Last week Politico assigned one of its senior political reporters, Jonathan Martin, to pen Paul Ryan’s disappearing act.

After acknowledging that Ryan might actually be interested in doing his job, Martin brings one source after another to show that Ryan is damaging his electoral chances in 2016.

What isn’t likely to dissipate with time, though, is the taint on Ryan that comes with being a full-fledged congressional insider. There’s a growing desire on the part of Republicans to move away from the Washington wing of the party and the sort of austerity politics with which the congressional GOP has come to be defined.

Look at the remarks from individuals like Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and even Romney’s remarks at CPAC: They all are nudging Republicans away from their spending fixation toward a growth orientation their governors personify.

“We must not become the party of austerity,” says Jindal in his speeches. “We must become the party of growth.”

Unsurprisingly, according to memeorandum, a number of lefty blogs very much enjoyed this.

Look how Martin promoted his article on Twitter:

Does Martin appreciate irony? The whole point of his article is to promote the “political celeb culture” he feigns to deride!

Two weeks earlier, Jonathan Tobin looked at Ryan’s budget and observed Ryan Shows GOP Is In for the Long Haul:

But whether that happens or not, Republicans are still obligated to do more than provide a faint echo of liberal pieties. The voters chose a divided government last fall, not hegemony for the Democrats. That means any discussion about the budget must have two sides rather than the liberal narrative promoted by the president and his cheerleaders in the media. Ryan’s budget will never become law, but it is an important document that sets out the only real path to national solvency as well as for preserving Medicare. When contrasted with the president’s mindless defense of the status quo on entitlements as well as his inability to put forward to present a path to a balanced budget, Ryan’s plan doesn’t look so crazy.

Where Martin focuses on celebrity, Tobin is more interested in substance.

Speaking of disappearing acts, note that there was a senator who missed more than half the Senate roll call votes from July, 2007 onward and overall missed nearly 25% of the votes during his four years in the upper chamber. Now he is President.

If you get the sense that the media prefer celebrity to substance, their support of President Obama (and derision of serious Republicans) make the case.

 
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