Roger Simon over at Politico wrote a satire piece on Paul Ryan, here’s a bit of it, discussing how Ryan had adopted an unflattering nickname for Romney after a Republican political operative said he’d need to get rid of Romney’s “stench” if he wanted to run for national office later on:
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
The really funny part was Simon’s bit on Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, one of which he accused Ryan of doing on the federal debt at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida:
A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations.
Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.
PowerPoint is usually restricted to conference rooms where the doors are locked from the outside. It is, therefore, considered unsuited for large rallies, where people have a means of escape and where the purpose is to energize rather than daze.
At the end, Simon winks at the reader with a little note, just in case some few weren’t sure, that the whole thing was tongue-in-cheek:
[Author’s note: Jonathan Swift did not really want Irish people to sell their children for food in 1791; George Orwell did not really want the clocks to strike thirteen in 1984; Paul Ryan, I am sure, calls Mitt Romney something more dignified than “Stench” and Microsoft did not invent PowerPoint as a means to euthanize cattle. At least I am pretty sure Microsoft didn’t.]
Apparently, all that got past Paul Krugman, who said on his blog (now sheepishly struck through):
Can I say that even though I’m not exactly a fan of Mitt Romney’s, this is just bad behavior? You’re supposed to wait until it’s actually over before you do this kind of thing. Anyway, I like how Ryan is declaring independence: by using PowerPoint!
If there were ever better evidence that visceral political impulses blind a person to reality, I can’t imagine what it would be. Thank-you, Mr. Krugman, for proving once and for all my long-running point that you are nothing but a Democratic/progressive political shill dressed up in pretty Nobel Laureate clothes. I mean really, while offering a faint defense of Romney, you even had to get in a dig about the method (or what you thought was his method, as you failed to see the satire) with which Ryan was declaring his political independence. What a fraud.