Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan!

A few thoughts:

  • I had always thought Romney's best chance of winning was by not getting to specific of what he wants to do and make this election a referendum on how shitty the economy is. By picking Ryan his campaign obviously disagrees, because this ties him to an extremely unpopular set of policy plans.
  • I said a bit of this on twitter, but there are two ways this can go as far as a debate over social security/Medicare goes:
    • 1) This forces Obama to be a much stronger defender of Medicare and Social Security, which could complicate his willingness to cut them as part of a "grand bargain" (or it might not matter at all what he says during the campaign, I've argued here that very little of what is said matters)
    • 2) The other side of this (as my dad also pointed out to me) is that this could easily turn into a contest of who is more serious about cutting medicare between Ryan and Obama. This isn't designed to appeal to anyone outside of hack DC journalists, and it seems so stupid it couldn't possibly happen... but keep in mind a chief Obama adviser spoke about how signing a deal with benefit cuts to medicare and social security would be a net positive and only hurt him with "the left", and this is the administration that spent time "courting" David Brooks, so anything is possible.
  • I understand that Romney wanted to nail down his base, but keep in mind that people in the Democratic party who study focus groups and message stuff for a living have been attempting to tie Romney to Ryan's budget looooooooong before now. Being the mastermind behind a plan to kill medicare is as Norm McDonald would say "box office poison".
  • To give you an idea about how strongly people react to the idea of Medicare cuts, many "tea party" candidates in 2010 won their elections on the dishonest idea that Obama cut Medicare in his health care bill (he did but those were cuts on the provider side, not benefit cuts, an important difference).
  • Around the country, house and senate candidates in both parties have been either running against Ryan's budget, or simply running away from their vote for it. This shit is toxic. People like Medicare, and don't want it turned into a voucher system. I'm sure Romney/Ryan have a plan to deal with that, and I'll be interested to see what it is.
Anyhow, I think that's all I have for the moment, what are your thoughts?


  1. Merry Christmas to the Obama campaign?

    Is this the best he could do? Does he actually think this is a good idea, or did all of the non-toxic potential VPs tell him to piss off?

  2. I'm pretty sure at this point the GOP can't read. Or they really want everyone to know they hate women and will no longer be persecuted for it. I'm not really ready to congratulate the Dems yet though. We can snatch defeat from victory almost as well as a Cleveland sports team can.

  3. My two favorite things about this news cycle:

    1. People speculating whether Romney would pick Paul Ryan, Condoleezza Rice or Incredibly Boring White Guy.

    2. The fact that there's a greater than even chance that this will destroy Paul Ryan's political career, and, with it, many of his most fucked up ideas.