Poor Paul Ryan…

Mitt Keeps Tight Grip

Mitt Romney has announced his running mate, selecting seven-term Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI) to fill the post. While I like Paul Ryan, I don’t think this choice will change the trajectory of this campaign, and like Sarah Palin in 2008, he may be the campaign’s biggest individual victim. Ryan has been inside Washington DC for nearly two decades now, a creature of the establishment who has worked for various well-known figures including Jack Kemp, William Bennett, Sam Brownback and others before kicking off his Congressional career.  Ryan is a technocrat in some respects, and while he is modestly conservative, his conservatism seems focused in the fiscal arena.  He’s been depicted by Democrats in television ads as the guy who pushed Grandma (in a wheelchair, no less) over a cliff.  What does he bring to the ticket?  Is Paul Ryan enough to save Romney from himself and a heretofore inept campaign?  Paul Ryan may be a nice guy, but is that enough in the face of a relentless attack the likes of which the Obama campaign is launching as I write?  I have my doubts, because running mates can’t overcome the inherent shortcomings of the top of the ticket, as the selection of Palin in 2008 proved, since even her talent wasn’t enough to overcome terrible advisers.  Can Ryan avoid the same fate?

Some might argue that what Ryan brings to the ticket is youth but also reliability.  After all, the seven-term Congressman has been toiling on budgetary matters for most of his career, and in the last number of years, he’s been focused on entitlements as the single largest factor in our continued deficits, and the consequent explosion in our national debt.  He was a fierce critic of Obama-care, laying out all of the ways in which it would explode our deficit, costing far more than promised by President Obama.  His willingness to tackle the entitlements issue when others ran for the tall grass earns him a gold star, and everybody should see this video of Ryan facing off with the President, explaining that hiding costs doesn’t reduce spending:

Romney is looking for a safe pick.  He wants a running mate who won’t embarrass him, but of course, Gov. Romney does enough of that on his own.  While in Norfolk,VA to officially launch his campaign, introducing Paul Ryan, Romney introduced Ryan as the “Next President of the United States…”  (We should be so lucky.)

Romney wanted a safe pick, and he got one.  Ryan is safe in every way an establishment Republican thinks is safe, but he isn’t a particularly charismatic or inspiring fellow.  He certainly seems like a nice enough fellow, but historical Republican losing tickets are littered with nice guys as running mates.  Dan Quayle is a nice guy.  Jack Kemp was a really nice guy.  What Romney’s ticket had needed was a bit more than a nice guy, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Paul Ryan except that he will not provide the boost Romney’s campaign needs.

Naturally, the Democrats were right out of the box with attacks on Ryan’s foreign policy experience, and true to form, Romney’s team countered with perhaps the most pathetic response ever:

“The ticket is no different than Obama and Biden.”

In the end, this may be why I agree with Mr. L on the 2012 election:

If the Romney campaign is going to defend Ryan’s lack of military and foreign policy experience on this basis, they’re going to lose. Who is running the Romney campaign?  To me, it looks like a re-run of 2008, with the weakest possible nominee, and a rising conservative lion in the role of sacrificial lamb.

I like Paul Ryan, and in fact, I like him too well to see him sacrificed on the altar of another losing campaign.  Just as Sarah Palin was sliced and diced by a dishonest press working on behalf of a desperate Obama campaign in 2008, I think we’re going to see the same thing in 2012 with Paul Ryan, although I doubt they could match their venom of 2008.  Why is it that for the second presidential campaign in succession, I have the distinct feeling that the Republican ticket should be flipped?

Of course, there’s one inescapable conclusion to be drawn from all of this, and it references those who Gov. Palin might consider part of the “permanent political class” of Washington DC, who move from campaign to campaign, party to party, back and forth and around again: It seems the same bunch is running the show in 2012 for the Republicans.  I noticed Elliot Abrams, who wrote a disgusting anti-Gingrich screed earlier this year was briefing Paul Ryan on foreign policy.  I noticed Andrea Saul, who worked for McCain in 2008, is doing Romney no favors in 2012.  It seems like the Romney campaign has hired many of the same faces who have remained behind the scenes, infecting Washington DC for a generation, and they all have something in common:  They know how to fight against conservatives, but they seem less than sincere in their fight against leftists.  One can only imagine why.

 Note to regular readers: Thank you for your prayers and get-well wishes as I’ve been recovering from an eye injury.  It’s still pretty sore, but on the mend. Thank you!

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  • http://twitter.com/MrLTavern Mr.L

    Great read Mark. Thanks for the shout out to my last segment.  2nd time around the GOP expects the bottom of the ticket to save their behinds. pathetic. i really never paid attention to Paul Ryan and never
    really understood the foot worship of him by some conservatives &
    pundits.  but I’ve been going over some of his record, as you have, and frankly they
    better hold of their hat because, as some of the things you mentioned about him here, I have feeling this guy is
    going to get cut up brutally by both sides.  Another thing that I have found curious about him:  he was extremely quiet during the Scott Walker vs Big Labor battle in 2010/2011 which was happening in his state.  that always struck me as odd. It’s going to be interesting to gauge what kind of bump Romney may get from this and the RNC that is if he should get one at all. We’ll have to see. re: your comment: “It seems like the Romney campaign has hired many of the same faces who
    have remained behind the scenes, infecting Washington DC for a
    generation, and they all have something in common:  They know how to
    fight against conservatives, but they seem less than sincere in their
    fight against leftists.  One can only imagine why.”  My only guess is Republican operatives continue to make the mistake of not looking at Democrats the way that they look at them.  The Dems simply view them as enemies and something to be destroyed.  The GOP doesn’t see it that way.

    • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

      Mr. L, your segments are terrific. I encourage everybody to check them out at http://mrltavern.com
      Great stuff!

      • TheresaAK

        Oh we do Mark, believe me….

        By the way, I’m glad you are on the mend….

        I look everyday for your posts….

        Thank you……

  • Kathie

    So sorry to learn of your injury, and best wishes for your recovery.

    Paul Ryan voted for the auto bailout, TARP, Stimulus, and the $2 trillion debt increase of 2011. He has been a rubber stamp for the GOP establishment in the past, and no doubt was chosen for that reason. They don’t want another Sarah Palin to deal with.
     

  • http://twitter.com/xthred xthred

    A wise man once said, “Wake me when it’s 2016.”

  • susiepuma

    The Governor stated in one of her outstanding speeches that the GOP has to do more than change the team – they have to change the uniform also —– with this pick of Ryan – there is not only no change in the team but the same uniform is there also – 14 years in the Swamp which not only makes him a GOPE, but also part of the permanent political class and a champion of crony capitalism (IOW – he’s part of the single party controlling this country – he just happens to be the R)………………. I won’t be voting for either ticket for President and I will have difficulty swallowing any Conservative support for either  R candidate – none of them represent the values and principles that Conservatives say they have and want – I’m beginning to not believe Conservatives either….

    BTW – don’t expect 2016 to be any different than 2012, 2010, 2008, etc……… lot of people talk, but very very very few walk the walk……………………….

  • Jeff1000

    Mark, whose side are you on?

    • JRD1

       Freedom loving American’s which is not your side.

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      I warned you about this. Get out of here. I don’t mind dissenting opinions, and I in fact welcome them, but the implication of this question is on par with questioning my patriotism. You’re done here.

  • Shawn S

    Fellow Members,

    I like Paul Ryan and I believe he was the best pick for Romney at this time.This just might save Romney from himself and motivate him to the right just a little.

    I have the same concerns as Mark does.

    However this is what we are stuck with. This is our ticket and we must fight to get this freeloader Obama and his family out of the Whitehouse. That is the Objective.

    Romney’s team are morons and Ryan just might be able to stear this campaign in the right direction to take back the Whitehouse. Mark I am hoping it gives the boost we need.

    As you know, Romney is not my choice. He doesn’t have the ability or knowledge that Newt Gingrich has to change this country around as of day one.

    All we can do is to point out as much as we can to his campaign the direction we want to go and just maybe, just maybe someone is listening.

    I have stayed on the sidelines after Newt left the campaign as I believe many of you have.

    I think it’s Time to make ourselves heard in the Romney camp about what direction we want to go as true conservatives.

    Lets see if we can make a difference.

    If there’s nothing to lose by trying and a great deal to gain if sucessful, Then by all means try!

    Lets start writing the Romney campaign today. Let our voices be heard load and clear.

    Thank you,

    Shawn S. 

  • Texmom

    I was OK with the pick, but mostly because it was not Rubio, whom I was afraid would be the pick.
    At this point, what can we do? Since we have no choice about who they have nominated, I’m just praying that having the honor and responsibility of the presidency might bring much more out of Mitt than we have seen before. I know it’s a tall order.

  • the unit

    Yessir.  Gittin time to play’um.  Not time to hold or fold’um, not time to walk away or to run ! Watch their sleeve carefully though. Nuttin changed there. We make it work, no place to run if we don’t.

  • meloryscott

    Mark I knew your perspective would be the only worth reading.  I did not even look at any of the other “conservative’ blogs.
     
    Everything Malkin said about Ryan in the past is still true.   I checked his voting record long ago and was NOT impressed.  He has good ideas, but I don’t think he or Romney has the guts to implement them in the face of Dem opposition.  We shall see. 
     
    Perhaps we should  give them a chance and hope they surprise us. 

    If they govern according to their RINO ways, we will be vindidated and the door will be opened for real conservatives to get elected in 2016 and start working on that sudden and relentless reform that the country needs. 

  • Kathie

    “…this is what we are stuck with. This is our ticket…”
    “…All we can do is to point out…”
    I’m rather fed up with this defeatist, collectivist message. My vote is private property, and I’ll use it according to my own judgment. I also believe that Romney’s hearing is just fine. He just isn’t that into you.

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      I’m with you Kathie… I can’t take much more of this collectivism. I just “ain’t” built that way.