Charles Pierce has been on the Ryan beat. So he was ready.
I will amplify his point that the centrists who comprise the Beltway media love Ryan's desire to inflict pain on the 99%. Like Dancin' Dave on Meet The Press with Axelrod:
“But if you look at how dire the fiscal situation is in the country, we just came off a debt debacle this past summer. Alan Simpson responding to the State of the Union said – where's the guts? Where's the hard stuff? Where's the beef? Where are the hard choices that Americans are going to have to make? What are Americans have--going to have to do with less of if this president gets re-election?”
Or during the GOP primaries:
To Jon Huntsman:
“This is, by all accounts, an age of austerity for this country. A jobs crisis. Also a pending crisis in Washington. I wonder what specifically you would do to say to Americans, "These are cuts I'm going to make in federal spending that cause pain, that will require sacrifice?"
Later he asked:
“Governor Huntsman, name three areas where Americans will feel real pain in order to balance the budget?”
He asked a third time:
“Three programs that will make Americans feel pain, sir?”
Later he asked Rick Santorum:
“Senator Santorum, same question. Three programs that would have to be cut to make Americans feel pain, to sacrifice, if we're going to balance the budget.”(Quotes from MTP transcripts via Culture of Truth.)
This is why Mark Helperin is spurting all over the Twitter for this choice, because he and his colleagues want to see some pain. And they don't mind carrying water for the deficit hawk Big Lie if that's what it takes.