“You Like Me. You Really Like Me!”: The Paul Ryan Selection

When I first heard of Paul Ryan’s selection as  Mitt Romney’s VP candidate, I didn’t know what to make of it, other than the campaign suddenly seemed more interesting.   In my previous post, I referred to Mitt as the “stealth candidate, ”  given his tendency to avoid the details of his personal history as governor, businessman and Mormon leader.


paul-ryan-grannie (Photo credit: Majordomo2012)

The Democrat dogs have stuck their teeth into the evasions, such as why he refuses to show more of his income taxes.  Every day we do not talk about the sludge-like economy is a good day for Democrats.   Well, to change the focus, how about a startling pick for VP ?   Especially if that pick reminds us that our problems go much deeper than Romney’s tax returns.

That seems part of the reason the  “artful dodger” picked someone like Paul Ryan, despite his having a specific history, often not in keeping with his public image as fiscal hawk, that is already being focused upon and flayed by the Democrats.   In picking Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney moved the focus away from him to our overall financial problems.  Also, as columnist George Will wrote, he was “talking conservative.”   This was his way to prove to his conservative critics that he is indeed one of them.   Sure, he’s  been saying for months that he is a conservative, but his etch-a-sketch ways  hadn’t convinced them.

However, now that the warm, bonding moment has past, it will be interesting to see if Romney’s habit of not wanting to go into specifics  fits with his running mate’s coming equipped with all sorts of details for both reporters and the Democrats to dwell on.  Such as the what-will-happen-to-medicare question and what kind of fiscal conservative is Ryan if his plan takes us to around 2030 to balance the budget.   Sure, the Democrats are open to counter attacks, such as there is no foreseeable time they balance the budget, but there might be if the Republicans would bend on their no new taxes pledges.

Other than solidifying his base, taking the attention off such things as his refusal to show more tax returns and attracting more money for his campaign (but don’t they have plenty as is?),  I don’t see what good the Ryan pick will do for Romney.   They want us to  believe that in picking Ryan , Romney is not afraid to make the bold choices required in our time, but as I’ve indicated the Ryan image of fiscal hawk will not likely hold up after being gone over with numerous fine tooth combs in the days ahead.

What will hold up is the image of his destroying Medicare as we know it – shoving granny down the stairs – even though for fairness sake it should be noted that at least Ryan has a plan to save something akin to Medicare.  It is unclear to me how the Democrats will try to save it, so granny remains in jeopardy in either case.  But the Democrats  seem likely to win this battle of images.  MY CONFESSION:  I CHOSE THE PHOTO, WHICH IS TOTALLY UNFAIR, BECAUSE I GOT A KICK OUT OF IT.

Also, leaving all doubts about Ryan aside for a moment,  I doubt that the cautious Mitt can continue to reap benefits from his choice.   Romney doesn’t want to deal with specifics, so I bet Ryan becomes more like Romney than vice versa, another artful dodger.   And if Ryan stays too much like Ryan, i.e. a darling of the right, well, that can’t be good for Mitt, either.   The star shouldn’t be upstaged by his supporting cast, and doesn’t it feel like he already is?

Here’s my thinking, at base Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan because like most of us he wants to be liked and he has been running for months while mostly being just tolerated, as the candidate who wouldn’t go away and had the money and organization to just stay and stay and stay.  If his  strategy of being the Un-Obama had been really working of late, he would not have picked Ryan.   But that not being the case, why not  go bold?  Even button down types like Romney sport a wild hair.

Those old enough to remember Sally Field receiving an Oscar for Places of the Heart in 1985, probably recall that in her acceptance speech she screamed out:  “You like me.  You really like me!”

Well, Mitt, you’ve had your warm, fuzzy moment.  Now I will be curious to see if in November enough citizens overall will show they like you, they really like you.

9 responses to ““You Like Me. You Really Like Me!”: The Paul Ryan Selection

  1. Its time for you to move back to the Soviet Union and enjoy all the benefits Obama is using to destroy capitalism in the U.S.A.

  2. I’m disappointed. I thought this blog was going to be an intellectual discussion regarding our great country and how to correct some of our real difficulties such as our stagnant economy and jobs. In this article you refer to Mitt Romney as the “artful dodger” and Paul Ryan as “another artful dodger”. In your previous article you refer to the “demagogue Rush Limbaugh”. Is this working together? This blog to me is simply a reiteration of the Democrat’s talking points.

    You have a large concern with Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Well here’s a bigger concern:

    Most of the small businesses and individuals in this country have no idea what their Federal income tax rate is going to be five months from now. How’s that for killing the economy! How can a business make any reasonable forecasts with this unknown? How can they hire new employees? How can an individual make purchasing decisions?

    You also might want to be concerned that businesses will not hire new people to stay below 50 employees and exempt from Obamacare’s penalties.

    We also don’t even know what the Federal inheritance tax is going to be five months from now. And yes, small businesses are concerned with this. A shareholder’s death can lead to a big tax bill.

    That’s just a few things that might trump concern over Mitt Romney’s tax returns. But if you’re looking for more you could try:

    Finding out what’s blocking the Keystone pipeline (more jobs).

    Find out why Obama’s school records are on lock-down at Columbia (maybe you can find another artful dodger here).

    Maybe tell us a little more about Michelle’s no-show $350K job at UofC Hospital (of course the job was eliminated when she left).

    You might also want do an article on what 0% interest rates are doing to grandma’s retirement.

    I don’t really expect to hear any meaningful discussion on these things. Other than these problems are all caused by those wascally Republicans. But I can hope.

    • You said so many things, Al, I don’t know where to begin, other than to some of your accusations are just silly, part of the right’s rumor mill aimed at making Obama seem foreign and incompetent. Obviously we see things so differently as to have little to talk about, which unfortunately is characteristic of our time.

      • There is nothing is in my above reply that makes Obama seem foreign or incompetent. Our Federal tax rates are unknown for 2013 and beyond with the Bush tax cut extension still in flux at this late date. Businesses with under 50 employees are exempt from Obamacare’s penalties and will want to stay there. Obama’s school records are on lock-down. The Keystone pipeline is on hold by Obama holding up jobs. Zero percent interest rates hurt retirees. Michelle Obama made $316,962 at the University of Chicago Hospital. The job was eliminated when she left. A slight modification is that when she put in less time her pay was reduced. I mention such only to point out that both sides may have skeletons, it’s not just Romney’s tax returns. You haven’t shown any of these items to be false. We’re in a recession and our people want jobs. That’s what’s important. But our government could be more helpful here. And actually I disagree that we don’t have a lot to talk about. I think we have a plenty to talk about if you’re interested in two-way a dialogue. Let’s meet for a beer! Neither of us could disagree with that.

    • Don\’t think you can refute one set of talking points with another, especially when you say talking points are the problem, John. I won\’t defray all the garbage about school records and phony job of Michelle Obama (I am from the area and had occasion to follow her PR releases on charity co-ordination with interest when she was at University of Chicago). However, as I am a soon to be retiree with a retirement account, you do know, I\’m sure, that the stock market has doubled since Obama took office, recouping all the losses incurred by 40lk\’s and SEP accounts during the great meltdown of the GLOBAL market and added a nice bit of profit because stocks could be purchased so cheaply.

      The market meltdown was caused by unchecked greed in the private sector by the free-market \”Masters of the Universe.\” They put a hole so big in the world economy we had to bail them out along with ourselves, along with the entire world. If our banks failed, banks from London to Singapore would go down. You\’ve seen what a failed state like Somali brings forth, right? Pirates, terrorists, carpetbaggers. Now imagine Somali on a global scale with nuclear arsenals raided by gangs and tribes. No matter how big an arsenal an NRA advocate has in his basement, he will melt with the rest of us in a nuclear attack. It\’s the #1 reason we are in Afghanistan even now, global economy aside. There is a hidden arsenal of powerful nuclear weapons somewhere in Pakistan (which made me crazy when Reagan was president and they allowed Pakistan to go nuclear). Anyway, back to Paul Ryan, (who voted for TARP), President Obama and George Bush working together, had we not saved the banks, there would be few small businesses to worry about. Many, many more businesses would be gone, along with family farms, your house if you have a mortgage and your car if you have a loan. The banks own many of those things and if they were going down, they would have called in every asset lien subject to liquidation. So it happened in the 30\’s and so it would be today.

      I was born at the end of WWII. The depression was not just a tale in a history book, but a tragedy lived by parents and older siblings all around our neighborhood, town and nearby states. It was cruel beyond belief for poor and once-upon-a-time rich people alike. It began with the banking collapse in 1929 and ended in 1945. It astounds me that republicans today are such wimps they can\’t even endure 5 years of a rough economy. Thanks to democrats and republicans working together in the past, we now pay into unemployment insurance, Medicare and SS, as well as keeping our part of the taxpayer bargain for a strong military, roads, rails, airports and shipyards for commerce to thrive. None of those advancements existed until FDR. And still republicans set their hair on fire while their wealthy puppet-masters scoop up more and more of the assets the middle class once had. The wealthy have always played the government for lucrative contracts (Paul Ryan\’s grandfather got very rich on government contracts). They have also benefited enormously from government backed loans, which are the staple of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers like Romney who typically will only risk 5-10% of their own money in a take-over or gamble. I don\’t fault them – it is how the system is set up. And the wealthy have always scooped up the spoils after disaster. I can tell you from personal experience, this economic disaster had the potential to be the Great Depression on steroids, mainly because the reigning chaos would have been much more profound because access to weapons is much more lethal.

      As for the Keystone pipe line, please google the Kalamazoo river spill. Tar sand oil is not like Texas crude. When it bursts from a pipe, it is lethal, not just messy. Eventually our science will develop the right agents to clean tar sands spills, but right now, we\’ve discovered that the oil industry is at a loss. We\’re just not there yet on safety of tar sands. The benzene emitted by spills is very dangerous for humans and can contaminate the surrounding population, to say nothing of the workers on the pipeline itself. Give the private sector, who needs time to develop safer technology, time to catch up with the unique discovery and safety demands of the tar sand and fracking industries, and everyone will benefit. I mean, fire is a great discovery, too, but it took a while to learn how to use it the right way.

      As for Mitt\’s tax returns, it\’s common knowledge he invested in a company that disposes of aborted fetuses. Ugh. I want to know how much of his income comes from investment in China. Also, I\’d like to see the profit Paul Ryan made in 2008 when he came out of a meeting with the leadership and the bankers and then went home and sold all his bank stock. Why have the Catholic Bishops labeled his budget as immoral? That story was carried by the right-leaning AP over a year ago, I believe.

      How different this recovery could have been if Republican leadership had put the country first. I don\’t think, John, you realize the true depth of the disaster we faced when we struck an iceberg that was decades in the making. You may hate government, but it\’s actually the free market unleashed that is the unabashed iceberg makin\’ machine. The free market is based on the honesty and integrity of men and a handful of bad apples can wreck havoc. The government is a good balance because it moves soooooo slow it can hardly do as much damage, unless we start wars, of course, which we never did until Iraq.

      Sorry for the rambling but I recognized all your talking points from FOX news where they are on a continuous loop, and I felt I wanted to offer some more lengthy context. If I had to live through Reagan and Bush, you can man up and live through 4 more years of Obama with losing your lunch. BTW, I give Herbert Walker Bush much credit for the fall of the Soviet Union, and for the policies (tax hikes) that led to the prosperous years under Clinton (who I am not a huge fan of).

    • Dear John ~

      How are you able to write that this post indicates a large concern about Romney’s tax returns? Clearly the blogger is stating that those returns should not be a concern and that Democrats harp on them to diffuse a discussion regarding “the sludge=like economy” which could be troublesome for them.

      As for your rant regarding the uncertainty over tax rates for individuals and businesses come 2013 (and consequences you envision), a reasonable individual would understand what the term “expire” means. If Congress does nothing, which has been the case the past seventeen months, tax rates revert to the Clinton-era rates existing before the two President Bush tax cuts – which did not spur economic growth and job creation as intended.

      Tagging Rush Limbaugh as a demagogue was a kindness afforded him by the blogger. Limbaugh is pure vitriol, filth and lies. What is ‘disappointing’ is that he has even one follower.

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