As President Barack Obama and the Orange Man try to out-austerity each other - I think they're arguing whether Grandma gets the deluxe cat food or just the generic brand - there is one person notable in the whole situation by his absence: Paul Ryan.
One would think that this is where Ryan would be having a field day, doing his tired out song and dance about how the country will burst into flames, dogs will sleep with cats, the earth will be sent crashing into the sun, Charlie Sykes will be honest about something and all other signs of the apocalypse if we don't hurry up and sacrifice enough senior citizens and working class folks on the altar of the Almighty Dollar right away.
But instead, there is no sign of Ryan anywhere.
It's hard to believe, but just six weeks ago, Ryan was the darling of the Teapublicans. Republican women, and more than some Republican men, would swoon over his Basset Hound eyes as the Adonis of Austerity explained that the only way we could save the country was to give it all to the nice, rich business tycoons who own most of it any way.
But now that he and Mitt Romney helped torch the Teapublican party across the nation, the Teabpublicans have put him away under lock and key in an undisclosed location, like they would with an embarrassing uncle. They are aware that Ryan's continued presence would have kept the ardor and passion of the progressives at high levels and would have not allowed Obama to succumb to stepping on the third rail.
It must be quite the blow to Ryan's massive ego to realize that the best way for him to help his party is by not being there. Oh well, at least he'll still have radio squawkers and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to swoon all over him even when he doesn't do anything.
Or maybe, just maybe, Ryans's continued AWOL status is more because had no one has seen fit to let him know he could stop washing those clean dishes.