Over the past few months, Rep. Paul Ryan has frequently expressed his annoyance that the president formed a bipartisan fiscal commission and then ignored the ideas its co-founders, and a majority of its members, backed. “The president just took us a few steps backwards by ignoring the commission’s findings, by ignoring its conclusions,” he told Politico’s Mike Allen. “He punted to a fiscal commission and then he just didn’t even embrace the Fiscal Commission,” he told Fox News.
Well, now six senators have brought out a plan almost identical to the Simpson-Bowles recommendations and the president has embraced it. Ryan’s response? Not so positive (pdf). Which is entirely predictable, as Ryan served on the fiscal commission and then voted against the final proposal. But it does put his complaints over the past few months into context. Ryan wasn’t upset that the president didn’t support a plan that Ryan also didn’t support. That would be absurd. He just saw an opportunity to attack him for not supporting a plan that, at the least, a lot of Washington elites supported, and saw as a mark of seriousness.