Paul Ryan, having a Dunkirk moment as Republicans begin to retreat on his Medicare scheme, tells the National Journal:
“This is a Churchillian-type of moment in history,” Ryan told National Journal. “The polls are predictable. They are regrettable. But this is a unique time in our history. We can’t go wobbly.”Good grief! But it gets worse.
Winston Churchill carries a dual metaphorical meaning for conservatives. They invoke him as someone who was politically scorned and isolated for warning of a foreseeable but underappreciated danger--Adolf Hitler. They also see Churchill as indefatigable and heroic in summoning British grit, perseverance, and tenacity in the face of the Nazi blitz.How do you spell Ryan?
Many Americans revere Churchill for these same qualities, and the adoration is by no means uniquely Republican. But Republicans claim Churchill more frequently than Democrats. Ryan’s reference to “wobbly” is straight from the Iron Lady--former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher--who famously told President George H.W. Bush after the United Nations approved a resolution enforcing an embargo on Iraq that “this was no time to go wobbly … and we must not let the faint hearts grow in strength.”
Ryan, in essence, intends to be Churchill and Thatcher as the debate over Medicare's future intensifies. And Ryan thinks this is his moment.
“I was made and wired for this type of thing,” he said in an interview from his Capitol office late Thursday. “We are on the right side of history. We are ready. I talked to at least 100 Republican members in the last two days. They all told me, 'We gotta go, we’ve got to defend this.’ They are not queasy. They They are all saying, ‘Put me in coach.’ Our members are comfortable.”
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