Green Room

Ryan VP pick should not be cut and dried for conservatives

posted at 3:35 pm on August 11, 2012 by

Over the last few months I have ticked off a number of people by writing that Mitt Romney may not earn my vote in November. With Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) now on the ticket as the nominee for Vice President, I am now far more open to supporting Romney than I was one week ago. Picking Ryan shows a significant amount of political courage and risk-taking, since Democrats and liberals will obviously declare both men want to throw Grandma off of a cliff. With Ryan on the ticket, though, the GOP has a candidate who can articulately point out that if we don’t change Medicare, Grandma is going off the cliff anyway.

However, I have significant concerns about the effusive praise conservatives have had for Ryan since he was picked as the nominee. In his acceptance speech, Ryan talked about both parties being part of the problem at times. Here’s the thing – Paul Ryan should highlight himself when saying that. Since entering Congress in the late 1990s, he voted for NCLB, the Medicare drug bill, funding for two badly-run wars, the Bush auto bailout, and TARP. Granted, he offered an alternative plan to TARP, and opposed the initial plan, but in the end he voted for it. He also voted for the Budget Control Act in 2011.

Paul Ryan as VP under Romney means entitlement reform – should they win in November – will be pushed off for another ten years. It means defense spending will continue to go up. It means the GOP is supporting a VP nominee who went from working for politicians to being a politician – a true establishment pick, which is not necessarily bad, but I am surprised so many anti-establishment Republicans are ignoring this fact about Ryan. It does mean the campaign is indeed picking the most articulate defender of entitlement reform in the nation, even if his budget plan is extremely centrist and takes decades to eliminate the deficit.

He’s a solid choice if you want someone good on entitlement reform…as long as you push it back ten years to get political support, which means we’ll be in the middle of the Baby Boomer years before we START reforming Medicare and Social Security. That’s entirely inadequate, and those conservatives who say his is the best plan for reforming Medicare haven’t seen the Coburn “Back in Black” plan or the Rand Paul entitlement and budget plans.

Ryan is a very articulate opponent of deficit-spending, which is awesome for conservatives. But no amount of smooth, intelligent discourse can hide the fact that his plans are modest, center-right proposals at best, at least when it comes to balancing the budget anytime soon, and his record on tough votes seems to have been forgotten by many conservatives.

Again, however, all of that said, I think Romney did pick a really solid person to balance the ticket, especially when it comes to showing at least some seriousness on the budget and entitlement reform. Strategically, it will draw conservatives into the fold, and will provide a great counterbalance the bumbling, foot-in-mouth syndrome of VP Biden and the awful, no-solutions President currently holding office.

Of course, I still reserve the right to not vote for the GOP nominees if they fail to put forth proposals and a campaign that gives me reason to trust they will make significant steps on spending cuts and reforms. Additionally, I will be watching to see if I can trust Romney to put forth conservative, pro-life judges once in office. As a Catholic and social conservative in general, I find abortion to be tied with the debt for the most important issue facing the country. While Romney and Ryan probably won’t do as much as I’d like on that issue, either, even their modest efforts on stem-cell research, the HHS Mandate, hopefully defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. will be of great benefit to the unborn babies Obama’s policies will kill.

[Originally published at Race42012.com.]

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It is this cut and dried, either Romney or obama. I live in a swing state, I don’t feel like I have the luxury of pouting or taking my ball and going home.

traye on August 11, 2012 at 4:23 PM

If it’s not cut and dried, what should it be?

thebrokenrattle on August 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

What did you fools think? That all the folks who said “I’m done voting for the lesser of two evils” in 2008 were kidding? I’m sorry for all the butthurt, and I’m genuinely glad that Romney picked Paul Ryan, but Andrea Saul made it a hell of a lot harder for me to justify a vote for Romney. And besides that, there’s nothing about Paul Ryan that changes my opinions on what kind of person Mitt Romney is in the end.

gryphon202 on August 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Medispend part $, the auto bailouts, and TARP really concern me the most.

Especially TARP. When the chips were down and things got really scarey (I’ll grant the premise that going over the cliff was a real possibility), Ryan and other conservatives abandoned the free market and went straight to massive government intervention.

If you believe in the free-market, your answers in crisis should be rooted in the free-market. It’s hard to argue against the government intervention we’re fighting when our side consistently sees more government as the answer when things get sideways.

The Hammer on August 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Romney/Ryan need to be clear that it’s not grandma who will go off the cliff. It’s my (and Ryan’s) generation who will be off the cliff.

SouthernGent on August 11, 2012 at 5:23 PM

It seems to me that the one thing about the Ryan plan that people overlook is, it’s a plan with no gimmicks. One of the reasons it doesn’t balance the budget until 2035 it is never takes into account the fact that revenues will go up, once the plan is implemented.

The Democrats got the candidate they wanted, I just hope they’re capable of actually debating this because, on the first day, they’ve proven themselves to be utterly unprepared to debate anything and I don’t believe Ryan and Romney are going to let them get away with it.

bflat879 on August 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

TARP ended up bad, only because the second half of it was spent by Obama and his cronies. Only $350bil was spent on Bush’s watch. However I want to make one statement on all of this.

TARP was the face of what the federal reserve was doing behind the scenes. There was a cliff we fell off in 2008 in which the money supply, M2, dropped like crazy after it had inflated with the housing bubble. Since our money system is a fractional monetary banking system, it needs to keep inflation going to keep the flow of money going.

TARP put a face on the money supply problem, in saying that the government was there to fill in the crashing system. I don’t fault Ryan and others for voting for the TARP. The government and federal reserve had caused the problem in the housing bubble, and should be there to cover when the bubble popped.

In the long view of things, that is small potatoes compared to the $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities by 2050. This is where Ryan puts this up front. We need him.

Ronaldusmax on August 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

“Ryan VP pick should not be cut and dried for conservatives”

Huh?
What does that even mean?

Mimzey on August 11, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Mimzey, what I mean is that conservatives shouldn’t just uncritically jump up and cheer. It’s a mixed bag, having Ryan on the ticket.

Dustin Siggins on August 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Dustin Siggins on August 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Thanks for the reply.
My opinion..and its just my opinion, is that this election is like no other election we have faced.
What should be cut and dried is that we ALL need to pull together to defeat the destruction of the union and individual freedoms or it is either lost or “fundamental transformed” forever.

It’s come down to freedom or tyranny imo. There is no middle ground. The pick has been made, and who to support is cut and dried.

Mimzey on August 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Mimzey on August 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I couldn’t agree more. Further, I see this as finally being a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s be honest: many of us here find the prospect of a Romney presidency less than inspiring. But I suspect nearly as many find the prospect of using it to set the stage for an eventual Ryan presidency a lot more inspiring.

At least I do, anyway.

Cylor on August 11, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Mostly fair points, and ones that honestly can be said of just about every person who actually gets into office. However, allow me to explain the auto-bailout vote.

President Bush had made clear going into December 2008 that he would bail out the car companies with or without Congress. We all know what the “without” was; the use of TARP, which ultimately allowed Obama to seize GM (for itself) and Chrysler (for the UAW and Italian car-maker Fiat) because there was a lot more money available where the initial bailout came from, spendable at the sole discretion of the incoming Obama administration.

Ryan wanted to shift the source of the bailout money to a much-smaller $25 billion fund originally set up to help auto manufacturers improve their plants to build “greener” cars that was at that point mostly-untapped. As written (by Barney Frank’s staffers, which meant there were significant other poison pills), the upper limit on that bailout program would have been roughly $21 billion, not nearly enough to allow Obama to seize either GM or Chrysler.

More importantly, it would not have allowed the UAW to profit from being the major driver of GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy. Rather, the loans would have been the most-senior of obligations in the event of a bankruptcy.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Cylor on August 11, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Lets hope we all start pulling in the same direction.
The left really has nothing but the power we give them.

To paraphrase Sun Tsu?..”Its not the power you have..its the power your enemy thinks you have.”

Lets stop falling for it and attack.

Mimzey on August 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM

However, allow me to explain the auto-bailout vote.

President Bush had made clear going into December 2008 that he would bail out the car companies with or without Congress. We all know what the “without” was; the use of TARP, which ultimately allowed Obama to seize GM (for itself) and Chrysler (for the UAW and Italian car-maker Fiat) because there was a lot more money available where the initial bailout came from, spendable at the sole discretion of the incoming Obama administration.

Ryan wanted to shift the source of the bailout money to a much-smaller $25 billion fund originally set up to help auto manufacturers improve their plants to build “greener” cars that was at that point mostly-untapped. As written (by Barney Frank’s staffers, which meant there were significant other poison pills), the upper limit on that bailout program would have been roughly $21 billion, not nearly enough to allow Obama to seize either GM or Chrysler.

More importantly, it would not have allowed the UAW to profit from being the major driver of GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy. Rather, the loans would have been the most-senior of obligations in the event of a bankruptcy.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Thank you for that information!

Mimzey on August 11, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I prefer Ryan to Romney to be honest, and thought it was only Romney’s ego and GOP “2nd in line” mentality that kept Ryan out of the race for the top spot this year. I do not think he will be able to persuade Romney, but he will be able to persuade independents to think better of conservative ideas, and we need that as much or more.

If Romney lets us down we will be holding the pitchforks, and I would have no qualms about a President Ryan.

alwaysfiredup on August 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Why can’t conservatives jump up and down and be happy if they want to? I’m so tired of being told by the experts and pundits–or anybody else–how I’m supposed to feel, behave and react. All I heard today was how flat-out giddy the lefturds are over Ryan’s selection because they think they have some kinda message bonanza here. Maybe somebody oughta tell them to scale it back cuz I can’t wait to see it blow up in their faces. Truth is, pretty much no matter who Romney chose the despicable lying scheming libturds wouldda been acting just as giddy saying it’s exactly who they wanted cuz that’ their spin and spin is all they do, spinning this country into oblivion.

stukinIL4now on August 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

All I heard today was how flat-out giddy the lefturds are over Ryan’s selection because they think they have some kinda message bonanza here. Maybe somebody oughta tell them to scale it back cuz I can’t wait to see it blow up in their faces.

With one or two exceptions, I had the same experience. I have a post working that will address the issue of who is likely to enjoy “the last laugh.” Look for it tomorrow.

Howard Portnoy on August 11, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Paul Ryan made it harder to vote for Romney in my eyes.

Romney is the guy who enjoys taking over failing companies and putting them so deep into hock that it is very hard for them to overcome the debt burden. Ryan is the guy who then cons you into paying for it with your children’s’ freedom.

astonerii on August 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Without TARP our economy would have utterly collapsed. Instead of touting making the tough decisions in a time of crisis, all conservatives seem able to to do is navel-gaze and bemoan the loss of “free-market principles”

Critic2029 on August 12, 2012 at 4:31 AM

astonerii on August 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Ron Paul will appreciate your vote…

Critic2029 on August 12, 2012 at 4:32 AM

There’s a simple choice in November for Republicans and conservatives- vote for Romney/Ryan or let America be destroyed.

That’s it.

Four more years of Obama will be the end of the United States as we know and love it. Four more years of corrupt, dirty politics usurping the power of Congress and rushing the USA faster and faster to inevitable and irreversible economic Armageddon. And that’s not even beginning to consider the appointment of Supreme Court judges or any of the other myriad things Obama can do.

That’s your choice- and at this stage I’m frankly astonished to hear anyone on the right side of the aisle consider NOT voting against Obama. He’s been a terrible President- ever stop to think what he’ll be like when, for the first time in his entire political life, he can let the mask slip and do what he wants with no concern about being re-elected? He was perfectly willing to sacrifice Democrats in Congress to pass Obamacare- what will he do now that his number one concern (his own re-election) is gone?

In case you haven’t heard America is currently looking at a $222 TRILLION fiscal gap. This great nation is roaring towards its doom- and Obama and Democrats aren’t going to lift a finger to stop it. In fact, they’re putting their foot down on the accelerator- and the longer we wait, the worse the chances are of preventing Armageddon.

Are you going to sit idly by on election day and allow Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi continue to “transform” America?

Romney isn’t sufficiently right wing? Ryan voted for a couple of pieces of legislation you don’t like? Seriously? Right now that doesn’t matter- America is at a crossroads. One direction- Obama- leads to certain economic collapse. The other- Romney-Ryan- is your only hope of saving the United States of America. As someone who loves America and all that she stands for, I’m begging you- put aside these petty concerns and think about the real, core issue of this election.

America needs you. Vote Romney-Ryan.

Jay Mac on August 12, 2012 at 7:54 AM

This argument is so specious I don’t know where to start.

This is a time to choose sides. This is not just a Clinton, this is much, much worse. At least Clinton understood which way the wind was blowing and steered into it.

The transformation Obama is sending the United States into is just more than wrecking our economy. By ignoring our constitutional powers he sets the precedent for other presidents to do the same thing.

Obama opens the possibility of a dictatorship, with the help of outside sources, to send the United States to Communism or Fascism.

Margaret Thatcher said it all. This is NO time to go wobbly. We have to defeat Obama.

itsspideyman on August 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Get over yourself, Mr. Suggins. We need to buckle up, elect Romney/Ryan and save the damn country.

I am so tired of weasely, whiny picky little complaints. How about we post stuff like this after seeing if we can accomplish some good instead of before?

“Of course, I still reserve the right to not vote for the GOP nominees if they fail to put forth proposals and a campaign that gives me reason to trust they will make significant steps on spending cuts and reforms.”

What a pile of steaming manure. Wake up! Stop the foot shuffling, and roll up your sleeves. Get to work, and elect our best hope.

MTF on August 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM

There’s a simple choice in November for Republicans and conservatives- vote for Romney/Ryan or let America be destroyed.

That’s it.

THIS.

It’s astounding to see conservatives behave like liberals.
It’s LIBERALS who don’t operate in the real world. It’s LIBERALS who strive for Utopia. It’s LIBERALS who cry “FORWARD” as they march, unconcerned about the chaos they create on their way toward their elusive dream-world.

And yet the petulant “I won’t vote for Romney” crowd demands Utopia in a candidate. He must be pure or he doesn’t get their vote. Stomp, pout, whine.

Hope you’re happy with that vote when America goes under, utopian conservatives. **fume**

Grace_is_sufficient on August 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Waaaaaah waaaaaaaah WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a WHINY, petty article.
Dustin, are YOU perfect; have YOU never made mistakes?

Those of us more mature serious adults admit and learn from them.

Go CHANGE your diapers, they must be full of ObamaHOPE.

Czar of Defenestration on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Mimzey, what I mean is that conservatives shouldn’t just uncritically jump up and cheer. It’s a mixed bag, having Ryan on the ticket.

Dustin Siggins on August 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM

There will be plenty of Libs doing these kind of articles…you dont need to. I am not a huge Romney fan, never will be, but that does not change the fact that I will vote for the guy because the alternative is horrific. I live in a swing state (fl) and dont have the luxury of stomping my feet and saying NO! because I got potatoes for dinner and I wanted pie (and I reeeeeaaaaaaallly love pie!). This is not a time to put out articles tearing down our candidates, it is a time to support them. You had your chance to criticize during the prelims…that time is over–>stop.

airmonkey on August 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

And yet the petulant “I won’t vote for Romney” crowd demands Utopia in a candidate. He must be pure or he doesn’t get their vote. Stomp, pout, whine.

Hope you’re happy with that vote when America goes under, utopian conservatives. **fume**

Grace_is_sufficient on August 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

No one is asking for “purity” or perfection. We’d like to have somebody who’s actually on the same side. If the GOP candidate can’t bring himself to disagree with Obama on any substantive issue, why should we vote for him? Answer me this: what do we gain by electing Romney? We don’t owe you liberals anything, and quite frankly, our staying home in November may be the only way to teach you that.

joe_doufu on August 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Fair enough, although I’m more concerned about Romney than about Ryan.

If we don’t lift regulation on our economy absolutely — cuting it back drastically and not just trimming it on the edges — we will have no future at all. Sadly, there is no regulation-whacker in Team Romney. People are going to have to wake up to the fact that we cannot afford all our regulation. It’s what is killing us, and even if we spend less, we will still be hosed. Regulation is killing our economy.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Fair enough, although I’m more concerned about Romney than about Ryan.

If we don’t lift regulation on our economy absolutely — cuting it back drastically and not just trimming it on the edges — we will have no future at all. Sadly, there is no regulation-whacker in Team Romney. People are going to have to wake up to the fact that we cannot afford all our regulation. It’s what is killing us, and even if we spend less, we will still be hosed. Regulation is killing our economy.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Understand J.E.

For me, I’m more concerned about Obama than Romney.

But I don’t disagree with your comments one iota. Regulation is killing our economy.

itsspideyman on August 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Paul Ryan made it harder to vote for Romney in my eyes.

Romney is the guy who enjoys taking over failing companies and putting them so deep into hock that it is very hard for them to overcome the debt burden. Ryan is the guy who then cons you into paying for it with your children’s’ freedom.

astonerii on August 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Yeah, that’s not what private equity is about, and that’s not what Romney or Bain did. Try getting your facts from something other than Gingrich’s primary campaign.

It’s mind-boggling to me that anyone can sit through the last four years and decide that four more might not be so bad. Make no mistake, that is what you’re saying by staying home or otherwise not supporting this ticket. You’re not sure Romney will do what you want? Fine…but you know Obama won’t. He’ll also get the opportunity to sign more executive orders, appoint more libs to the court, and otherwise keep this economy down and people out of work.

And you won’t be teaching the Establishment a lesson or anything of the sort, either. In 2016, should Romney lose, they’re still going to back the person they think has the best shot to win, and it may not be your perfect TrueCon. Even if it is, we’re not assured of winning in the slightest. Ceding the next four years to Obama just because you didn’t get your way or your preferred candidate is the very essence of cutting off your nose to spite your face, and we’ll all end up paying for it.

changer1701 on August 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Dustin, he can strengthen his plan and have the force of the presidency behind him when we elect him. In Congress he has to write something as one of hundred of leglislators. In the executive, he and Romney can become a louder, bully-pulpit voice for more rapid, more effective reform.

I’ve commented repeatedly we win this in the country back in the House and Senate, and president just needs somebody who will sign conservative bills, but now we have somebody who will actually drive those bills with a much, much larger megaphone.

PastorJon on August 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I actually advocated for Ryan to jump in the prez race, think he’d do better than Romney. He’s a fine VP pick, better than lots of other names tossed around for the last few months. Allen West was my fave but I knew that Romney would never go for that, it’s not in his risk profile.

alwaysfiredup on August 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

1950′s: Now that the progressives have infiltrated our higher education system and taken positions of power, we will just ignore them, I am sure they can do no harm there.
1950′s and 1960′: Now that the progressives have infiltrated the labor unions and taken positions of power there, we will just ignore them, I am sure they can do no harm there.
1960′s and 1970′s: Now that the media has been primarily fully taken over by the progressives, we will just ignore them, I am sure they can do no harm there.
1970′s and 1980′s: Now that the progressives have taken total control of the environmental shroud, we will just ignore them, I am sure they can do no harm there.
Today: The republican party has been taken over by the progressives, unfortunately there are way too few intelligent real conservatives left in the nation to even take note of, but hey, I am sure voting the republican progressive into power will cause no harm…

astonerii on August 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

astonerii on August 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

The GOP joined the Progressive party in the 1930′s with the nomination of Wendell Wilkie for the 1940 election against FDR. The rest of your citations are a consequence of that event.

We can fight Progressivism but not by starting at the top, we have to attack it at the local and state levels and bring the change to the top. Ryan seems like he might be receptive to actual conservatism but he is pragmatic.

The last time we stomped our feet and demanded the top change immediately or we would vote for Ross Perot we ended up with Clinton, who was thankfully corralled somewhat by Newt. Bohner is no Newt.

History is valuable here & I suspect that the Obama re-election campaign is well aware of the Perot effect, they will be pushing Ron Paul or a third party candidate to try to again split the conservative vote.

Work to put conservative candidates in place that can ascend to the presidency and in the meantime choose a viable candidate that can at least slow the bleed.

The time for ruminating is over, now it is time to act

batterup on August 13, 2012 at 12:39 AM

No one is asking for “purity” or perfection. We’d like to have somebody who’s actually on the same side. If the GOP candidate can’t bring himself to disagree with Obama on any substantive issue, why should we vote for him? Answer me this: what do we gain by electing Romney? We don’t owe you liberals anything, and quite frankly, our staying home in November may be the only way to teach you that.

joe_doufu on August 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Bullsh*t. Stop pretending that there’s no difference between Obama and the Republicans. Here is the difference:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5aAsxFJOeMw/SiS4CK773bI/AAAAAAAACaw/0FnGk8W5EUU/s400/GR2009032100104.gif

Wake up.

ghostwriter on August 13, 2012 at 1:13 AM

..so let me get this straight:

Obama spends more money in his first four years than anybody in human history, including a several trillion dollar new entitlement

R&R are now explicitly running on a platform of spending less and reforming those entitlements to make them at least somewhat solvemt, and the D’s are already howling that they will “end Medicare as we know it”…because it’s mathematically impossible to keep what’s currently in place but never mind that.

How in the world do you get “Paul Ryan as VP under Romney means entitlement reform – should they win in November – will be pushed off for another ten years” from Romney’s picking THE ONE GUY WHO IS KNOWN FOR A PLAN THAT DOES EXACTLY THAT?? If they win = mandate, and if they don’t then it’s game over regardless, no?

das411 on August 13, 2012 at 2:30 AM