The Hope and Change of Paul Ryan

Picking Paul Ryan is a major gamble for America.

Regular Scragged readers may have noticed that, over the past year, the once-regular daily Scragged article has become more intermittent: a few times a week, with occasional longer gaps.

In large part that's because of major ongoing disruptions in the non-electronic lives of most Scragged contributors.  There's another factor at play, however, which comes through from time to time in the articles themselves: frustration.

Yes, there was a Republican campaign to write about, but none of the competitors gave much evidence of having what the country needs, outside of the occasional Gingrich grenade.  What more is there to say about the fraud of climate change or the tyranny of the TSA that we haven't already said?  It's depressing enough to live in a dying economy without writing about how depressing it is to watch our ruling elites deliberately killing our way of life.

What we need is Hope, and a whole lot of Change.  What we get is mostly the same old timeservers and platitudes.  Mitt Romney is a decent man and would make a decent President, but that's not good enough for the critical problems we face.  Aside from the occasional spark, Mr. Romney seems just another Republican technocratic tax collector for the welfare state.

What the Romney campaign needs is something akin to the blast of conservative fervor set off when John McCain introduced Sarah Palin to the national stage.  It didn't actually work - the McCain campaign's general fecklessness, incompetence, and insider-led backstabbing saw to that - but it could have, and the power of Palin helped lead to the Tea Party and the victories of 2010.

So is there another potential conservative superstar waiting to fire of the corporate Romney campaign?  No.  Instead, Mitt Romney has taken an even greater chance:

By selecting Paul Ryan for vice president, Mitt Romney is gambling that he'll be able to win the election and is laying the groundwork to actually do what needs to be done.  This is tremendous cause for hope.

Knowing Where the Strings Are

What good would VP Sarah Palin have been?  Not much anytime soon.  Gov. Palin's strengths were on the campaign trail, firing up conservatives that make up the Republican base.  This is a tremendous asset and gave the McCain campaign the only moments of hope it had or deserved, but if somehow McCain had won, Palin would have been locked up in the Naval Observatory until the next election.

Paul Ryan is something else entirely.  He may have more charisma and verve than Mitt Romney, but only in the sense that Rosie O'Donnell is sexier than Jabba the Hutt.  Suffice to say that the R&R campaign is not going to set the world on fire with their stirring rhetoric or emotional appeals.

If, however, they manage somehow to make it into office, Paul Ryan has every ability to set the budget on fire.  It's what he's been working on for years; unlike Gov. Palin, he knows how Washington works and where the bodies are buried.

Lots of people know that, and we all suffer for it because they make Washington work for themselves.  Ryan is one of a bare handful of nationally-known politicians that offer even the possibility that they realize our government must shrink, shrink fast, shrink profoundly, and shrink regardless of the shouts of pain from media, bureaucrats, and Democrats alike.  Unlike some who realize this but have not the experience to know how to make it so in law, Ryan's time as Chairman of the Budget Committee gives him that knowledge.

Will Romney in fact use Paul Ryan that way?  We can't know, but presumably Ryan has extracted promises from his would-be boss.  What's more, Romney surely must know that the Republican peasants are close to revolting and won't look kindly on their champion being locked up far from the battlefield.

Ryan brings one more thing to the ticket: the bold colors prescribed by Ronald Reagan.  There is no way that any American will be able to look at the two sides and think they're preaching from the same notes.

Mr. Obama has spent four years staking out his turf on the ground farthest to the left: welfare for all, confiscatory taxes, Euro-sclerosis, an all-powerful unitary federal government, an end to American exceptionalism, and an end to most of our traditional freedoms.  Paul Ryan may not be the world's best orator, but he's able to make the case for smaller everything and a return to the belief in liberties ordained "by Nature and by Nature's God."  It truly is a time for choosing, and thanks to Romney's selection of Paul Ryan, America will know exactly what that choice entails.

Now, we just have to hope that it's not too late, that we've not passed the turning point of too many voters depending on big government for their livelihood.  At least we shortly will know and can move on from there.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

It is what it is. whether we like the ticket or not now is the time to unite behind R&R. The alternative is unthinkable. To disagree with the R&R ticket is to vote for obama. Get behind it and push vigorously. Neither were my picks but I realize the difference between the two options. If nothing else you can say, "Romney pick Ryan, obama picked Biden, that alone disqualifies obama."

August 16, 2012 12:02 PM
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