Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Ryan selection [updated]

Well, that's not the choice I would've made. In fact, as I wrote earlier, the Ryan boomlet seemed like a gift Romney could enjoy precisely by rejecting it. But no. So now where are we? Ryan has a reputation as a serious policy wonk--but he puts out tax projections based on unspecified eliminations of deductions. He voted for TARP (a point in his favor, to my mind) and then spent subsequent years building a reputation as a Randian scourge of Big Government and entitlement spending. Steep cuts in Medicare--beginning years from now--combined with endless tax cuts is not the solution I'd present to America (in fact I will be presenting an article with my own solution a few weeks hence). Of course, there's also the question of what power the V.P. will have anyway.

Will Ryan help Romney win? I tend to think not--in other words, that the increase in conservative enthusiasm will be outpaced by the increase in independents not voting Republican this year. It will be perceived--rightly, I think--as a sign of Romney's weakness and fear of the conservative base. I could be wrong. We'll see.

UPDATE: David Frum has a good post on what's right and what's deeply wrong in the Ryan plan (on the spending side; leaving aside the lack of specificity about taxes). ThinkProgress points out how this GOP ticket just became much less attractive to people who don't think global warming is a hoax. On a brighter note, I doubt many people will vote against Romney-Ryan out of fear they're aligned with "militant atheism."

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