Mitt Romney ended the speculation and early Saturday morning on the deck of the USS Wisconsin battleship introduced Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate.
The squeals of indignation coming from the White House, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Headquarters were reminiscent of a particularly nasty scene in the movie Deliverance and proved that Romney was dead on with his choice.
Ryan chairs the House Budget Committee and is credited with being smart, a true rarity in Washington D.C. these days, both in and out of Congress. He has an affinity for numbers, leads a clean life, reportedly sleeps on a cot in his office during the session and goes home to his family every weekend as soon as his Congressional work is done.
He is revered by the conservative faction of the Republican Party but he also is highly attractive to fiscal conservatives everywhere because he knows how to shrink government without hurting "the poor" or even "the middle class," and he can prove it.
Which explains the horrendous, grating, screeching, howling cacophony of response from national Democrats when his selection was announced.
Despite the pontifications from the pundits who say Romney has given the Democrats a huge target to shoot at, Ryan is a more-than-competent communicator who not only has the skills to rewrite the federal budget but also to explain how it can be done - in layman's terms - without resorting to spin and obfuscation.
Ryan also has had plenty of practice deflecting false claims from the Democrats that his budget will harm senior citizens through changes to Medicare. Actually, his budget, beginning more than a decade from now, will give people who turn 65 at that time options that can be tailored to their specific needs, and will save billions of dollars.
People who already are over 65 and those turning 65 for the next decade won't be affected by Ryan's plan, but frankly I wish the nation's elderly could have more choice for Medicare coverage. Currently, if you are turning 65 you automatically are enrolled in Medicare for major medical issues and then given an option of having additional money taken from your Social Security income for drug plans and less drastic medical costs. Big Whoop!
If Romney and Ryan are elected this fall and sufficient like-minded Senators and Representatives turn up in the Congress it is quite possible that my children will have some real choices and real options by the time their turn to become senior citizens comes up. That would be one of the greatest gifts I could give them, rather than the institutional bankruptcy their government is forcing on them now.
It was obvious from the Democrats' responses that they know Ryan is the real deal and makes Joe Biden look like … well, Joe Biden.
I hadn't planned on watching Fox New Sunday today to see the reaction to Romney's VP choice because I really didn't want to listen to Debra Whatshernameschmaltz chair of the Democratic National Committee who was one of the guests. But when I turned on the TV to check the latest news it was already tuned to the FOX channel because I left it there before I turned in last night.
Sure enough there was Whatshernameschmaltz but she wasn't screaming about Ryan, I guess I missed that. She was, however, screaming about that lousy ad the White House likes that accuses Romney of being an accessory to murder because a guy who used to be a highly paid steel worker, who foolishly turned down a buyout from Bain Capital years earlier, blamed his wife's cancer death on Romney. The guy and his wife actually had health insurance and she did get medical coverage, and Romney had been gone from Bain Capital years before any of this happened but why let the facts get in the way of perfectly good slander?
But Whatshersnameschmaltz kept shrieking that intent of the commercial is to show that Romney doesn't understand the consequences of his actions not label him responsible for a death. But isn’t that the same thing, especially considering that the commercial features the former custodian saying that Romney was directly responsible for his wife's death? No one is buying that crap; but they don't have any other explanation for such reprehensible behavior.
Anyway I watched the later panel discussion because Democrat Joe Trippi and Republican Liz Cheney were on, and I figured I'd get some good commentary from them, which I did. I also agreed with Cheney when she said she really didn't catch everything that Whatshernameschmaltz had to say because she – Cheney – was laughing too hard. Me too.
Oh, can someone tell Bill Kristol that just because he knows a guy who served in Iraq who knows that when ambushed you charge to the sound of the guns, that concept did not arise in the Iraqi War as Kristol implied? In fact, I wrote exactly the same thing back in September 2006 when Ned Lamont challenged Joe Lieberman for Senator, after Lamont ignored a group of veterans and ran away when they booed him. Please go here and scroll down to the Sept. 11 entry.
So, it now looks like the run-up to the GOP convention in Tampa is going to be exciting and the final 60 days of the campaign are going to be barn burners. I hope Ryan not only comes out swinging, but can take the fight to the Obama/Whatshernameschmaltz's thugs with all the energy and effectiveness they deserve.
Romney/Ryan already have my vote, but it will give me plenty to write about.
Sunday, August 12, 2012