Sunday, August 12, 2012

Paul Ryan - there's an app for that

Mitt Romney announces Paul Ryan as his running mate in November

I returned from three days out of range in the high Uintas to learn about the Congressman Paul Ryan (R-MI) pick as Mitt Romney's running mate. So much for my high-tech app on my iPhone and all the good that did me. . . It's obvious Rupert Murdoch liked the choice a lot (and he doesn't tweet much either).

I actually like this choice a lot too. My first impressions - it signals to the world that Mitt Romney is really serious about budgets and entitlement reform. There's another oh, by the way, fact that interests me - this is the first ever Mormon/Catholic pairing of two presidential election running mates in history. Ryan is only the second Catholic GOP candidate to make it to the national ticket.

In sports a lot is said about "chemistry." You've heard it again and again during the Olympics. There's no question that there's chemistry between Ryan and Romney. It's evident when they campaign together. They share a number of things in common. Despite the twenty-plus year gap in their ages, they are both data hunters. They love numbers -- Mitt Romney from his experience in business and working with economies as both a governor and a businessman, and Paul Ryan from his lifetime in studying the budget and the economy and particularly how the legislative process and our federal budget gets put together.

I've heard Paul Ryan tell the stories about when he was in high school and other kids were doing what most teenagers do, he was reading the federal budget for fun. Seriously, you can't make this up - that's who the guy IS at his core. And one of the things Mitt Romney finds particularly appealing is, Ryan is a very articulate, glib, enthusiastic guy. He can take really complex economic and budget issues and make them understandable in clear, concise language that voters can understand. He explanations don't get lost in the kind of legislative speak that you often get on Capitol Hill. And frankly, he's able to put a little more salsa sauce into it than Romney does.

This pick clearly brings this debate right where it should be focused now between the left and right. The remaining months will be about THE BUDGET finally. It will become the Romney agenda as supported by Ryan with all of his principles. That debate will be a more substantive one than a lot of the back-biting and name-calling that we've seen in the past few weeks.

Romney has sometimes been knocked as the "stiff." Paul Ryan will become the Energizer Bunny. In the last  seven terms in Congress, he rocketed to the top of Republican politics. He has become the youngest chairman of the House Budget Committee ever. He has left an indelible mark on the Republican party with the Ryan budget and his bold proposals for Medicare reforms, etc. All have really energized conservatives and Republicans. And likewise, it's also angered and energized a lot of liberals and Democrats, who are as violently opposed to it as Republicans and conservatives are enthusiastically for it. This election is now set for the precise trajectory I would have hoped for months ago. The choices could not be more clear cut.

Historically, and by Constitutional dictum, all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Under the Nancy Pelosi Democrat-controlled House during Obama's first two years, no budget was presented for consideration in the House. When the BHO budget was submitted it was laughed out of contention unanimously by both parties.

In 2010, when control of the House switched to the Republicans under Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the budget chairman in the House was named and he actually presented a serious budget that called for major reforms of entitlement programs, real spending cuts, and a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate deficit spending in a reasonable amount of time. For two consecutive years the Ryan Plan, as it came be called, was passed in the House and stalled in the the Democrat-controlled Senate.

All of which means this country has been operating without a budget in place for four years. The consequences are becoming obvious - deficit spending and debt has risen dramatically with no end in sight.

The creeping progressive agenda is something Paul Ryan deeply knew and cared about, and was actually opposing vigorously, for years in the Congress.

Click here for the complete transcript of an interview with Glenn Beck in 2010, where Paul Ryan says the following:

"Where we raise our family, 35 miles from Madison, I grew up hearing about this stuff. This stuff came from these German intellectuals to Madison ‑ University of Wisconsin - and sort of out there from the beginning of the last century. So this is something we are familiar with where I come from. It never sat right with me. And as I grew up, I learned more about the founders and reading the Austrians and others that this is really a cancer because it basically takes the notion that our rights come from God and nature and turns it on its head and says, no, no, no, no, no, they come from government, and we here in government are here to give you your rights and therefore ration, redistribute and regulate your rights. It’s a complete affront of the whole idea of this country and that is to me what we as conservatives, or classical liberals if you want to get technical."

And there you have it folks - a capsule summary any thinking American can digest to invigorate and focus this campaign on where it is headed into November 6th. If you want to know what really makes a man like Paul Ryan tick, here it is fleshed out a bit more from the same interview:

"They are leading us to a social welfare state, cradle‑to‑grave society where they create a culture of dependency on the government, not on oneself. It is meant to replace the American idea. And the reason I’m doing a lot of these speeches ‑‑ the reason I’m talking about Hegel and Faber and Bismarck, you know, and what those people stood for and what they did and said and all their disciples, you know, in America is because I really believe we’ve got to have a debate and a political realignment fast because we will win the debate now. We are a center‑right country. But if they succeed in moving us faster down the tipping point where more Americans are dependent on the government than upon themselves, where a debt crisis sparked money entitlement explosion brings us to, you know, a really tough fiscal situation, then down the road we may not win that referendum and so that is why I’m trying to, you know, do what I can from my position in congress to sound the alarm bells on what this agenda really means, what this philosophy’s all about and how we need to have a referendum in America in real elections to untangle this mess they created and prevent us from reaching this tipping point where we are a social welfare state, cradle‑to‑grave society, dependent on the government that lulls us into lies of complicity and dependency versus the America idea of, you know, making the most of your life, equal opportunity, equal natural rights. You know, those are the things that got us where we are and that’s why I put this roadmap plan out there. I introduced it three years ago. I put a new version out in January. You can go to my website, It is a very specific economic and fiscal plan. It’s a piece of legislation that says there is an alternative to this progressivist vision for America. There is a way to reapply and reclaim the founding principles in America and still get America back and make this century another American Century appeared that’s why I’ve been, you know, speaking from the hilltop. It’s not popular and it’s ‑‑ and for my party, we can’t afford to screw up again. But we’ve got to get people to stop being worried or afraid of taking on this debate and that’s what I’m simply trying to do."

So if I am right in my assessment, we will actually have two men atop the ticket of the GOP this year who are serious about taking on the tough problems we face as a nation and doing something to correct the illegitimate course we have been pursuing this past four years.

There is only one way Romney and Ryan can lose this debate, and that is if the other side - the BHO/Joe Biden ticket - refuses to debate the case on its merits. There is one thing a radical left-wing extremist ideologue can't stand, and it's the one thing both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are really, really good at:



  1. This is a really attractive and seemingly comprehensive Mormon political blog by an LDS conservative thinker who is not Glenn Beck. I ran across it in commenting on a New York Times article by Nate Silver on the Romney-Ryan matchup. It was your 2010 comment on the excommunicated apostle George P. Lee that attracted me. Here's the comment, which may interest (if not enrage) you, David, and followers of your blog:

    Nate Silver's analysis of the Romney pick for VP is interesting but overdrawn and inconsistent in talking about how it will rev up the campaign although others might have had broader appeal. And the choice is certainly no game changer. It may be, as Silver says, that Romney felt he's in a losing position against Obama, but many other less likely picks could indicate the same thing, including Condoleezza Rice or Marco Rubio.

    From a Mormon perspective, which is the one from which I usually view Romney, the selection is more like adding a faithful missionary companion, or maybe a sixth son to help him through hard times ahead. Romney has picked a man who looks, talks and walks like a fellow Mormon, but is actually Catholic -- a fellow Christian and good business buddy who will laugh off Romney's future gaffes and help the candidate feel more comfortable in his political skin. Ryan is young, attractive and credibly vice-presidential, but just wonky enough not to overshadow the top of the ticket.

    Silver, using numbers as he always does, puts Ryan as the most conservative VP candidate of the past century. Ryan is a bold choice for Romney only in that it was bold to pick someone who appeals to your base rather than someone who may help broaden your base. In this case bold may equal foolhardy.

    So it was the Mormon in Romney that picked Ryan. It's the kind of thing Mormon leaders do when they pick new members of the hierarchy -- they pick someone who looks, thinks, talks and prays like them, someone who won't go off the reservation. (No offense intended, but they once picked an American Indian. but he didn't work out so well.) A woman is out of the question because females can't hold the priesthood. And a minority? Well, the church no longer denies blacks the priesthood, but it'll be awhile before a black or any other minority joins the top brethren.

  2. Enrage me? Not at all. . . Glad you're out there, thanks for the comments.

    The wonderful thing about being a Mormon in today's political environment is that it's open season, everyone takes their shot at Mormons but few hit home. While many pundits are actually doing their homework on the topic, this is all too typical and discounts Romney's prodigious talents outside his membership in the Church.

    Linking the Ryan choice to Romney's Mormon tendencies is amusing to me. Romney could have made a more "politically popular" choice in Marco Rubio, but I don't think this choice of Paul Ryan is political at all - it's pragmatic, wise and studied, Mormonism aside. It wasn't the "Mormon" in Romney that advised this choice, in my opinion. Rather, it signals to me that a desire to turn around the future of America trumped all other considerations.

    Ryan has the creds to help carry the ticket to election in November. I for one believe Americans are ready for leaders with the ability to tackle tough choices. It takes absolutely no leadership ability to keep handing out "candy" bought and paid for with printed currency and borrowed money. The current path is complete insanity. You could make the moral case that it's criminal to play today on the backs of our future generations. Since when does balancing the budget (is it even possible?), reducing debt, eliminating deficits and living within our means as a federal government get translated into meaning something called "radical austerity?" PUHLEEZE!

    The unfortunate reality in America today is voters tend to look no further than the surface, and few can or want to dive deep into the numbers. For every intelligent voter who studies the issues and understands them, there is an offsetting vote from someone who might still believe the charismatic and look no further. (Think 2008 "Hope and Change.")

    By the way, George P. Lee was not an Apostle, he was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and served as a mission president in Southern California at the same time as my father. They knew each other well. Like all fallen men who live on planet earth, Lee was flawed but far from unredeemable subject to his repentance.