Monday, August 13, 2012

Thoughts On Paul Ryan

The first thing that occurred to me with Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan was how surprised I was that it wasn't Marco Rubio. Yes, I know that Rubio had said that he didn't want the nomination, but at the end of the day, Florida matters a great deal in the electoral scheme of things, and he might have helped bring that state to the Republicans.

That occurring to me first tells you how little impressed I was by the choice.

If this was supposed to appeal to the libertarians or fiscal conservatives that are uninspired by Romney, it fails. The thing the GOP seems to not understand about libertarians and fiscal conservatives is that we do tend to look into the record of candidates. If Romney was counting on this part of the would-be coalition getting excited about the ticket because of The Ryan Budget, well, gosh, sorry, missed it by a mile or two.

First off, if Romney wanted this bloc of voters excited, they might have tabbed Ron Paul. Or Rand Paul. Or Jeff Flake, or Justin Amash. Heck, Walter Williams even. Secondly, the Ryan Budget would have eliminated the deficit by 2040.


That isn't serious. That's a joke, when we all know that no Congress has the discipline necessary to follow any plan for more than two years, let alone 28 years. For real budget hawks, that was nothing to get excited about.

Thus, the Ryan nomination is also nothing to get excited about. Cato tried to be helpful, but couldn't help but point out Ryan's horrible votes on a number of issues, because it's so obvious.

Par for the course with Team Romney. I can't see anything but a repeat of McCain's results, because while there seems to be plenty of anti-Obama animus, I don't see a whole lot of pro-Romney excitement. The Republicans need the libertarians, the Tea Party, the fiscal conservatives, etc., in order to win. They are doing nothing to get them interested.

This is especially the case when you have Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson proposing to submit a balanced budget in 2013.

Update: In case anyone thought Cato was too soft on the rah-rah for Ryan, Roger Pilon fills the breach with a near-endorsement in a post entitled "Is The American Electorate That Dumb?":
Ryan put it simply: The country’s going broke. You’d never know that from listening to the Democratic response to the pick. For that side, it’s all about what the Romney-Ryan team will take away from seniors, women, students, and the middle class — as if all of that ”stuff” were free from government. They’re counting on seniors being too senile, women being too emotional, young people being too uneducated, and the middle-class being too focused on their mortgages to understand the situation we’re in, where we borrow 40 percent of what we spend and add trillions to the national debt every year. The Ryan budget won’t push Granny over the cliff. The Obama team’s head-in-the-sand will.

And it isn’t as if the Obama team doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing. In Obama’s latest ad, run last night during the Olympics closing ceremonies, he himself states plainly that the nation faces two fundamentally different visions of where we’re going. But he talks only about government benefits, not about costs — the “Life of Julia” nonsense. It’s a cynical view of the American public — a view that this election, more than any in recent memory, will put to the test.
To which I say, "Is Cato That Dumb?" Two fundamentally different versions? Seriously? Maybe the Koch Brothers won after all.

What really is the difference between a plan to solve the deficit never versus in 28 years... which is the political real-world equivalent of never?

What really is the difference in Team Obama's foreign policy and Romney's? Or positions on civil liberties?

Has Cato fallen into the trap of 'gotta get rid of Obama because he's awful, replace with any warm body'? How can Cato so willfully ignore Gary Johnson? Johnson is so near to everything Cato promotes. Romney so far from it, and Ryan really little better. So, pretend Johnson doesn't exist?

Very frustrating, to say the least.

Hat Tip to Patriot Paul, for the link to the Pilon Cato article.

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