Paul Krugman has already declared the Paul Ryan budget worse than pink slime. Now he's wondering why folks are calling Ryan some kind of centrist when his budget would deny health care to millions, cut taxes on the rich, and do little to fix the deficit. The trouble is that so-called centrists believe themselves to be "high-minded types standing between the partisan extremes, bringing together reasonable people from both parties—even if these reasonable people don’t actually exist."
Like many in his party, Ryan is an "extremist"—but he's "mild-mannered," so "centrists" like to make an example of him, Krugman notes in the New York Times. But Obama is the real centrist, looking for both budget cuts and revenue boosts for the budget, for example. Now, when President Obama accurately labels the Ryan budget a "Trojan horse," the "centrists" are stuck: Acknowledging he is correct "would call into question their whole centrist shtick." So they label Obama partisan: "For that is what people in Washington say when they want to shout down someone who is telling the truth." (Read more Paul Ryan stories.)