His Own Budget

In all the frenzied talk about Mitt Romney’s announcement of Paul Ryan as his running-mate today, the most hilarious comments come from the Romney campaign’s own “internal talking points,” as revealed by ABC’s The Note. The headline alone is the best one: “Romney Will Push His ‘Own’ Budget Proposal, Not Paul Ryan’s Plan.” Here’s a bit more:

Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.

This is transparently an effort to give Mitt some running room on the more inflammatory elements of the Ryan Budget–which he has already pledged to sign if it’s sent to him, as a Republican Congress would undoubtedly do–particularly Medicare and Medicaid. But pretending Romney’s going to order Ryan around on the budget–or that anyone in the GOP would side with Romney rather than Ryan on budget issues–is a big joke.

I struggle for a suitable analogy: becoming a Lutheran and saying you’ll maintain your own views on the sufficiency of faith for salvation? Hiring Mike Leach to coach your football team but reserving the right to tell him to install the Wishbone Offense? Marrying Kim Kardashian on condition she will avoid publicity?

Good luck with your “own budget,” Mitt.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.