The Smart Democrats Are Worried About Paul Ryan–For Good Reasons*by Don on Aug. 11, 2012, under Uncategorized
Any Democrats with a lick of common sense (there are a few) should be mighty worried about Paul Ryan’s selection as the Vice Presidential nominee on the GOP ticket. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund explains one of the reasons why:
No doubt there are many Democrats rubbing their hands in glee in contemplation of reviving some version of the ad that featured an actor playing Paul Ryan pushing a grandmother in a wheelchair off a cliff. But the smarter ones are worried.
First, if Ryan is an extremist and his proposals are so unpopular, how has he won election seven times in a Democratic district? His lowest share of the vote was 57 percent — in his first race. He routinely wins over two-thirds of the vote. When Obama swept the nation in 2008, he carried Ryan’s district by four points. But at the same time, Ryan won reelection with 65 percent of the vote, meaning that a fifth of Obama voters also voted for him.
Ryan has pointed out to me that no Republican has carried his district for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. “I have held hundreds of town-hall meetings in my district explaining why we have to take bold reform steps, and I’ve found treating people like adults works,” he told me. “All those ads pushing elderly woman off the cliffs don’t work anymore if you lay out the problem.”
Democrats and the media (yes, I repeat myself) have already started blasting the airwaves, claiming that Paul Ryan wants to steal the benefits of poor and sick Americans.
Unfortunately for those Democrats, Paul Ryan does a very good job of explaining why America’s entitlement system needs to change.
We don’t have the money to keep up the entitlement spending of the past 50 years. You can’t get the money you’d need by taxing people who make over $250,000 a year. There aren’t enough wealthier Americans to pay all the bills the Democrats want to run up.
The smarter Democrats know that. They know Paul Ryan knows that, and can explain himself. Very convincingly. (Ask the Democrats in his district who vote for him, time and time again.) THAT’s why the smart Democrats are scared.
That’s why the Democrats will try to demagogue him. That’s why the Democrats hope that their allies in the media will inhibit Ryan’s attempts to make his case to the American people.
Ultimately, though, it’s up to the American people to decide. What kind of future do they want? Paul Ryan is going to tell you some things that are tough to hear. We won’t have the money to do all the things we’ve done in the past. Anyone who’s been paying attention has known this day was coming. Well, it’s here.
The GOP is gambling that a majority of Americans will look at our economic situation soberly and thoughtfully. If they do, the GOP is confident that the Romney/Ryan ticket will win in November.
From Mary Katherine Ham of HotAir. If the Democrats want to debate ideas, and the course that America wants to chart for its future, Paul Ryan is ready for that debate.
With Ryan on the ticket, the debate should no longer be about contraception and the deferred cancer-causing capabilities of Bain investments. It will be about the budget and the $16-trillion debt, the unsustainable trajectory of the federal government and the promises it’s already breaking to generations to come. It will be about Simpson-Bowles and a federal government that hasn’t even bothered to pass a budget since before the iPad existed. It will be about how four years of grossly increased spending has stimulated us into the worst recovery in American history…It will be about how creating new entitlement programs cannot possibly fix the ones that are already broken. And, it will be about whether we value an ever more dependent society or an ever more successful one.
As Ryan said this morning, it will be about, “what kind of country we want to be” and “what kind of people we want to be.
Here are more reasons why the smart Democrats will fear Paul Ryan:
He has earned the respect of Democrats and liberals who oppose him.
William Saletan, in Slate magazine—a publication that’s not exactly known as a conservative magazine: (All emphasis is added).
Ryan refutes the Democratic Party’s bogus arguments. He knows that our domestic spending trajectory is unsustainable and that liberals who fail to get it under control are leading their constituents over a cliff, just like in Europe. Eventually, you can’t borrow enough money to make good on your promises, and everyone’s screwed. Ryan understands that the longer we ignore the debt crisis and postpone serious budget cuts—the liberal equivalent of denying global warming—the more painful the reckoning will be. There’s nothing compassionate about that kind of irresponsibility.
Maybe, like me, you were raised in a liberal household. You don’t agree with conservative ideas on social or foreign policy. But this is why God made Republicans: to force a reality check when Democrats overpromise and overspend.
Erskine Bowles, former Clinton Chief of Staff, disagreed with Ryan’s budget proposals—but he called them “sensible…honest, serious” (Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at HotAir)
Paul Ryan is an effective debater and advocate
Ryan is smart, well-spoken and tenacious in an exchange of ideas. He bedeviled the Democrats during the Obamacare debates. He is a great choice to lead the GOP’s resistance to out-of-control, foolish Democratic Party spending. The online pundit “Iowahawk” said it best this weekend: “Paul Ryan represents Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: Math.” Paul Ryan can, and will, do the math.
Ryan comes from a background that’s hard to demagogue.
Ryan grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin (population 63,575). His father was a lawyer who died when Paul was 16. Ryan didn’t go to an Ivy League university; he attended Miami of Ohio, the kind of college that a middle-class kid in the Midwest would attend.
Ryan used money from his deceased father’s Social Security benefits to help pay for college. Democrats will gleefully point to that and call Ryan a hypocrite. Ryan, however, is skillful enough to point out that he’s trying to reform federal entitlements so they can endure for future generations.
Does anyone, really, think that our entitlements don’t need massive reforms? This fellow knows they do:
And what I’ve tried to explain to them [Democrats] is, number one, if you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing.
That “fellow” was Barack Obama.
My fellow Tucsonans, given what you’ve seen the Democrats do with power—and with your children’s and grandchildren’s money—over the past three years, do you really think they’re committed to meaningful entitlement reform? Or, will they kick the can down the road for our grandchildren to deal with?
THAT is why smart Democrats fear Paul Ryan.
* This article was originally posted over the weekend—I have modified and expanded it