President Barack Obama is fond of discussing “bridge-building.” Granted, like most of those “shovel-ready projects” about which he used to bloviate, the bridges he builds lead to the same desolate partisan wastelands served by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s high-speed rail scheme. Facing an incumbent who has abandoned everything from the middle class to basic decency on the altar of the Democratic lust for authority, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney did something last week that Barack Obama has never considered in his short career beyond “community organizing.” Romney built a bridge spanning the gulf between mewling fence-sitters like himself and the youthful, energized and conservative core of not only the Republican Party, but the Nation itself.
In selecting Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney — who up until now seemed to be running a campaign based entirely on the strategy of allowing Obama to continue unspooling the statist, unConstitutional and arrogant rope with which he will ultimately hang himself — sent a message to the Tea Party and increasingly libertarian wing of the GOP that their voices would be heard. Granted, Romney’s occasional portside political inclinations are hardly a guarantee that those voices would be heeded; but compared to the deliberate deafness of the self-styled savior currently stepping on our collective necks, it beats nothing.
While Romney’s selection of Ryan may represent a kiss from the weak side of the Republican Party, it’s worth examining what Ryan’s presence does to Obama. To be fair, I expect Romney could have continued to simply run as the potential beneficiary of the coming National referendum on the flaws, foibles and failures of Obama. But bringing Ryan aboard is a signal that Romney, who has spent much of his actual face time playing defense against Obama shills like Reid and the corporate media, is preparing to get the offense on the field.
Although Obama is notoriously thin-skinned, taking a documented personal dislike to his perceived enemies, Ryan holds a place of honor in Obama’s personal rogue’s gallery. After all, Ryan is the man who famously needed only six minutes to deconstruct the budgetary excesses of Obamacare. In doing so, Ryan deconstructed the bureaucratic monstrosity that is Obama’s signature legislation in an exceptionally public manner, forcing Obama to rely upon the corporate media and left-wing hate groups to shield him. That’s when the Agenda Project produced the appalling “Granny Off the Cliff” ad aimed directly at Ryan.
Of course, as Vice Presidential nominees go, Ryan will compare to current Vice President Joe Biden in much the same way that the winner of the Daytona 500 compares to the kid who came in third at the local Pinewood Derby. As much as I enjoy pointing out Biden’s laugh-or-you’ll-cry intellectual deficiencies, I’m not sure that a Ryan-Biden debate will be any funnier than watching Godzilla level Tokyo. But it’s probably worth noting that just because Ryan will make Biden look like he’s been lobotomized doesn’t mean it fatally wounds Obama 2012. In 1988, Senator Lloyd Bentsen ground Senator Dan Quayle into hamburger, and it didn’t make the idea of a President Michael Dukakis any more palatable.
Ryan does swing Wisconsin back into play. The Cheesehead State barely fended off a full-court Democratic press that included violent union thugs gaining what amounted to a Presidential endorsement in the failed attempt to force Governor Scott Walker out of Madison. Where Romney carries a paternal air (albeit a slightly plastic sort), Ryan adds a no-nonsense Midwestern attitude enhanced by youthful vigor. That’s a marked improvement over Obama’s arrogant, entitled sneer combined with Biden’s bewildered fugue.
And a Vice President Paul Ryan would represent a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, which under Harry Reid’s leadership has settled into itself like a bloated Twinkie addict. Should the upper house end up split, Ryan’s presence could prompt the moribund body to produce its first budget in years — although I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath in anticipation.
Ryan is far from perfect. His signature can be found on some supersized governmental excesses — such as government borrowing for 25 more years, 3.1 percent government growth and the suggestion of the abominable value added tax (VAT). However, compared to Obama, Biden and even Romney, Ryan is Milton Friedman reborn. And if this doesn’t work, there’s always 2016 — presuming we make it that far.