I humbly beseech a thousand pardons for being late to this..whatever it is… but I have a valid excuse:
The selection of Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate did not, as the conservative (small ‘c’ intentional) pundits tell me it must, ‘electrify’, ‘thrill’, or ‘energize’ me. Not that I’m not a fan of Congressman Ryan (in fact, I’m not), and not because his selection tells me anything about Romney that I either didn’t already know or couldn’t easily discern, but because…well…he’s been asked to be Vice President.
Someone has to attend foreign funerals, I guess.
I imagine that when Joe Biden was chosen there was a similar attempt to rally the troops and generate the same (media) excitement that just wasn’t there, but let’s face it; being Vice President means you’re usually sitting around waiting for someone to have a heart attack, either in anticipation of an instant promotion, or of a State visit to Kathmandu to pay America’s respects to the Nepalese Junior Deputy Assistant Minister for Sewage and Trash Removal.
Come to think of it, Joe Biden would be perfect for that sort of job – the sewage thing, I mean.
Be that as it may, Paul Ryan’s elevation to presumptive Vice President does signal at least one good thing.
It means that we’re, finally, going to be told the unvarnished truth about the state of the nation’s finances, our deficits, our trade imbalances, our fucked up tax code, our super-fucked-up-and-expensive Welfare State, our dysfunctional federal government spending and appropriation process, and how they are all conspiring to kill us economically.
In other words, we’re about to have a grown-up discussion about things that Barack Obama, Joe Biden and democrats (small ‘d’ intentional) everywhere don’t want to have. We’re about to see the distinct differences between Barack Obama’s Brand X, State-run, concentration and re-education camps with hot-and-cold running misery for all, paid for by exorbitant taxes and foreign borrowing, and Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Better Tomorrow which insists on taming and starving the Federal Beast as a prerequisite to a healthier, freer economy.
In this regard, Ryan is the perfect choice, if only because he’s perhaps the one man in All of the Land who truly understands the intricacies of a Federal Budget (or as I like to refer to it, the seventy pounds of paper-with-bullshit that Congress is supposed to churn out every year). We’re all about to get an education about where the money comes from and what the government does with it that will shock and stun the fertilizer out of all us.
Of course, the Obama Crime Family…err…campaign…will do it’s level best to portray the Romney/Ryan team as nothing but the reincarnation of the old-style robber baron capitalists, who want all the useless elderly (sorry, that was redundant) dead (and why is that such a bad idea, one wonders?), welfare queens put to work in dark, satanic mills, unfettered child labor, filthy air and water, AIDS for everyone, homosexuals marched to the ovens, Blacks thrust back into chattel slavery, dogs and cats living together, women turned into June Cleaver against their will, and so on and so forth.
The two will be compared to every miscreant the human race has ever seen: Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Cardinal Richelieu, the Borgias, the Spanish Inquisition, Captain Bligh, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Charles Nelson Reilly all rolled into one.
I’m sure Ryan is ready for that; he knows how to fight back. Maybe he’ll impart some backbone into Romney, who to date, has been content to let everyone from Obama to Newt Gingrich shit all over him with little more than “Oh shucks, do we really have to say things like that?”
Considering the alternatives, Romney’s pick is about the best he could have done.
Marco Rubio as VP would simply have been pandering to Cuban-Americans in Florida, who three generations into ‘exile’ have become little more than the Western Hemisphere’s equivalent of the Palestinians. That vein has been tapped far too much, and is beginning to show meager returns. Rubio is perhaps Presidential timber, but not now.
Tim Pawlenty would have presented you with as bland a combination of candidates as we’ve seen since Bob Dole and whoever the fuck it was he picked for his VP that was so unremarkable that I can’t even be bothered to remember it, or look it up on Wikipedia. Think of it as the combination of Corn Flakes and Oatmeal, sans sugar and milk, with an extra-large dose of dull and Gratuitously Christian for added flavor. Yes, the very thought makes me throw up in my mouth, too. Think of it as The Osmunds Meet The Brady Bunch.
Most of the also-rans from the last round of primaries would have been almost unthinkable. Herman Cain showed himself to have no grasp of the facts. Michelle Bachmann sings but one note, and even that is in monotone with a creepy stare. Gingrich ran his “the media is against me’ meme into the ground before the arrogance that comes with being a genius finally gave him that self-inflicted coup-de-grace (amazingly, Gingrich changed his tune just this week – having once called Ryan’s Plan ‘right-wing social engineering, and he was right – he now supports Ryan fully. Angling for a cabinet post, are we?). Sarah Palin, for obvious reasons, was right out of the question. Any of the so-called republican (small ‘r’ intentional) leadership of House and Senate, likewise, were unthinkable, as most are prime candidates for electroshock therapy and retirement.
The fulcrum upon which the election is balanced has now shifted somewhat. The Obama campaign had been set to run on a platform of “hey, it could have been worse...” and “those guys are racist/sexist/classist and hate kittens, to boot”; it will now have to have respond on an almost daily basis to repeated jabs on the Economy, Federal Deficit, overbearing regulatory burden, overreaching Federal bureaucracy, spendthrift ways, and outright stupidity, all exposed by two guys who know what the hell they’re talking about. Of course, the one-third-to-one-half of the population that doesn’t give a shit, can’t speak English, sits in it’s own drool and bodily fluids, is illiterate, on the dole, disinterested in anything that either does not cause physical pain or excite the salivary reflex, doesn’t care about those things; they only care that someone is set to ‘give’ them something they otherwise haven’t earned. That’s Obama’s base.
The trick for Romney/Ryan is to peel a sliver of that support away, with the arguments that continuing on our current trajectory simply means dissolution as a nation, and wide-spread starvation in the wake of that calamity. And they will have to do it with pure facts, that strictly speaking, can be rather dry and boring for people used to thinking in 30-second-commercial-sized increments.
Ryan is supposed to be a whiz with the math; let’s hope he knows how to put on a puppet show with the numbers, as well, or the message will not get through.