I like Paul Ryan, but

posted at 7:45 pm on June 4, 2011 by Dafydd ab Hugh

In company with Beldar, I am a big fan of the Roadmap for America’s Future, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI, 96%), Chairman of the House Budget Committee; I believe it to be the best and most feasible plan for true economic recovery in the United States… in fact, the only feasible plan; and at that only feasible in the 113th (next) Congress. But unlike Beldar, I am still rather skeptical of electing (or for heaven’s sake, “drafting”) Ryan to become President of the United States. I just don’t know enough about the man, the Commander, or the leader.

I am a bit shaken, for example, by this speech of Ryan’s, delivered last Thursday to the Alexander Hamilton Society, outlining his views (Ryan’s, not Hamilton’s) on foreign and military policy. In particular, I am troubled by the lack of specificity, of any real plan to defeat the axis of radical Islamism, of any real understanding of what such a long war entails, and especially by the “on the one hand, on the other hand” dithering that reminds me rather disturbingly of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA, 85%).

Heck, Ryan doesn’t even seem to have much of an opinion on non-economic domestic policy either, at least as far as one can tell from his official website. His interests seem somewhat limited, although if he runs, I’m sure he’ll flesh them out some; his only committee assignments are the Budget, Ways and Means, and the Ways and Means subcommittee on Health — which I presume primarily deals with health care from an economic perspective. Ryan is a green-eyeshade accountant, good on economic issues; but the presidency encompasses so much more than that!

He gives us no discussion of strategy in the long war, neither grand nor regional strategy. His only reference to our greatest cultural and wartime enemy, Iran, and its national (Syria) and extra-national extensions (Hezbollah), is almost farcical in its perfunctoriness:

In Syria and Iran, we are witnessing regimes that have chosen the opposite path. Instead of accommodating the desires of their peoples for liberty and justice, these regimes have engaged in brutal crackdowns, imprisoning opposition leaders, and killing their own citizens to quell dissent….

We have a responsibility to speak boldly for those whose voices are denied by the jackbooted thugs of the tired tyrants of Syria and Iran. [Emphasis added.]

This is straight out of Lewis Carroll:

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

Our Iran strategy is to verbally chastise them? And what else? What are we going to do to counter Iran’s determined war against us, against our allies in the Middle East and Europe, and its existential threat to Israel?

Anent Israel, he has little of substance to say:

What we can do is affirm our commitment to democracy in the region by standing in solidarity with our longstanding allies in Israel and our new partners in Iraq.

Meaning what? Does he support or oppose a Palestinian state? With what boundaries? Contiguous, even if that means Israel must be cut in half? I wish he would just spill the beans about what he really would do, were he living in la Casa Blanca.

How about the other prong of the axis: the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and other extra-national threats to the United States and the West? He never really addresses this scourge squarely; in fact, he only mentions al-Qaeda once:

Our ability to affect events is strongest in Iraq and Afghanistan, where for the last decade we have been fighting the scourge of global terrorism. In these countries, we can and we must remain committed to the promotion of stable governments that respect the rights of their citizens and deny terrorists access to their territory.

Although the war has been long and the human costs high, failure would be a blow to American prestige and would reinvigorate al Qaeda, which is reeling from the death of its leader. Now is the time to lock in the success that is within reach.

Would anything here sound strange or bizarre coming from George W. Bush — or Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ, 73%), John Kerry, or even Barack H. Obama? This is simply hand-waving: He recognizes that since we have troops in those two countries, we have more of a say there; that we like stable governments that respect rights; and that it would be bad if we screwed up now. It tells us exactly nothing about Ryan’s strategy for the Middle East and Central Asia.

What’s his plan for eliminating, or at least crippling, the wave of violent, anti-American, anti-Jew, anti-democratic, thoroughly radicalized Islamism? Has he one? Has he even thought about it?

Ryan does recognize that there’s a series of revolutions going on in Arabia (or perhaps one many-headed, revolutionary hydra). Here is his prescription, such as it is:

In the Arab Spring we are seeing long-repressed populations give voice to the fundamental desire for liberty [on the one hand...]. But we are also seeing the risks that emerge when the advancement of freedom is stunted for want of the right institutions [on the other hand]. In such societies, the most organized factions often lack tolerance and reject pluralism. Decades without a free press have led many to treat conspiracy theories as fact.

It is too soon to tell whether these revolutions will result in governments that respect the rights of their citizens [on the one hand...], or if one form of autocracy will be supplanted by another [on the other hand]. While we work to assure the former [on the one hand...], American policy should be realistic about our ability to avert the latter [on the other hand].

I hate that formulation, which Kerry made famous in 2004; I suppose it’s intended to sound above the fray, taking the long view, seeing all sides. But what the heck does it mean as a practical matter?

  • What criteria should we employ to separate new “governments that respect the rights of their citizens” from those where “one form of autocracy will be supplanted by another?”
  • Should we help the revolutionaries that appear to fall in the first category?
  • If so, how? With American forces, with arms, with “advisors,” with humanitarian aid, or just with brave words of exhortation?
  • Should we interfere with revolutions that appear more like the latter category, say those that appear headed towards creating a sharia state ruled by Hamas or the Ikwan, the Muslim Brotherhood?
  • If so, how? Merely with strong words of denunciation, with monetary aid to the existing government, with intelligence sharing and advice, or with actual U.S. troops helping put down the latest incarnation of the Moro Rebellion?

It’s nice that he hopes the rebellions are led by democratic republican nation-builders; but as the saying goes, hope is not a strategy. What actual policies would Ryan push?

Ryan tells us he opposes promiscuous budget-cutting in the Department of Defense (though I’m sure we already knew that):

A more prosperous economy enables us to afford a modernized military that is properly sized for the breadth of the challenges we face. Such a military must also be an efficient and responsible steward of taxpayer dollars in order to maintain the confidence of the American people. The House-passed budget recognizes this, which is why it includes the $78 billion in defense efficiency savings identified by Secretary Gates.

By contrast, President Obama has announced $400 billion in new defense cuts, saying in effect he’ll figure out what those cuts mean for America’s security later. Indiscriminate cuts that are budget-driven and not strategy-driven are dangerous to America and America’s interests in the world. Secretary Gates put it well: “that’s math, not strategy.”

But what is Ryan’s vision of the ideal military for the United States in 2013 and beyond?

  • What mix of traditional combat units and units organized more for counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare does he forsee?
  • What mix of expensive high-tech and cheaper low-tech?
  • How much should we rely on air power versus boots in the mud?
  • How much should we invest in battlefield intelligence — including exotic (and expensive!) new intel platforms?
  • What is his position on gays being allowed to serve openly in the military and women being allowed to serve in overt combat roles?

On virtually every issue other than the budget and intimately related programs, Paul Ryan’s policies seem vague, if not MIA, a fluffy cloud of good wishes and skyhooks. I’m not saying he doesn’t have specific visions or ideas about them, nor even that they would be antithetical to my own positions; I simply can’t say, because he won’t enunciate his non-economic positions with clarity and precision.

In fact, if you read the entire speech, he appears observe everything on America’s plate through the crystal goblet of economic policy. For example, he is scornful of President B.O.’s proposal to cut $400 billion from the Pentagon budget (over some number of years), yet proud of his own proposal to cut $78 billion — solely (it seems to me) because Ryan’s plan, unlike the president’s, is that of “an efficient and responsible steward of taxpayer dollars in order to maintain the confidence of the American people.”

Well that’s fine. It’s nice to be fine. Who could be opposed to efficiency and responsibility anent taxpayer dollars? But given the military’s function, there are other overriding concerns.

Ryan mentions grand strategy as an afterthought, never making any attempt to define it or flesh it out. He is either unaware of (or uninterested in) designing a force structure based upon the missions we expect them to undertake; he focuses instead like a laser pointer on how much we can afford to pay.

And what about non-economic, non-budgetary, domestic policies? Where does Ryan stand on vital issues such as:

  • The right to self defense (on his website, he sees gun rights only in terms of “Sportsman’s Issues”)
  • Defending DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act
  • Card check (I presume he’s agin’ it, but has he ever said so in a policy speech?)
  • The misuse of the Endangered Species Act to shut down farms, recreational facilities, factories, power plants, and suchlike
  • A federal law requiring picture ID for federal elections and allowing states to implement the same requirement for state and local elections

Hard to say where he stands, as not a single one of these issues is so much as mentioned on his website.

He does discuss immigration policy; his position is quotidian within the Republican Party, falling somewhere between Hugh Hewitt and John McCain — e.g., he supports 700 miles of actual fencing plus a “virtual fence,” but he opposes an immediate “path to citizenship” for existing illegal immigrants. Nothing here but standard positions that could be enunciated by 90% of the Republican congressional conference.

His energy policies seem adequate, though I’m not a fan of his insistance upon “alternative energy” and “conservation” (the latter means continuing to increase the CAFE (combined average fuel economy) standards by government fiat, rather than allowing the market itself to take care of the problem. Again, there’s nothing original or particularly interesting here: He wants to streamline regulation of gasoline refining and nuclear power plants. I can’t tell if he supports ethanol subsidies.

None of this gives me confidence that Ryan would be a leader on any issue other than the economy. None of this encourages me to call for him to be drafted into the presidential snoozeapalooza.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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In particular, I am troubled by the lack of specificity, of any real plan to defeat the axis of radical Islamism

“Radical Islam” is a bondage of the mind PC term used to try to divert attention from Islam. In Islam the ‘radicals” are the apostates.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Very weak in foreign defense.

How about: the mullcracy will come to a final and deserved end on my watch.

AshleyTKing on June 4, 2011 at 7:51 PM

He gives us no discussion of strategy in the long war, neither grand nor regional strategy.

Long wars are for losers.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:52 PM

If I were to construct a Defense Force I would furnish it with generals with qualities and characteristics which the present ones lack. They would not stoop to ask for any of their soldier’s compliments, praises, flatteries for political correctness; and they would be far above exacting them. I would have them as self-respecting as the better sort of men in these regards. They would hold nothing greater than loyalty to the United States Constitution by their sworn oath conferred; not that born of promotions politically contracted for. They would not have hubris — a trait so small that even civilians despise it in each other. They would not have the spirit of any respect for Islam in their hearts. Then it would not issue from their lips.

The current generals would spend some of their remaining years in Leavenworth trying to forgive themselves for spending so much of their nation’s treasure and wasting so much of their troops blood with their Islamic Great Society Nation Building when they could have secured their nation’s southern border at much lower cost and loss of life and they would spend the rest of their remaining years in Leavenworth studying the United States Constitution and the life and words of General George S. Patton.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM

I like Paul Ryan, but he is a RINO.

Palin 2012.

bayview on June 4, 2011 at 7:54 PM

And Obumba was much more clear during His candidacy?

Dingbat63 on June 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM

What criteria should we employ to separate new “governments that respect the rights of their citizens” from those where “one form of autocracy will be supplanted by another?”

That’s easy. If the governments have Muslims, it’s the later.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:56 PM

What mix of traditional combat units and units organized more for counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare does he forsee?

There should be none for Islamic Hearts-and-Minds COIN. COIN is for morons.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

None of this gives me confidence that Ryan would be a leader on any issue other than the economy. None of this encourages me to call for him to be drafted into the presidential snoozeapalooza.

I appreciate the analysis but it was unnecessary. Paul Ryan has been very clear and firm about not running in 2012.

He’s stated that he’s focused on getting his plan through Congress. That, I think, is as equally important as getting a Republican in the White House.

Conservative Samizdat on June 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I really like Paul Ryan, but he needs to stay doing exactly what he’s doing now.

Oink on June 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Lot of ink spilled on a non-prez candidate.

davidk on June 4, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Rick Santorum and Herman Cain will be giving speeches on C-SPAN shortly

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

commodore on June 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

What mix of traditional combat units and units organized more for counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare does he forsee?
=========================================================

Speaking of COIN!

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Left Of Bang
************

Like Boom! (“The whole world is 808ing”)

Great Satan’s Defense Science Board at DoD just unleashed the essential Task Force on Defense Intelligence’s Counterinsurgency (COIN) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations (PDF – and oh, it’s fully crunk mon frer’)

Future interventions and ops for COIN Ops to be planned, plotted and prepp’d for include:

COIN(PDF)
**********

http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/2011-05-COIN.pdf

“…Land of the Pure, Mexico, Yemen, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma for the elderly), Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Congo, Ethiopia, Palestine, Eritrea, Guatemala, Colombia, Pyramidland, Wahabbi Arabia, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Lebanon and (perhaps the best part of all) numerous autocratic regimes…”

Sweet!

Obviously a get the worst first mentality is implied – but still – totally makes the case that being cool, clever, desirable, hot!, funny, smart and fashionably coutur’d (along with a 30 year in the future military) at the same incredible instant bears certain costs as the world’s hyperpuissant. The only one of her kind!

Finally declassified, we can all enjoy the SUBAR (sexed up beyond all repair) ‘When in doubt – knock ‘em out” meme sweetly laid out on pages 17 – 18:

“The Task Force concluded that if Great Satan’s hot desires and delights is to deter and prevent COIN situations from becoming major conflicts more emphasis should be placed “left of bang” (before the need to make a major commitment of combat troops) and while the insurgency is still in its incipient phase.

“As the PDF’ing 2011 National Military Strategy of Great Satan notes: “Preventing wars is as important as winning them, and far less costly.” There are many reasons to consider this shift to “left of bang.”
(More…………)

http://greatsatansgirlfriend.blogspot.com/2011/06/left-of-bang.htm

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 8:04 PM

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Include the words of General George Washington, while you’re at it. Patton certainly knew Washington’s views on war, and believed them.

Freelancer on June 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Show me any Republican leader with a sensible foreign policy plan. Has anybody in the Republican leadership come out and said this asinine notion that we can somehow spread “freedom” and democracy in Islamic nations has failed and it’s way past time to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan? The first one that does will have my respect.

lowandslow on June 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

On a side note,Obama has less credibility and experience,
in any form,on Foreign Policy!

H*ll for that matter,a Girl Guide is more experienced than Obama!

I would assume,Paul Ryan at least,has America close to his
heart,than say,Hopey Warrior in Chief does!!

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Yes, Obama met the same exacting standards of the author.
Jesus, what a waste of reading time.

Upon economics and everything related to hangs our countries future.

Why are we debating Syria?

rickyricardo on June 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

I like Paul Ryan, but he is a RINO.

Palin 2012.

bayview on June 4, 2011 at 7:54 PM

To the Palin muppets, everyone but her is a RINO.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

The Pubs are still in cold war mode.

Time to cut the D budget big time and make some priorities.

Ryan would reign in the defense budget according to what the numbers are allowing. No more pie in the sky “democracy” fots all BS.

rickyricardo on June 4, 2011 at 8:31 PM

To the Palin muppets, everyone but her is a RINO.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Yeah, its a stunning development that the GOP Democrat-lite party is just chock full of RINO’s. That just came out of left field.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I like Paul Ryan, but he is a RINO.

Palin 2012.

bayview on June 4, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Good Lord in heaven above. SHUT UP ABOUT PALIN. Palin is ONLY supported by die hard conservatives that post on Hot Air. She is unelectable. Even SHE doesn’t believe she can win. She wants to be a kingmaker, and thanks to those of you that trash everyone BUT Palin, we are going to be stuck with Obama for 4 more years. Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land and get serious about ousting Obama!

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Yeah, its a stunning development that the GOP Democrat-lite party is just chock full of RINO’s. That just came out of left field.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM

No.

What’s stunning is the disgregard for how the word RINO is tossed about. So far, I’ve read on HA that Bolton, Bush, Ryan, Krauthammer, as well as pretty much every other well known Republican is a RINO.

It’s bullshit.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

America’s “exceptionalism” is just this–while most nations at most times have claimed their own history or culture to be exclusive, America’s foundations are not our own–they belong equally to every person everywhere.

Paul Ryan said this in the same speech. It’s a very interesting view of America. The country really doesn’t belong to us. We are not it. It’s just abstract idea. If you take us out of the picture and substitute another people- The US would the same. If you take our Founding Documents and export them to another continent for another people entirely, the same society would result.

This is really stunning.

sartana on June 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Good Lord in heaven above. SHUT UP ABOUT PALIN. Palin is ONLY supported by die hard conservatives that post on Hot Air. She is unelectable. Even SHE doesn’t believe she can win. She wants to be a kingmaker, and thanks to those of you that trash everyone BUT Palin, we are going to be stuck with Obama for 4 more years. Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land and get serious about ousting Obama!

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

You just kicked a hornets nest. Except a swarm of very pissed off Palin (peace be upon her) supporters.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Nope. Not gonna do it.

davidk on June 4, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Bush, Ryan, Krauthammer… …pretty much every other well known Republican is a RINO.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Nope, with the possible exception of Bolton everyone you mentioned is a RINO.

Bush wasn’t much of a conservative, Krauthammer was an anti-Reagan Democrat and Ryan’s voting record tells a story of overspending. Ryan is talking more sense now but its just talk so far.

The Republicans have for too long acted as little more than slightly more financially responsible Democrats.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Ryan’s bill is toxic so I don’t think him running for president is a good idea if we want to win back the white house.

Anyone who wants Palin to win the nomination wants 4 more years of Obama plain and simple.

TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Palin is a RINO

She supported amnesty
She started a climate change subcommittee in Alaska
She put a windfall tax on the oil companies
She accepted most of the stimulus money from the Obama administration for Alaska.

TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM

You just kicked a hornets nest. Except a swarm of very pissed off Palin (peace be upon her) supporters.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

At least I still bother to show up on some of these posts; The crazy Palinista’s have chased off a huge percentage of regular posters- and let me say, if in some bizarro stretch of circumstances, Palin is the conservative nominee, I WILL vote for her, but it’ll be the ultimate waste of time. She will never win over the American majority, and we will be stuck with a smug, still in over his head, man-child President.

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Sigh. I’m to the right of Rush but I guess I’m a RINO in this crowd.

Question: are we being infiltrated by Obumbaite trolls that call everyone a RINO just to create hate and discontent?

Dingbat63 on June 4, 2011 at 8:53 PM

WHAT IS COHERENCE?

Coherence is the unifying element in good writing. It refers to the unity created between the ideas, sentences, paragraphs and sections of a piece of writing. Coherence is what gives a piece of writing its flow. It also gives the reader a sense of what to expect and, therefore, makes the reading easier to follow as the ideas appear to be presented in a natural, almost automatic, way.

When writing lacks coherence, the reader is forced to stop and reread. Occasionally, the reader may just give up out of frustration.

For example:

Ryan’s bill is toxic so I don’t think him running for president is a good idea if we want to win back the white house.

Anyone who wants Palin to win the nomination wants 4 more years of Obama plain and simple.

TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

davidk on June 4, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Mad Man McCotter killing it on C-SPAN right now

commodore on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Allah -

If you are lurking, here’s your quote for today – Howard Dean thinks it’s possible for Palin to beat Obmama:

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/164765-howard-dean-warns-palin-could-beat-obama-in-2012

No need to thank me.

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Mad Man McCotter killing it on C-SPAN right now

commodore on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Mad Man McCotter killing it on C-SPAN right now

commodore on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

What’s that mean? I terporarily cannot get CSPAN,

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM

bw222 on June 4, 2011 at 9:09 PM</blockquote

Face it unless Obama is caught working for a terror cell during the GE palin can't win.

TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Good Lord in heaven above. SHUT UP ABOUT PALIN. Palin is ONLY supported by die hard conservatives that post on Hot Air. She is unelectable. Even SHE doesn’t believe she can win. She wants to be a kingmaker, and thanks to those of you that trash everyone BUT Palin, we are going to be stuck with Obama for 4 more years. Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land and get serious about ousting Obama!

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

They’re not serious. They just want to have a laugh and a good show on the way to slaughter.

rickyricardo on June 4, 2011 at 9:24 PM

She put a windfall tax on the oil companies
She accepted most of the stimulus money from the Obama administration for Alaska.

TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM

TimeTraveler:
=================

Windfall tax lets Alaska rake in billions from Big Oil
*******************************************************

While Congress and the presidential candidates debate the wisdom of a windfall tax on oil companies, Alaska has already imposed one, hauling in billions of dollars in new revenue for the state treasury.
August 10 2011
****************
*****************

Republicans in Congress this June united to defeat a proposed windfall tax on oil companies, deriding it as a bad idea that would discourage investment in U.S. oil exploration.

Things worked out far differently in the GOP stronghold of Alaska, a state whose economic fate is closely tied to the oil industry.

Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska’s Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry — a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.

(So,Sarah turned Alaska into a Filthy Dirty Rotten Rich
State!)
=====================================================

Some of that new cash will end up in the wallets of Alaska’s residents.

Palin’s administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices, which are among the highest in the country.

That check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account.

State Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat who supported the windfall tax, said the oil companies ” … were literally printing money on the North Slope. We decided to strike the balance a little bit more on our side.”

(I’m stunned,a Liberal agreeing with Sarah on Windfall Taxes)
========================================

Democrat Barack Obama supports a national windfall-profits tax, while Republican John McCain opposes it

(And,Hopey/Changey also agrees)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008103325_alaskatax07.html

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Crap,I pulled an Obama Gaffe,should be

August 10 2008!!

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land and get serious about ousting Obama!

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

QFT.

This article seems very premature going off on Ryan about a range of foreign policy specifics. He doesn’t need to get into those kinds of specifics at this point and it’s probably not a bad idea to keep certain foreign policy stuff to a minimum to keep the focus on the economy where Obama will likely be most vulnerable. Blast Obama on certain foreign policy stuff where is he is vulnerable(like Israel)and just touch on other stuff. As long as he is not promoting crazy foreign policy ideas or making serious blunders then that should be fine at this point.

gumble on June 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM

He’s a RINO……

No more RINOs!!!!

PappyD61 on June 4, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Mad Man McCotter killing it on C-SPAN right now

commodore on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

commodore:I’ve got CSPAN site up,ready to pull the trigger!

Which event??

This one??
———————-

ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Conference Continues

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Won’t be intimidated from using the term RINO!

Bush 41…….RINO
Bush 43…….RINO
McCain………RINO
Huntsman, Romney, Ryan, Christie, Dole, Mitch McConnel, the GOP leadership in the House, etc, etc.

The GOP has been infested with Big Gov Progressives for decades!

Maybe in a sense the list of RINOs above should really be that THEY are the real Republicans and Conservatives are the true RINOs!

PappyD61 on June 4, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Won’t be intimidated from using the term RINO!

PappyD61 on June 4, 2011 at 9:51 PM

PappyD61:I have the Great RINO Purgation List,
d*mn the torpedo’s,keep firing away
Pappy!:)

canopfor on June 4, 2011 at 10:01 PM

I could not disagree more. You’re talking about this speech like it was a “Here’s what I’d do if I were president” type speech. At the moment he isn’t running.

There are different kinds of speeches, some are about hard policy and what you would do in particular cases. Some speeches are about philosophy and what your core beliefs. This speech was more of a philosophical speech not a policy speech. And as such it was excellent.

And here’s a bit of knowledge: everything else, EVERYTHING, is moot unless we fix our economic and fiscal issues. Our foreign policy won’t matter, our domestic policy won’t matter, nothing will matter if we don’t solve our fiscal problems.

Paul Ryan is THE best person to fix our fiscal problems and that’s why we need him to run.

Kronos on June 4, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Hey Mr Hugh, I loved that Doom novel.

I think Ryan is a perfect example why political careers do – and should – tend to split along legislative/executive lines. The positions Ryan must take to be an effective lawmaker make him not credible as a Presidential candidate.

There’s a reason why Obama is the first legislator since JFK to be elected President – and both Obama and JFK’s opponents were also legislators.

HitNRun on June 4, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Won’t be intimidated from using the term RINO!

Love the exclamation mark. Really drives it home.

Weirdo.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 10:16 PM

They’re not serious. They just want to have a laugh and a good show on the way to slaughter.

rickyricardo on June 4, 2011 at 9:24 PM

I disagree. I think they’re dead serious…which makes it all the more enjoyable when she get’s obliterated during the nomination.

Maybe then they’ll leave HA for good.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 10:18 PM

It consistently amazes me how dull the anti-Palin crowd is that they will jump the shark and take any troll bait that shows up.

Somehow I doubt the value of the advice anyone who believed:

I like Paul Ryan, but he is a RINO.

Palin 2012.

bayview on June 4, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Was a serious post.

You Eeyores need to stop dragging everyone down and make an active effort not to be useless. Your incessant whining, overly defensive nature, and incredible sheepiness is truly revolting, and the only place following such pavlovian reactionaries will lead to is four more years of Obama.

BKennedy on June 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Ryan does not have to be foreign policy wonk right now. Chief executives have technical experts who help with specific policy formulations. What a good executive does is appoint good stewards for areas where they are experts and then the Exec focuses on a few areas where the losses are greatest to work on fixing them and then moves on to fix something else. You cannot focus and be an expert on everything at every moment and no leader ever was. Being able to build and retain a good team is more important than being omnicient.

KW64 on June 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM

You Eeyores need to stop dragging everyone down and make an active effort not to be useless. Your incessant whining, overly defensive nature, and incredible sheepiness is truly revolting, and the only place following such pavlovian reactionaries will lead to is four more years of Obama.

BKennedy on June 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

You must be new to HA.

Hello.

The opinion quoted in your post is a daily theme on HA. Perhaps you’re not as insane as 95% of the Palin supporters here, and for that, I’m thankful.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Good Lord in heaven above. SHUT UP ABOUT PALIN

The funny thing about the Palin supporters smacking Ryan is that Sarah Palin herself is the only one to have endorsed Ryan’s Roadmap and his current budget.

As for a the criticism of Ryan’s foreign policy in this post. Are you really going to criticize his foreign policy after one speech? Last night’s speech was about choosing to lead instead of choosing decline and the acceptance of American exceptionalism. Two general ideas, not policy specifics.

As for the RINO stuff and amnesty stuff, he’s got one of the higher conservative ratings on immigration in Congress. Yes, he voted for TARP and has explained his vote fairly well. If you are against Ryan because of that, you would have been against Reagan because he made some unconservative decisions too as governor.

cpaulus on June 4, 2011 at 10:33 PM

I gave up on reading this after about the third paragraph. You object to the concept of speaking boldly? What did, say, Reagan do, if not speak boldly to Gorbachev when he said, tear down this wall?

What did Obama not do when the Iranian street was looking for sustenance from us? For days he spoke not at all, and when he finally spoke (tragically too late) he spoke timidly and muttered about meddling in the affairs of others. He only speaks boldly when it comes to pointing out what he perceives as fatal flaws in America; He never speaks boldly to defend us. Sure he fakes it from time to time with faux acting school patriotism, but he is as insincere as a weasel. Ryan, on the other hand, has demonstrated that is all about boldness and courage.

Buy Danish on June 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

For all of you convinced that Candidate-X or Not-Yet-Declared-Candidate-Y is incapable of winning, I offer this.

There are two people in America who couldn’t win against Obama:

1) Charles Manson. Not for the seemingly obvious reasons… he simply would support the same type of policies. At least I read that the other day.

2) Michael Vick. That pet thing was simply too repugnant for Americans to stomach.

Other than that, anyone could win against Mr. $5-Gas.

Quitcherbitchin’, already.

beatcanvas on June 4, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Kronos on June 4, 2011 at 10:07 PM

+1. And with that I have to shut it down for the night and won’t be able to see where this thread goes until tomorrow nite, at best.

Buy Danish on June 4, 2011 at 11:05 PM

As for the RINO stuff and amnesty stuff, he’s got one of the higher conservative ratings on immigration in Congress.
cpaulus on June 4, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Not sure where you’re getting your information on the “amnesty stuff”, but you’re dead wrong. Of the 242 Republicans in the House, only five have a lower immigration grade from Numbers USA. Ryan has an F on amnesty and F- on reducing foreign workers and ending chain migration.

Ryan has cosponsored five amnesties, including the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, which was identical to a bill introduced by Kennedy and McCain and would have granted amnesty to virtually every single illegal alien in the country and massively increased legal immigration.

Read the entire text of his speech Thursday. It should scare you, it did me.

TxAnn56 on June 4, 2011 at 11:29 PM

These people like Ryan and Christie, they’re good in the areas their good in, but clearly too RINOish on other matters. It’s just terrible the way those two keep telling everyone how much they crave the job. She on them for seeking the presidency.

Seriously, people, how many times do they have to say no? You guys have already made Christie practically suicidal.

If the big man finds a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I’m blaming the entire Hot Air commentariat. And Sarah Palin too, cause her mind control is obviously behind a lot of this.

RINO in Name Only on June 4, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Please, I beg you- stop living in la-la land and get serious about ousting Obama!

anniekc on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Follow electable Mitt or Tim to the Promised Land! LOL And you say Palinistas are in la-la land.

Ryan’s not running. Look for some other ABP candidate. Scott Brown 2012!!! I remember seeing that a lot a year and a half ago.

pseudoforce on June 5, 2011 at 12:11 AM

ot sure where you’re getting your information on the “amnesty stuff”, but you’re dead wrong. Of the 242 Republicans in the House, only five have a lower immigration grade from Numbers USA. Ryan has an F on amnesty and F- on reducing foreign workers and ending chain migration.

He has an 83% rating from USBC

http://www.ontheissues.org/Notebook/Note_06n-USBC.htm

He says he doesn’t support amnesty.

http://paulryan.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=9970

If he’s pro-amnesty, I guess Palin is too. His stance on immigration isn’t too far off of hers.

cpaulus on June 5, 2011 at 12:17 AM

I see your point, and prior to Obama’s election these issues were probably important. But that’s just it: Obama broke the mold on what it takes to be president and obviously it doesn’t take much. We elected a shallow, dimwitted man of no accomplishment other than having wrote two autobiographies before the age of 45. Ryan is so much more qualified for the job than Obama, and he’s also intelligent.

WarEagle01 on June 5, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I read this expecting to think Dafydd ab Hugh an idiot. My opinion of him is exactly the opposite of what I thought. But I do want to say that I think the problem with Ryan on these issues is that he hasn’t been forced to think in the long run about foreign policy. I do believe he will be close to Dafydd ab Hugh when he does.

thuja on June 5, 2011 at 12:49 AM

I read this expecting to think Dafydd ab Hugh an idiot. My opinion of him is exactly the opposite of what I thought. But I do want to say that I think the problem with Ryan on these issues is that he hasn’t been forced to think in the long run about foreign policy. I do believe he will be close to Dafydd ab Hugh when he does.

thuja on June 5, 2011 at 12:49 AM

Right. I’m really late to this thread, but may I remind those of you concerned about Ryan’s lack of Foreign policy cred, that Obama was elected with far less. In fact he had no cred in anything… Still doesn’t…

sandee on June 5, 2011 at 12:57 AM

It’s bullshit.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Of course… did you just notice that about the comments?

lexhamfox on June 5, 2011 at 1:17 AM

so i just tried to argue with the tent city people outside the capital. I’m ashamed to say I was bullied into silence. I feel completely alone in a world full of lunatics right now. All of these middle class white people said I had a middle class white person’s point of view. I feel like I have nothing left in me to give. You win this round Madison. I can’t do it by myself.

sammypants on June 5, 2011 at 1:49 AM

There’ something missing -seems to be your take. It’s just about money – seems to be your take.
And you’re so right!
But nowhere do you talk about what brought all this disaster about -the moral sphere? (Other than don’t touch my bucks, I can handle it better)
What about the corruption of our culture, our schools, our children, the wanton irreversible mass slaughter of innocent life.
What about the soft slavery of the black community by the great state? Can they ever be freed from politically beneficial victimhood? Turning those many young men into doctors and technicians instead of criminal wards of the state, those girls having babies without fathers would have a massive economic effect -how come his budget doesn’t speak to that untouchable stuff? Fixing that alone will restore much of the economy and even more importantly restore the dignity as self-worth of an entire community.
How about the eco-worshippers? Does Ryan plan to separate the whacko left from legitimate conservation and stewardship? Green after all, is the new red.
How about getting the left/unions out of all education and return it to what it should be-not a propaganda agency for anti-decency and anti-freedom politics – but a process of seeking and transmitting objective truth.
The media, does he feel he can put new paint on America’s surface without cleaning up the destructive rust in her underbelly? What about the filth from the left in all entertainment that ensnares innocent children to become anti-capitalist -anti-God – anti-moral –anti- decency?
(cont)

Don L on June 5, 2011 at 5:08 AM

What about our corrupted courts making law? Why have impeachments when no one dares to use it?
Fiscal clarity is fine -but to be naive enough to think you can alter our great fiscal abuse and people abuse without a strong moral (that God thing) base is utter foolishness.
What the fiscal right doesn’t get is that people who will casually kill our innocent unborn with impunity, will steal our money, our property and our freedom with no regret, just as a car thief won’t hesitate to steal a pack of cigarettes.

Then there’s dealing with the silence about an unbelievable move by the entire left to turn us into a socialist controlled state; the unchallenged stated desire for a civilian army by the CIC, the politicalization of science, (those grants/money to the UN for the IPCC to tap our wealth)The international and North American union danger to our freedom. How about some investigations into places like Harvard Law that teaches hatred for a government limiting constitution -should we be paying for that? Our cultural contamination by the left is a cancer that is far larger than economics. We need to reverse it with honest -tough conservative therapy.

The number one issue, that which has been the goal of the communists for decades — the breakdown of the family,the legalized smut. Is it really free speech oor the left’s weapon, as alcohol was for the soviets? How about the bureaucrats ruining the nation in the various depts.?
The list is endless -but it is far greater than money and no-we can’t put the “social issues” on convenient protective hold while we play math games with people who have a far wider agenda to take us down.

Don L on June 5, 2011 at 5:09 AM

I could summarize the (all too lenthy)above by saying :
The social conservatives want to cut out the entire cancer while the fiscal conservatives want to put a band-aid on just one symptom.

Don L on June 5, 2011 at 5:31 AM

Paul Ryan functions as the congressional bookkeeper, itself a seriously significant role given today’s economic implosion.

To hear that Ryan is not properly “schooled” in international affairs is no surprise.

But after supporting Rumsfeld/GWB out of patriotic duty, no more deceit is acceptable, they having created within America the internal experience from Orwell’s 1984. Although the war in Afghanistan will never end, “failure would be a blow to American prestige.” Brilliantly stupid.

EVERY nation that goes to war bears that in mind.

After the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s heir to the throne, Prince Ferdinand, the dominoes fell from this foolishly vain “war doctrine” such as “failure to win would be a blow to prestige” — the world witnessed civilization’s insanity in the subsequent suicide of Europe via “The Great War to End All Wars”.

PRESTIGE?! Never again for naught but vanity.

Is Ryan so cowardly that he knows we can not finance our present obligations, yet refuses to follow the logic requiring CUT IN SPENDING ACROSS THE BOARD?

maverick muse on June 5, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Frankly, I find this critique to be premature and a violation of Reagan’s 11th commandment. In reading the speech in its entirety, I was reassured by Paul Ryan’s optimism and sobriety in explaining how central our fiscal policy is to informing our foreign policy. He didn’t need to be specific in this speech, he is not running for president at this time. He was describing a governing philosophy, one which I agree with; he was explaining how fundamental our economics are to our position in the world order.

Based on this speech, I think Paul Ryan is giving serious consideration to jumping into the ring. If he decides to run, it will be because he understands that it is a duty to serve when you are the best person for a job. If he decides to run, my guess is that Sarah Palin will throw her weight and extensive political skills behind him. She will put the country ahead of her personal ambitions, because that is who she is. If he decides to run, we will get to see the true mettle of the DC elite GOP, because Paul Ryan can excite the base with support from people like Palin and Cain.

piglet on June 5, 2011 at 8:41 AM

I find the repeated emphasis on the phrase, “what’s his plan”, to be disturbing. Why does he need a plan for every little hiccup going on in the world? Are there no adults anywhere who can take care of themselves? I would be perfectly happy for a President who chose to let freedom ring. He could start by laying off 90% of the federal civilian workforce.

Metanis on June 5, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Thank you.

myrenovations on June 5, 2011 at 8:58 AM

One other thing, all of our policies looking ahead revolve around our economic well-being. Ryan compared the crossroad we have reached as similar to Great Britain’s at the beginning of the 20th century. They chose a managed decline. Ryan points out that they had the luxury of handing over world leadership to a country that shared many of the same principles – the U.S., despite the fact that we weren’t ready for that responsibility and the vacuum of power led to two world wars. We don’t have that luxury. Therefore it is imperative that we get our fiscal house in order to maintain a dominant presence in the world – both a presence as a beacon of freedom for all people and as a military power that allows us to pressure other countries to give their citizens basic rights that we declared as granted by God in our founding documents.

Really, you have to read the speech to understand his vision and his argument. He is no RINO. I love Sarah Palin for her unapologetic love for the virtues of our country. This speech by Paul Ryan shares this love, for our country, for the good that we have done around the world and the good we can do in the future. His vision is steeped in historical facts and lessons, is governed by the recognition that control over the checkbook is essential for us to continue our role in the world as not only a beacon of hope, but a force for good. Would we cede that power to Russia or China, he asks?

piglet on June 5, 2011 at 9:09 AM

When he’s on FNC saying, “Right of return? Right of return?” you’ll have a point. For now, he’s not running and nobody cares about his foreign policy.

MJBrutus on June 5, 2011 at 9:26 AM

If I were to construct a Defense Force I would furnish it with generals with qualities and characteristics which the present ones lack. They would not stoop to ask for any of their soldier’s compliments, praises, flatteries for political correctness; and they would be far above exacting them. I would have them as self-respecting as the better sort of men in these regards. They would hold nothing greater than loyalty to the United States Constitution by their sworn oath conferred; not that born of promotions politically contracted for. They would not have hubris — a trait so small that even civilians despise it in each other. They would not have the spirit of any respect for Islam in their hearts. Then it would not issue from their lips.

The current generals would spend some of their remaining years in Leavenworth trying to forgive themselves for spending so much of their nation’s treasure and wasting so much of their troops blood with their Islamic Great Society Nation Building when they could have secured their nation’s southern border at much lower cost and loss of life and they would spend the rest of their remaining years in Leavenworth studying the United States Constitution and the life and words of General George S. Patton.

HalJordan on June 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM

You despise hubris in generals but raise the egotist General George S. Patton, as your model.(Don’t get me wrong Patton was a great battlefield commander, and he knew who our enemies were. Ike, the better planner, had an ego on him as well, he just didn’t take it out and flaunt it. It is a needed part for a successful general.)

You would imprison men for following legal orders from their Commander in Chief.

Slowburn on June 5, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Daffy Duck

moochy on June 5, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Daffy D is playing the disengaged intellectual, a game I find boring. 2012 is really a very simple election — remove this fuc*ing imbecile and his Fellow Travelers in Congress from power and get the economy under control.

Plans for dealing with Islam that lack specificity? For the head of the GOP House Budget Committee and a reluctant and unannounced potential candidate for President? Good lord, Daffy … you are apparently quite comfortable with President O’Bonehead in office for a Free Reign Second Term.

Jaibones on June 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM

There is no single person anywhere who is an expert on every issue.

One of the things I want in a President is the knowledge of his own ignorance. I want him (or her) to consult experts.

Obviously, Paul Ryan is an expert on the budget — a huge part of the job, and a huge part of our current problems.

My first question for him on foreign policy would be: whose advice would he be seeking.

A Paul Ryan who looks to John McCain for foreign policy advice is much different than a Paul Ryan who looks to John Bolton. And one who says he’d consult his heart, or God, or the will of the people would tell us something else entirely.

This is one of the features of British elections that I really like: you’re not just voting for a Prime Minister, you’re voting for a whole cabinet.

Wouldn’t you have liked to have known Obama’s cabinet in advance — there would have been some actual substance to run against.

ClintACK on June 5, 2011 at 10:15 AM

He’s not running, but he gets a procto for foreign policy and is found wanting.

I guess Mr. ab Hugh owes Newt something.

Akzed on June 5, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Ryan’s bill is not endorsed by democrats and mocked by liberal pundits, toxic so I don’t think him running for president is a good idea if we want to win back the white house. TimeTraveler on June 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

fify

Akzed on June 5, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I am a bit shaken, for example, by this speech of Ryan’s, delivered last Thursday to the Alexander Hamilton Society, outlining his views (Ryan’s, not Hamilton’s) on foreign and military policy.


Yes, we all remember the strong and forthright policy laid out by our President Obama.

(Hope and Change in case you forgot)

Herb on June 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Plans for dealing with Islam that lack specificity? For the head of the GOP House Budget Committee and a reluctant and unannounced potential candidate for President?

Jaibones on June 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Why is minute specificity a must for some candidates but not for others?

pseudoforce on June 5, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Think back to ’08. After the GOP had totally screwed their brand it was Paul Ryan’s name that rose to the top to challenge John Boehner. The little shit couldn’t be bothered. His excuse was the pressures on his family. He spent his career sending young men out to die for their country leaving wives and children behind forever. Yet he couldn’t be bothered to answer the call of his party and replace the failed leaders who even today he toadies to.

He’s a bookkeeper not a leader. Anyone paying attention would know that.

rcl on June 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Paul Ryan for Sec. of Treasury under a new GOP presidency in 2012. I know a lot here want Palin to be POTUS but I think she’s be better suited as Sec. of Energy.

Yakko77 on June 5, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I could not read through this whole thing. Paul Ryan is not a declared candidate for President so why do you expect him the give an 8 hour speech to flesh out his foreign and domestic policy provisions.

Something tells me that the author of this piece has another horse in this race and is doing some preemptive criticism.

Vince on June 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM

You just kicked a hornets nest. Except a swarm of very pissed off Palin (peace be upon her) supporters.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Crickets …. More ABPs venting about Palin than the substance of PR.

Bottomline, yes he is a CINO on most matters. As a supporter of Palin, Bachmann, and Cain, I and most other anti RINOs arent going to knock Ryan for being a CINO. It is mostly the ABPs that entertain drafting PR. But since he decided to focus like a laser in entitlements, let him at it and then thank him before sending him home. All politicians need to be term-limited, PERIOD. As they do in the military – up or out.

AH_C on June 5, 2011 at 2:12 PM

bullshit

roscopico on June 5, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Wait, you are “shaken” by Ryan’s lack of clear “views on foreign and military policy” with no vision on victory over jihad, but believe the Roadmap for America’s Future the “only feasible plan…in the next Congress” “for true economic recovery.” For such a verbose fella there is a lot of hopeychangey to your belief that American doesn’t need to balance it’s budget for 10 years (rosy economic predictions in tact) as the Ryan Plan provides as well as not starting until 2013. Now I’m shaken too.

Obamacare will be switching high gears on rationing care by the time the 113th Congress sits and you think it a perfectly reasonable notion that Americans should not ration government spending course correction foreplay. So while the Beltway croons in unison like The Pointer Sisters, “I want a man with a slow hand,” they ought to note that to get to the next round of earmarks they must go through an election and the electorate prefers “Jump, jump for my love.” Frankly, I’m just not that into you Mr. Ryan or your Roadmap.

FeFe on June 6, 2011 at 2:34 AM

You must be new to HA.

Hello.

The opinion quoted in your post is a daily theme on HA. Perhaps you’re not as insane as 95% of the Palin supporters here, and for that, I’m thankful.

You-Eh-Vee on June 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Wrong again, I’ve been here basically from the beginning, when the wonderful Michelle Malkin was posting up Vents in her adorable bear shirt.

Still, the analysis that anyone who at the same time dumps on Ryan for being a RINO (a term I have stopped using in favor of more accurate terms like establishment or Cocktail GOP, thanks to Hillbuzz [where the Eeyore and Concern Troll language also comes from]) while boosting Palin. Palin has endorsed Ryan’s plan, so either the troll isn’t paying attention to Palin or some of her biggest boosters at all or their sole purpose is to cause people skeptical of Palin to go on the assault against other conservatives and diminish harmony and unity.

I was perhaps too harsh in my response as well, but as the elections ramp up, there will be troll baits like this specifically designed to cause a cascading negative reaction. Most people fall into the trap unwittingly because unlike liberals, conservatives do not consider each candidate a God beyond reproach or failure.

BKennedy on June 6, 2011 at 3:04 AM