Again, I love this pick. You'll have to excuse me, I'm still on cloud nine. Because this is an honest pick. I figured Romney would go Portman, which would be an attempt to obscure the fact that there is no daylight between Romney and the Ryan budget that a vote for Romney is a vote for the Ryan budget,
Now I don't give Romney any credit for the clarity that we get from the Romney-Ryan/ budget ticket. After all, I still don't think it was his choice. I think he only did this because the Right owns him and was yanking on his chain and he's too weak to be able to resist.
I give credit to the Right. They are going with their convictions. Now I think those convictions are wrong. But it shows they believe in them. Think about it: if you believe in the Ryan plan, why hide it with Portman? Again, my presumption is that this is what he would have done if he was allowed to follow his own instincts. Of course they'll vehemently deny this. But it's what I believe.
With Portman Ryan could have had his cake and eat it too a little bit. He could have claimed to be for the Ryan plan but not have total ownership of it, leaving a certain amount of daylight that he could let the indepedents falsely believe there is between Romney and Medicare privatization.
Now we have removed all doubt. No one can argue when Democrats say this is what the election is about. It also totally washes away Romney's premise over the last 4 months. This was supposedly a referendum about President Obama, where the election is about "the economy, economy, and nothing but the economy."
Now it's a referendum on the Ryan budget, Ryan budget, and nothing but the Ryan budget. Laura Ingraham just yesterday was complaining that Romney is losing. Still, she insisted that it's because he's running a weak campaign rather than that Americans are rejecting conservatism.
I think this is the view of conservatives-they honestly believe that. Not Romney who is nothing but a political hack and will say anything to get elected. But it's the view of the Right:
"I might be the skunk at the picnic but I’m going to say it. I’m going to say it clear. Romney’s losing. I don’t like to start a Friday show with this, but I feel like I must. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I know one thing: conservatism wins. When you are debating the other side on substance, when you are attacking with substance, when you are laying out a vision with passion, that marries conservative ideals to the problems of the day, you will win."
[At this point, Ingraham played a recording of Romney saying: “I disagree.”]
"When you see this happening in places like Wisconsin, when you see this happening in places like New Jersey, of course in Virginia, where we have governors that advocate conservative solutions to economic problems, they win."
"If the election were held today, Mitt Romney would lose. This is especially vexing when we have survey after survey showing that two-thirds of Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction. This is especially disconcerting when you see the numbers that came out yesterday on the voters’ confidence in America’s future: an overwhelming majority of Americans think America now is in decline and that their children’s future will not be as bright as their own. Forty-two months straight of over 8 percent unemployment."
"Each of these statistics on their own, on its own, should indicate a sizable win for a strong conservative. Mitt Romney cannot at this point be convincing himself that he’s winning. I hope they’re not. I hope the Romney campaign actually knows what’s going on with these numbers. And I hope that the strategy that has been in place, which is basically raise a lot of money in the summer, but not hit back, but not offer a clear, substantive, three-point solution to this mess that we’re in — five-point solution — lay it out for the public. I don’t care if he has to go back to the PowerPoints that he used in the road shows when he was at Bain. That’s what he’s really good at."
[At this point, Ingraham played a recording of Romney saying: “What we’re left with is a bit of a muddle.”]
See, I think Ingraham is symptomatic of conservatives-they really do believe in their ideas. They think that if only Americans can be exposed to them they will vote for them. I think she's wrong, but it's an honest opinion.
In truth, conservatism does win in certain states, districts, or counties. Nationally I don't think it can win in the future like it has in the past.. I believe the Ryan budget-Medicare privatization, ie, the rolling back of the New Deal-is a bridge too far.
My assumption is that the conservatives got all the low hanging fruit from the late 70s until 2004. Since then they have been spinning their wheels. The conservative movement has been eclipsed in part because it has won the battles that it can win. It's achieved all that it can achieve.
With all the low hanging fruit eaten, all that's left is the serious dismantling of the New Deal. Bush tried to privatize Social Security in 2005. He had both Houses of Congress and yet had to table the proposal, as the votes weren't there.
Now Ryan-the bold, serious, wonkish Ryan-tried again. My guess is that the American people will vote a resounding no. But it's a real choice. There's no obscuring what is at stake. If they vote for Romney they are saying that they are willing to reverse FDR's New Deal.
Listen to the reverential David Brooksesque terms that some in the media like to talk about Ryan in-I love it, it's so saccharine:
"Ryan’s advantages are profound: he’s young, Rust Belt, Catholic, serious, and – his top advantage – he will bring excitement and purpose to a campaign that had been devoid of both."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79598.html#ixzz23Fx3rWg2
Yes, Paul Ryan: Mr. Serious. Brooks is probably already fingering himself. I can already imagine Brooks running rehearsal with the David Brooks Choir, singing to the glory of Paul Ryan. I somehow imagine they sing a song about Ryan called, "Mr. Serious", with Aretha Franklin's "Respect" being the accompanying music. Mr. Serious! Mr. Serious. S-e-r-i-o-u-s that's what Paul Ryan is..
However some Republicans aren't so sure:
"Many outside Republican strategists, however, are already fretting that the pick will likely turn out to be political malpractice—turning off independents and older voters, who depend especially on programs that are targeted by Ryan’s budget plan that would cut entitlements."
Yes. I can see it now. You know the answer already about seniors: They will promise that privatization only hits those under 55. So don't worry old people: your benefits are secure, We just want to cut those of your children and grandchildren who have paid for your plan.
Actually judging by the way the American elderly have voted lately it might work for them. It's every other age group this might be a problem for.
What's really amazing is that the Right and Left are united on this. They both love this pick. Who's right?