Which Ryan plan is worse, Rep. Paul Ryan's budget or Jets coach Rex Ryan's trade for Tim Tebow?
"Tough call," said Democratic strategist Adnaan Muslim, who identified himself as a "long-suffering" Jets fan. "Both (Ryan plans) could cause deaths, nausea and vomiting."
Most Jets fans I know howled when their team traded two draft picks for Tebow, the Mile High Messiah who quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to the playoffs last season despite an inexplicable inability to regularly complete forward passes to open receivers.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan trotted out his budget plan that was so devoid of specifics that it amounted to a secret plan to cut the deficit. Bruce Bartlett, an economist in the Reagan White House, concluded that the Ryan plan could require eliminating tax breaks for health insurance, mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes and could do away with farm subsidies, college aid, food stamps and small business loans.
Paul Ryan & his budget of magic beans
To critics, both Ryan plans depend upon unrealistic projections to justify their hubris. The Ryan budget relies on magical thinking that giving millionaires six-figure tax cuts, deregulating Wall Street and health insurance companies, and cutting Medicare benefits will cause unprecedented economic growth. In reality, Ryan's budget plugs the last leaks in the trickle-down economy and has the gall to tell us it's still raining.
Rex Ryan's new quarterback is basically a preacher playing fullback whom Jets fans pray will learn -- sing along with me if you know the words -- how to hit an open receiver. Proverbs -- as well as personal experience -- teaches us that pride goeth before destruction, and that's exactly what many Jets fans see happening.
"They seem to be driven by a similar arrogance," said Dennis Yedwab, a Democratic operative who also called himself a "long-suffering" Jets fan. "Both Paul Ryan and Rex Ryan see the world in a particular way and can't imagine that others don't see that way. And in the face of evidence, they pursue extremely high-risk strategies to prove themselves correct."
Safe to say, neither Ryan plan has a ton of fans. Fewer Americans support Ryan's Medicare plan than believe divine intervention played a role in the Broncos' playoff push last year with Tebow under center, a comment both on Tebow's public evangelicalism as well as his lack of traditional quarterbacking skills -- such as throwing a proper forward pass, in case I haven't made this clear enough.
If you're new to Earth, Tebow is the son of missionaries whose prayerful pose in the end zone is known as Tebowing. The idea of Tebow playing for the famously profane Rex Ryan strikes many people as weapons-grade dumb.
Max Thompson, senior editor at Yahoo! Sports' ThePostGame.com, disagreed.
"Tactics aside, the argument that Mr. Christian won't fit in with the rowdy Jets is hilarious. Not like the Florida Gators Tebow played with were known for their graduation rates and a totally chill, super friendly coach," said Thompson, who likes the flexibility Tebow would give the Jets.
Thompson's probably right. Though his showy expressions of faith and unconventional style of play have created as many detractors as fans, Tebow has rallied his teammates wherever he has played. It's possible that Tebow will become a star in New York as a change-of-pace quarterback with his Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots-style of play. If starter Mark Sanchez complains about all the attention that Tebow gets sitting on the bench, maybe Coach Ryan could teach the story of Martha and Mary by washing Tebow's feet. And it's even possible that Tebow will figure out his mechanics and begin to throw forward passes that land in the hands of open receivers. All things are possible to those who believe.
But even if none of this happens, Tebow will play for the Jets, and that, say Muslim and Yedwab, is why this Ryan plan is worse than the Ryan budget. With Obama in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Ryan's budget is DOA. Republicans might as well tout their Ryan plan as a cure for cancer for all the good it will ever do. Because it enjoys united Republican support, Ryan's budget could result in his party losing control of Congress, but it will never become law.