Reprinted from Media Matters
When newly-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was picked by Mitt Romney to be his running mate in 2012, right-wing media were ecstatic. Cheered by Ryan's sterling conservative credentials, far right commentators celebrated that one of their own has been added to the ticket.
Rush Limbaugh: "I don't remember a vice presidential pick that has so energized a campaign as this choice of Paul Ryan."
Glenn Beck: "Mitt Romney has picked a solid, smart conservative for his vice-presidential running mate."
Laura Ingraham: "More than anything today, we need a man with courage and clear-thinking. Ryan has both."
Mark Levin: "Paul Ryan is an excellent VP choice."
Fast forward just three years and those same commentators are now raising doubts about Ryan, when not outright trashing him in public. Ryan's sudden sin? Not being sufficiently conservative; not passing the purity test.
Limbaugh: "This whole Ryan thing hasn't made any sense to me from the first moment I heard about it."
Beck: "The 'fix' the republic needs is Paul Ryan? The man who never met a bailout he didn't like? A man who asked to be made king? 100% support and you can't vote him out? Your solution is MORE POWER FOR THE SPEAKER?!?!?!?"
Levin: "NOT SO FAST! Paul Ryan an amnesty advocate?"
Ingraham: "From misrepresenting the outrageous Fast Track &TPP to amnesty & foreign workers, list of demands, Ryan's possibly the worst Spkr choice."
Ryan's amazing free-fall from grace seems to be part of a larger race to the radical right, not only among powerful forces with the Republican Party, which now seem to be fundamentally opposed to governing and legislating, but also within key portions of the right-wing media. There seems to be a mini-stampede underway towards an extremist destination rarely seen in mainstream American politics. And for parts of the conservative media that means now demonizing former heroes like Paul Ryan.
"Conservative talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, have already denounced him as a dangerous moderate," according to Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times. "Tea party organizations are already raising money from supporters with appeals to stop any more Ryanesque budget deals."