Romney/Ryan

August 13, 2012

One of the (many) knocks that Mitt Romney has had to endure is that he is unfailingly dull and cautious. Most of the talking heads on the news programs were convinced that Romney was going to pick either Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman as his running mate. The conservative base, meanwhile, was crying out for Marco Rubio and, to a lesser extent, Paul Ryan.

From the beginning, it was clear to me that Romney was going to have to choose a running mate who would meet with the approval of the Tea Party. A dull, safe choice like Pawlenty or Portman was going to neither inspire nor invigorate the conservative base of the GOP. It’s exactly why I feared those two choices. Portman is reliably conservative, and Pawlenty was a successful conservative governor but let’s face it: they’re as dull as dishwater.

To me, Rubio seemed the smartest choice. Young, handsome, Hispanic, from Florida, and completely Tea Party-approved. Rubio may still be where the future of the Republican Party lay. Right now I’m picturing him as the second half of the 2020 Ryan/Rubio ticket.

But Romney chose Paul Ryan, a lightning rod for the Democrats, a man who was accused of trying to destroy the social safety net, who has gone on record in great detail about cuts he wants to make to government, a man who has been visually represented in an advertisement literally throwing an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman off a cliff.

Bravo, Mr. Romney. Bravo.

Say what you will about Romney, the choice of Paul Ryan was the politically riskiest pick he could have made short of hauling Sarah Palin away from Sean Hannity for another attempt. Was it a smart choice? Time will tell. The Democrats are already blasting the choice, trying to paint Paul Ryan as an extremist right-wing nut. The hatchet job they are trying to pull off will make the character assassination of Sarah Palin look tame. I fully expect the lunatic Andrew Sullivan to write blog posts claiming that Ryan’s children are Midwich Cuckoos.

But Ryan’s place on the ticket proves one thing: Mitt Romney understands the stakes of this election. For a long time, I was unsure whether he fully appreciated the gravity in the black hole of debt with which Obama and George W. Bush have saddled us. Romney in the primaries talked a good game, but it seemed that he considered our rising debt and deficit as just another problem that needed solving, not an impending crisis of nation-shattering proportions.

Paul Ryan is the serious face here. There is nobody in Congress who understands the budget, the deficit, and the debt more than he does. And he has gone on record with his solution. What Paul Ryan does as Romney’s running mate is force this election to be about genuinely big issues. This is a debate the Left claims they want, but in fact they are terrified of this. Ryan has a plan. It is not a perfect plan, but it is an excellent starting point. Ryan is not a perfect conservative, either, having voted in favor of some of the debt he now is trying to curb. But that is in the past and Ryan has seemingly seen the error of his ways and emerged as a budget hawk without sliding into the fantasy fringe of Ron Paul. The Democrats will scream and point fingers, accusing Ryan of everything from trying to destroy Medicare to forcing old people to eat cat food. Ryan will counter as he always has: eloquently, with facts and figures, charts and graphs, and a smile. I’ve watched Ryan on news shows for years now and he has never come across as someone who is less than completely reasonable and rational. The liberal opposition, meanwhile, has no facts, no charts, no graphs, and only vituperation. Most telling, they have no opposing plan of their own. As Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Paul Ryan when asked about the debt: “We don’t have a definitive solution. We just don’t like yours.”

In their zeal to attack Ryan, the Democrats have moved away from their campaign strategy to keep this election about anything except economics. The Democrats have tried to make the election about birth control, about Mitt Romney’s taxes, about whether Romney put a dog crate on his car in the early 1980s. They have been loath to discuss anything to do with the economy because it is a losing issue for them.

By picking the poster child for entitlement and budget reform, Mitt Romney has shifted the focus of the election back to the issues that really matter. And while Romney is not comfortable with conservative speech, Paul Ryan makes the case for budget and entitlement reform with great eloquence.

The Democrats are falling all over themselves now in a rush to tell the world how happy they are that Romney has picked such a polarizing figure, that Romney’s choice is even worse than John McCain’s in 2008. This is a lie. The truth is they’re scared. They should be. Ryan is not some sort of monstrous ogre who wants to throw grandma into the snow. He is what the Left fears: a living, breathing rebuttal to the vapidity of their rhetoric and the absence of their ideas.


On Dems and Death Threats

March 25, 2010

Matt Drudge is using his finest bold type today: DEMS FEAR VIOLENT BACKLASH. The MSM is breathlessly reporting about this backlash. Congressmen who voted for health care reform are receiving death threats! In Rochester, NY someone tossed a rock with a Barry Goldwater quote attached through the window of the Democratic Party office! Louise Slaughter, of the famed “Slaughter Solution,” had her office window broken! A coffin was placed on Russ Carnahan’s lawn! We’re talking real wrath of God stuff here…fire and brimstone…dogs and cats living together…

I certainly would never advocate violence, but there needs to be a little perspective here. There are cranks and knuckleheads out there in every political group, but the air time given to this is intended for one purpose only: to delegitimize the opposition. By making such a public spectacle about what are, in reality, few real incidents, the Democrats are attempting to paint all Republicans and Tea Party folks as frothing at the mouth crazies. Don’t believe me? Here’s Louise Slaughter:

“It’s more disturbing to me that Republican leadership has not condemned these attacks and instead appears to be fanning the flames with coded rhetoric,” said Slaughter, a key supporter of the bill.

Now, frankly, that’s just a bold-faced lie. The Republican leadership has been vigilant in their condemnation lest they seem to be slow in responding to this sort of stuff. John Boehner, who as House Minority Leader qualifies as “Republican leadership” said:

“I know many Americans are angry over this health-care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Boehner told Fox News Channel. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let’s do it the right way.”

I’m sure that getting a death threat can be a really scary experience, but my guess is that there isn’t a single public figure who hasn’t received a few death threats. You think Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get death threats? Sean Hannity? Glenn Beck? Ann Coulter? Michelle Malkin? I wonder how many death threats Newt Gingrich got when he was Speaker Of The House…my guess is more than a few. The difference is that these people are not trying to claim that the kooks out there are part of a wider pattern. The Democrats right now are running around with their panties in a bunch and it’s all nothing more than a clumsy pantomime of real fear.

The FBI needs to investigate some of the more outrageous acts that have taken place, like the rocks through the windows and the cutting of a propane gas line, but let’s get real here. The vast, overwhelming majority of the threats of physical violence are nothing more than a bunch of angry people blowing off steam in a way that they think will have an impact. The serious threats need to be addressed, and the rest chalked up to another day of doing business in the eyes of 300 million citizens, some of whom are too lazy or stupid to argue the facts and resort to cheap insults or threats. But painting these cranks as somehow being indicative of the much larger anti-reform movement is as wrong as claiming that the WTO riots in Seattle were part and parcel of Democrat operations. Just because a kook wears a Tea Party button does not mean that all Tea Party people are kooks.

For a particularly ghastly example of how out of touch the Left is on this, look no further than Bob Herbert’s ridiculous New York Times column on the subject. Herbert is crystal-clear that he holds the entire Republican Party responsible for a few incidents at a Tea Party in D.C., many of which can not even be verified. I thought about creating a lengthy response to his tirade, pointing out many of hateful and violent things the Left has said and done, but it’s not worth it. For starters, he’ll never read it. And secondly, it wouldn’t matter to him. People like Herbert are prisoners of their ideology and see only as far as their blinders will allow them to see.

Just recently in Canada, a speech by Ann Coulter was canceled because angry Leftists were surrounding the auditorium, throwing tables and chairs, blocking the entrance, and demanding that Coulter’s books be burned. Are all Canadian liberals to blame, Mr. Herbert? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

I sincerely doubt that these are the first death threats received by members of Congress. What is unique about the threats this time is that they give the Democrats the chance both to play the victim and to blame the whole of their political opposition in order to silence those people with shame. The Democrats with their sissy press conferences and fevered brows, fretting ominously about their safety, are speaking out in the hopes that the millions of good and decent people who make up the Tea Party movement will abandon that movement so as not to be identified with a few crazies and cranks. In the end, it’s all show biz, and it won’t work.

Violence should not be the means, but the ends of the Tea Party movement are still more than justifiable. Write, call, protest, read and understand the Founding Fathers, learn our history and the things that made America different…but leave the rocks and the threats at home.


UPDATE: Filling in for the semi-vacationing mistress of the house, Doug Powers is on the same page at Michelle Malkin’s site, while also pointing out some of the hateful speech that is coming from Democrats about this very issue: the odious James Clyburn accusing Republicans of aiding and abetting terrorism. Meanwhile Hot Air has video of Eric Cantor accusing the Democrats of fanning the flames of hatred. The difference between Clyburn and Cantor: Cantor’s right.

Fight the hype! (Well, not fight…but “peacefully protest the hype” doesn’t have the same ring, you know?)


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