On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., presented his 2015 budget proposal. The Senate Democrats did not provide any such proposal; President Barack Obama's proposal posited an unending federal deficit and massive tax increases. Ryan's proposal, by contrast, lowered the rate of increase of spending moderately (by $5.1 trillion over the next decade), struck Obamacare from the rolls, and suggested revamps to Social Security and Medicare.
This was possibly the dumbest thing Ryan could have done.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., immediately jumped on the budget proposal, suggesting that Ryan's budget came from "Kochtopia," and that it had been produced in reality by the nefarious Koch brothers. The former Clinton administration secretary of labor called the budget "cruel and unusual punishment." Ryan, Democrats claimed, was mean, nasty, heartless, brutal.
The same day Ryan laid out his blueprint for spending, Obama and his minions claimed victory for Obamacare, trumpeting their fudged sign-up numbers for the Affordable Care Act. "7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these market places! 7.1! Yep!" Obama blustered. Never mind the fact that Obama had canceled some 5 million health care plans and then threatened people with fines for failing to repurchase under Obamacare; never mind the fact that the administration would not release numbers on how many Americans had paid for Obamacare; never mind that well under 1 million Americans who previously lacked health insurance took advantage of the Obamacare exchanges to get into the market. Obama had wanted his 7 million; now he had his 7 million.
Republicans reacted with predictable confusion and outrage. They suggested — rightly — that Obama had "cooked the books." They complained that sign-up numbers did not justify the entire overthrow of the health insurance system. And Obama, the man who canceled plans, doctors and drugs for millions of Americans, responded thusly: "Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?"
This is why Republicans will lose in 2016.
Democrats understand the art of narrative. Republicans do not. Republicans would rather have Ryan wave around a 100-page budget backed by all the stats. Democrats would rather point at Ryan and say he hates children. Americans don't have time to read 100-page budgets. Case closed.
Republicans would rather complain about each and every aspect of Obamacare. They enjoy debunking Obama's falsified statistics and singling out his corruption of data. Democrats would prefer to point at those Republicans and suggest that they don't care enough about poor, sick children. Americans don't have time to wade through media falsehoods or read beyond the headlines. Case closed.
In 2016, the Democratic Party will nominate Hillary Clinton. Her narrative has already been written by the media: starry-eyed young Republican turned disenchanted leftist seeking honesty and accountability in government; wronged woman married to a charming rogue, victimized by a viciously sexist right-wing conspiracy; first lady, senator, jet-setting secretary of state; elderly grandmother called once more to public service by her ailing country. You can all but hear the music swell and the slow clap begin as she steps to the microphone.
What, precisely, is the Republican narrative? Is it Ryan's CPA-style approach to government management? Is it Chris Christie's government-as-huggable-friend Hurricane Sandy routine? Is it Jeb Bush's riches-to-riches story?
Republicans continue to lose because Republicans get distracted from story by information. Democrats continue to win because they never let information get in the way of a good story. Until Republicans figure that simple truth out, no amount of truth will put a Republican back in the Oval Office.
Ben Shapiro, 30, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News. He is the New York Times bestselling author of "Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America." He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.