"Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands. He is forcing everybody else to do the same." So says David Brooks, in an effusive column about Ryan's very serious, fiscally and philosophically sound budget plan, due for full release today. Brooks' take is as much hopeful as truthful: he wants everybody else to take a realist, no-sacred-cows approach to budgeting. Hopefully this will be true within the Republican caucus and maybe even at the White House; it's probably too much to hope that legislative branch Democrats take spending cuts and tax reforms seriously, rather than screeching about how the REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO TAKE YOUR MEDICARE AWAY!
That's not to say Republicans wouldn't do the same thing, in reverse, if it was a serious Democratic plan to raise and reform taxes or cut military spending. But until such a plan is forthcoming, the Dems are the only party that faces the tough choice: should I do good for my country or for my party?