While I am not a Mitt Romney fan I think he has made the correct choice for a running mate, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
But then I thought McCain had delivered a master stroke by picking Sarah Palin — I had never heard of her and only saw her acceptance speech and it seemed to contain the appropriate Republican talking points. I figured McCain could counter the possibility of the first black president with the possibility that a woman could have a chance at the job (if something happened to McCain or if she ran for the top job after McCain finished his term or terms).
And I emphasize that I am no fan of Romney, and in fact I think I only voted for a Republican once in my life — but I keep waiting for them to give me a good excuse to vote for them anyway. I try to be open-minded.
That aside, although I know little about Ryan, I know he is a power player in Washington and was the author of the Republican budget proposal that would gut social programs and provide tax breaks for the rich — the Republican base eats that up.
And it may be that enough voters will see that Ryan is serious about cutting the deficit even if it does cause widespread suffering and that is the medicine that is needed — sometimes the cure or treatment seems as bad as the disease.
Really, then, maybe it is Ryan who should have run for president. But he is a young upstart (well kind of like Obama was) and needs an older man with a recognizable name to get him close to the White House.
Just read a story that said this will change the debate away from Romney’s summer of gaffes and attacks against his rich lifestyle and his refusal thus far to fully release tax returns.
The debate will be on what is going to be done for the economy — ala Clinton’s, It’s the Economy Stupid.
A key provision in the Ryan budget plan is to slash Medicare and such government social programs. So many people depend upon them. And the party affiliation has no bearing on the need for them or whether someone will take advantage of them.
The only difference as I see it is that when a conservative takes advantage of a government program, he or she will feel and probably say outright that he or she deserves it and paid into it through the years via taxes. They imply that everyone else who gets the same benefits is somehow a freeloader.
There is an honest debate, though, in which voters are asked to decide whether we should move more towards forms of socialism, which we already have to some degree, or whether we should move more towards, well for lack of a better or more appropriate description, everyone on their own.
It seems to me through the years American voters have chosen a middle ground.
And actually, even though the Republicans would deny this, the Democrat and President Obama is more middle of the road or at least he has taken that approach, maybe thinking that was the only way he could accomplish anything.
Hopefully as the election draws ever nearer the debate will move away from wild accusations (from both sides) and silliness to seriousness and a more sober discussion, especially on the economic front. Or maybe that is too much to hope for.
Right now my hunch is that Obama is going to get his second term, but that is right now.