Yeah, that Paul Ryan, what a radical! But let us define our terms:
If a person is to believe his media, he would have to accept that bringing discretionary spending back to 2008 levels, as Ryan has suggested, is like letting a Koch-funded plutocrat in war paint shred the social contract and throw it into a Klan-lit bonfire. Nearly every outlet, every interviewer, every reference about Ryan's plan is imbued with a tone that asks, "Isn't this nuts?"
But adding $11 trillion to the national debt, as Obama's proposed budget does, well, that passes the levelheaded policy test. One day, perhaps when fact checkers take a break from crunching every uncompromising decimal point in Ryan's budget proposal, they can explain how Obama's plan is supposed to work and how spending without end ends -- you know, for the kids.
Those who dominate the debate get to decide what's "radical," which is why a lot of us hoping for a dramatic change in the conversation after November. Who knows, maybe even calling for constitutional limits on the power of government won't seem so insurrectionist.