Mitt Romney introduced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as “The next president of the United States” last Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia.
He was right. Mitt’s probably not going to be the next president, but Ryan could be a big name for 2016.
Rep. Paul Ryan represents the best of a policy wonk. From my view, he’s better than Romney across the board, and far more qualified in terms of commitment in conservative theory. His number-crunching puts pressure on everyone to tell the truth and not spin numbers. And though his budget numbers are just as arbitrary and pie-in-the-sky as the Obama administration’s, his theory is grounded in realistic expectations of debt, health care costs, and the changes of our economy. Sure, he puts up a few unrealistic assumptions, but he also provides a path for the GOP and conservatives to realize theory and enact policy.
First, the benefit of a policymaker in the White House is the ability to portray and communicate what Congress needs to implement. Deliberation is at the decision and discretion of the president, while the vice president acts as the political whip to the caucus. Having a no-nonsense analyst like Rep. Ryan provides not only enthusiasm for the largesse of lawmaking, but also the intellect to back it up.
However, with the selection of Ryan, Mitt Romney has also conceded the idea that his vision for America is still as-yet undefined. His choice for VP is actually more-qualified than he is in terms of fiscal strategy and policy. Rep. Ryan voted for TARP and the Auto Bailout while in Congress, but made up for it by revealing a substantial road map for fiscal health.
This map does have a price tag. The burden of fixing Medicare will fall directly on the shoulders of TEA demographics. Medicare will burn money like mad when Boomers start getting old and Medicare-prone. People want to claim their independence through old age, but truth is a cruel mistress. Most people survive by working, and after working, there’s nothing left.
Ironic, it seems, that Baby Boomers would take the brunt of the very system they funded for everyone else by electing the people to do it.
The selection of Rep. Ryan carries a lot of upside and very little downside in terms of maintaining a conservative base. With independents, however, Rep. Ryan carries solid stance on his views and beliefs, and wins more of them with his conviction and deliberation, even if they don’t agree with his talking points.
I believe independents respect the policymaker who not only stands for an ideal, but also provides a method in which to implement it.
For Democrats, it’s a bad idea to concentrate on Paul Ryan’s ideas, especially when independents carry your water. For one thing, Rep. Ryan is right about the direction of our debt and our health care. And if you attack Ryan through the same fear tactics the Bush Administration used, you’re asking for trouble. The Affordable Care Act isn’t the issue as much as it is the refusal to improve it. And just like Ryan’s forward-looking theory on Medicare, will eventually corner your party.
We don’t gain anything by remaining in status quo with the ACA. And in deference to Democrats, Rep. Ryan’s risky move to privatize Medicare may not be the best option (especially when the tea party figures out that they’re going to be in the front lines to pay the biggest price).
Rep. Ryan also brings this big debate to the dinner table. How do we address the rising costs of health care? Is an individual mandate the answer, or weaning states from our addiction to Medicaid dollars? Is there a better answer out there, rather than taxing people en masse to cover the bet? Should we address catastrophic health insurance as a qualifying health care plan for corporations instead of forcing massive cost-increases to consumers?
Aren’t these questions that should have already been answered by the current GOP nominee, and heck, the current president? Why are these questions still left in doubt when we’re just 80 days to the election?
I apologize in advance. I just don’t think Romney can win in November. While the apathy of voters is high, and the strength of tea party seems stronger (check out FL-03), the electoral math is difficult to square. Winning the White House is the home run, but in small-ball conservatism, getting runners on base will count more, especially if you start thinking about 2016, and how you want to be positioned in case the economy improves absent the politics.
People who wish to make President Obama a one-term president have wasted nearly 4 years on Donald Trump, and a hedgerow of fake conservatives who hijacked their wallets for self-enriching book tours. They could’ve spent half the time educating voters about what’s really going on in the country.
Rather than educate about bridge loans and bailouts, or addressing health care’s skyrocketing cost for care, many people will never believe that Rep. Paul Ryan voted for the auto bailouts because the auto industry jobs were vital to his district, or that Romney can’t just admit his health care plan was the same as the Dems in Congress who didn’t even read the bill. I mean, that’s just bad enough to know it’s all true, but try selling that to the base who still thinks Donald Trump represents the spirit of American entrepreneurship instead of bankruptcy manipulation.
And that doesn’t stir the base, does it? To realize that rationally-minded conservatives could ever utter the demonspeak of socialist-liberal-death-panel-communism? Or that the business icon of Little America is just like “Government Motors”?
Romney/Ryan could pull off a miracle, but I think the only upside right now is to set the stage for the next election. Two cycles for Congress might be necessary, as they’re a mess at 10% approval. I don’t think with numbers like that, we’ll see much movement from the silent majority, nor will they be inclined to listen to another 4 years of charts and promises that always won’t materialize until 10 years have passed.
VP Ryan might be a shot in the arm for many who lost faith in Romney’s campaign. But it’s 2016 that gets the benefit. We might wise up and start listening to good public servants who put theory into practice. After burning out on politics in 2012, America might reboot with rational thought.