Sunday, August 12, 2012

Picking Paul Ryan: Weakness in Romney’s boldness

From the Washington Post, liberal pundit EJ Dionne on Romney's pick for veep:

But Romney picked Ryan because he was under intense pressure from right-wing elements of the Republican Party to prove, yet again, that he is truly a conservative. Romney has been trying to prove this ever since he announced his candidacy. Because he has been lagging in the polls, the right felt free to pressure him some more. Now, the right will back the ticket with enthusiasm. This really is the go-for-broke choice that conservatives were looking for. But the cost is that Romney will be unable to make a new appeal to the political center. And by passing on Sen. Rob Portman, Romney gives up an opportunity to strengthen himself in Ohio, a state that he absolutely needs to win and where he has been running behind.

The outcome of this election is now hugely consequential. If the Romney-Ryan ticket wins, conservatives will claim a mandate for Ryan’s radical budget ideas. But if Obama wins, conservatives will no longer be able to argue that the public was given a tepid choice by a philosophically inconstant Romney. A rejection of Romney-Ryan would be a huge blow to the conservative agenda. It will settle the argument over the role of government that we have been having since Barack Obama took the oath of office. This election really and truly matters.

More here.

Well, okay. Dionne is both right and wrong here.

He's absolutely right in that choosing Ryan is anything but "bold," as the conservatives were swarming to assert all day Saturday. Paul Ryan is the Nazi who proposed ending Medicare by turning the guaranteed health insurance program for seniors into vouchers to be spent in the predatory private insurance market, that is, destroying the federal program that keeps the elderly healthy in the most cost efficient way possible, without sending them to the poorhouse in the bargain. Bad medicine, indeed, but it's sort of a dream deal for the psychotic right: end all things that make life better if you're not rich. This will very likely not go over well on Main Street, and you can be certain that the Obama campaign now has tons more ammo to use in its blistering assault on the Romney campaign. But shoring up the base is what Romney thinks he needs to do; obviously getting the right wing out to vote in November is now his biggest priority, well worth alienating civilized Americans. I guess we'll see how that works out for him.

But Dionne is absolutely wrong to assert that a Romney/Ryan loss in November "will settle the argument over the role of government." No way, no how, never. The conservatives will never be convinced that government can and should do good things. Consequently, the conservatives will never give up the fight. I mean, if the financial collapse of 2007, which instantly rendered inoperative numerous conservative assumptions about how the economy functions, didn't change any minds on the right, a double far right conservative defeat for the Oval Office will barely register a second glance among the faithful. Because that's what they are, the faithful. Popular will, facts, ignominious rejection by the electorate, absolute failure of conservative ideas in the real world, none of these things can budge opinions based on faith.

So when Romney loses, and I think with this veep choice he just hammered the last nails into his own coffin, Republicans will do what they did after Obama was elected in 2008, double down on their failed philosophy. Or, I guess, at this point, it would be tripling down, but you get my drift.

The psycho right will be with us for the foreseeable future. Only demographic shift and death from old age will end the conservative grip on America. I mean, the GOP's fall is definitely going to happen. But it'll be more like twenty years. Certainly not a few months. But it will be fun to watch as their ticket fails, yet again, due to mass hallucination and stupidity. That's the funnest show of all.