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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Ryan on American exceptionalism

Referring to Paul Ryan's detailed and thoughtful speech on Thursday to the Alexander Hamilton Society โ€” in which Ryan used historical parallels to reaffirm the critical importance of American exceptionalism in the modern world โ€” the esteemed Michael Barone asks (rhetorically but pointedly):

By the way, how often do House Budget Committee chairmen give speeches about foreign policy?

(Hat-tip Instapundit.)

Posted by Beldar at 03:01 PM in 2012 Election, Foreign Policy, Global War on Terror, History, Politics (2011), Ryan | Permalink


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(1) Wayne Moore made the following comment | Jun 4, 2011 3:30:06 PM | Permalink

Compare and contrast the foreign policy views of Paul Ryan with Ron Paul's.

Compare and contrast Ryan's grasp of domestic issues with any current Republican candidate (or with President Obama).

Compare and contrast the ability of Paul Ryan to effectively explain and sell his viewpoint with any other current or potential presidential candidate.

The 2012 presidential race is Ryan's time to come forward and provide leadership this country needs. If he refuses to enter the race, then we must draft him.

There are those who say the Republican field is strong. There are some good people in it, but compared to Paul Ryan all come up very short.

(2) Insufficiently Sensitive made the following comment | Jun 5, 2011 10:23:27 AM | Permalink

If no other Republicans have the brains or the courage or the concern for the future of the USA to go public with remarks on foreign policy, then there's a sucking, inexcusable vacuum where the alleged Party should be asserting a defensible alternate position to Obama's disastrous waffling.

The House Budget Committee Chairman's thoughts do an excellent job of addressing that vacuum. Is he the only bloke in the Party who actually considers issues and develops positions? Are the others all just squandering their time, hiring consultants and poll-testing their horse-race strategies?

(3) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Jun 6, 2011 1:01:58 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: I don't know if you've seen Dafydd ab Hugh's latest post on Paul Ryan. He says, rather too harshly and pessimistically in my view, all the things Ryan's Prez supporters are going to have to refute. Myself, I think the problem with Ryan is the same as with Sarah Palin in 2008: an unripe candidate being sacrificed in a frantic search for the miracle candidate, a miracle candidate who doesn't need to exist. I will note that Hugh didn't even speak to the points about say, a) Mexico as a festering failed state on our southern border, b) the likely collapse of the euro as monetary unit, and the demographic strains of China's (and to a lesser extent India's) one-child-and-he-better-be-a-boy policy is going to cause, and c) how much weight "international law" should carry in US policity making (answer: only to the extent it is codified into US law.)

I think Ryan's speech is much better than Hugh allows, but only if you see it as an effort by the House Budget Chair to drum up support for his ideas and the plan he has developed to execute them. The notion that Ryan must be the GOP nominee because he's the only mastermind who can explain his notions against Democratic demagoguery is dismaying. The principal case contra Ryan is that his ideas don't go far enough, a judgment I agree with, but are a great start to rolling back govt. If his speech is viewed this way, it's no wonder Ryan's congressional website doesn't have detailed stands on all issues. It's only if you view the speech as a flutter by Ryan the Prez candidate, that it looks bad. I think Ryan's supporters are doing him harm by pushing him toward a contest for which he hasn't done enough to prepare. I think your best chance is to back his program to the limit. Roy made an odd remark in another thread that the GOP needed an inspirational leader to beat The One. I'm baffled. "Inspiration" is The One's stock in trade. It's the ONLY Prez trait that he has a full measure of, and even then it's limited to the saps who swoon over him. If the GOP fights on who can inspire, they damaging themselves and the nation. The GOP needs a wonkish candidate who can assail The One's imbecilities, combined with a track record of competence, and the ability to lead. Ryan has at least one of the these qualities. You and others think he has more, if not all of them. He may some day. He may even have them by 2012. But if he starts thinking "I could be Prez in 2012" now, another fine leader will have been ruined, just as SP has been damaged by her 2008 campaign.

I also note in Ryan's speech his summary of THE WEARY TITAN, which claims that 1895-1905 British leadership was unsure of itself, and hence decided to toss world leadership to the US. Not having read the book, I don't know if the book makes this claim, or if Ryan has misread it. I do know that this notion is preposterous, a black mark for Ryan's grasp of history. "The orderly management of decline" was a British disease, but it didn't become official policy until the 1950s, when it began wreaking havoc on Britain.

As for Michael Barone's uncharacteristcally vapid and arch remark about how often do House Budget chairs give foreign policy speeches, I refer you to John Kasich . This took me no more than five minutes to find, and the hardest part was learning who the previous budget chairs had been. Barone's remark reminds me of all those who warbled for Colin Powell as the miracle GOP candidate in 1996. 12 years later, how well did that work out?

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

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