during the segment, that would mean they'd have to contend with Grover Norquist coming after them, which is something no Republicans seem willing to risk.

Transcript below the fold.

MR. MURPHY: Let me speak about Ryan for a minute to defend him, because there is a feeling in the country--and it's right, I believe, at least a perception--that a lot of people in Congress, you know, they're on the federal payroll, and they spend a lot of their time maneuvering to get re-elected. Paul Ryan, whether you like the plan or you don't like the plan, is about the bravest guy in Washington because he's taking on the entitlement monster, which is a huge threat. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, everybody agrees this spending thing is out of control. And so Ryan's got a plan that involves a lot of political pain. Whether it's fair or not, it's incredibly brave. What I'd like to see is some grown-up politics for a change. So instead of the Democrats just doing the "mediscare," let's have an equally adult, somewhat scary plan from the left, so voters can have a real comparison because they're grown-ups. Pick the harder choice rather than the hard choice vs. the demography of the--you know--and Medicare as we know it, which is a scam.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: But, but, but...

MR. GREGORY: Congressman--yeah. Yeah.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Mike, Mike, political courage on the Republican side means taking on the revenue piece. That's why you've had a couple folks get in so much--Senator Coburn raised his head on that. Grover Norquist tried to chop it off. It doesn't take a lot of courage on the Republican side to slash Medicaid by $700 billion.

MR. MURPHY: Well, you know, I'm going to agree with you on, on the revenue thing. But...

REP. VAN HOLLEN: It doesn't--but--here are these guys that they won't even agree to say to the oil companies, "Look, you've got to get...

MR. MURPHY: Yeah, I know. But look...

REP. VAN HOLLEN: No, but, Mike--but, Mike...

MR. MURPHY: But, Congressman, with all due respect, very, very quickly...

REP. VAN HOLLEN: ...this, this is the issue.

MR. MURPHY: ...when you go to the oil company and all this stuff, you're going to the poll test and stuff to win the election, it's your job.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Yeah. Yeah, Mike, Mike...

MR. MURPHY: But will you guys endorse Simpson-Bowles? Because I will. I'd do it right now as a Republican.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Let, let, let's go to go in--OK. I think there's...

MR. MURPHY: I'm for a little bit of taxes.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: There's a lot of good in Simpson-Bowles, and what the Simpson-Bowles did was they took a balanced approach.

MR. MURPHY: Right.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: The Republican budget is not balanced. In fact...

MR. MURPHY: But where's the Democrat to balanced budget?

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Well, wait.

MR. GREGORY: But let me, let me get in here for a second.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: The, the, the, the co-chairs of Simpson-Bowles, Simpson and Bowles, said that the Republican plan was not balanced. And they described the president's proposal the other day as more balanced and comprehensive.

MR. GREGORY: Well, let, let me just pull out--I want to pull out on this.

REP. VAN HOLLEN: So let's be real here.

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