Late Friday night, word broke that Mitt Romney was going to pick Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan for join him on the ticket as VP. The decision was formally announced Saturday morning in Virgina, aboard the USS Wisconsin, which is a bit ironic since neither men have military experience.
Ryan should galvanize progressives to get out and vote for a number of reasons. The Congressman believes in a total Ayn Rand philosophy of the individual versus the collective and extreme limited government. Several articles about him point out that he used to make his staff read Rand. He wants to turn Social Security and Medicare into a voucher system, basically privatizing it and ending it as we know it.His budget plan was even called “too radical” by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said it would lead to “right-wing social engineering.” However, later Gingrich walked back those comments. Ryan also draws the ire of the left because he’s had the support of the Koch-brothers for years in WI, and they helped him make his name by pumping money into his campaigns.
On the other side, Ryan will galvanize the fringe Tea Party wing of the GOP, though perhaps they’re not the fringe anymore, if Ryan is now sitting on the Romney ticket. The right has won, but in the end, it may sink the GOP’s chances to win the White House. Democrats and their SuperPACS have salavated at the chance to go after the Ryan budget in attack ads. Now they’ll have the chance, and the country will have a serious debate about the Ryan budget that nearly every Republican voted for in the House earlier this year.
For more about Ryan, I suggest reading this article that appeared recently in the New Yorker. To paraphrase the article’s author, Ryan Lizza, putting Ryan on the ticket is the riskiest move Romney could have made.