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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Ryan, preeminent champion of fiscal sanity (and the GOP), again goes unblinkingly toe-to-toe with Obama

I don't know, but I'm guessing that since she's technically writing a "blog" for the Washington Post, the WaPo editors permit Jennifer Rubin to write the headlines for her "Right Turn" feature. I'm a fan of hers, and we're both fans of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), as per this post of hers titled Paul Ryan stands up to Obama on Medicare reform:

At the meeting between House Republicans and President Obama, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) again demonstrated that he is the head of his party, and the most effective combatant to go up against Obama in 2012. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, got a standing ovation from his colleagues during the meeting....


Obama-paul-ryan_300x300 ... Obama, when presented with the facts, is hard pressed to repeat his demagogic talking points because he knows Ryan is fully capable of calling him on it. The president refuses to give up the fiction that Ryan’s plan is a voucher system when in fact the money doesn’t go to Medicare recipients. One supposes that ignoring reality will be a mainstay of the Obama reelection campaign.

The GOP presidential contenders should be on notice. Unless they have a precise grasp of the president’s plan (handing Medicare over to an unelected 15-member board to curb care) and an alternative plan they can spell out in detail, they’re in for a rough time. Come to think of it, does anyone but Ryan currently meet that description?

Ryan has faced down Obama before in pretty much this same manner — maybe before you were paying attention? — in 2010, during Obama's stage-managed "White House Health Care Summit." There are several other capable debaters in the GOP race, or speculated as being interested in entering it, and I'm not implying anything negative about any of them, but:

Doncha know, friends and neighbors, that Obama would have flop sweats imagining himself debating Ryan for all the marbles in November 2012?

Events are choosing the candidate, if we will only heed them. To a considerable degree, 2012 will be a referendum on Obama; but to win that referendum, the GOP must also present a serious, detailed, and grown-up alternative. We have such an alternative, and its author can not only use it effectively to educate the public, but he can also explain in precise detail why the Obama/Dem alternative (including but not limited to Obamacare) is indeed the direct path to the cliff's edge and then over it.

Posted by Beldar at 08:50 PM in 2012 Election, Budget/economics, Congress, Obama, Politics (2011), Ryan | Permalink


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(1) Roy Lofquist made the following comment | Jun 2, 2011 10:58:03 PM | Permalink

Dear Beldar,

I, too, am a great admirer of Mr. Ryan. However we musn't lose sight of the fact that the battle for the necessary changes that must be wrought is likely a long, tough slog. Patton was a great general. Eisenhower was the right man to conduct the war. This isn't mano-a-mano. It's a long war to beat back the incursions of the last 70 years. We need a Reagan to provide inspiration and morale boosting to see us through. In my judgement Palin is the only prospective candidate can provide that kind of leadership.


(2) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Jun 3, 2011 1:38:25 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: You and Ryan are presenting your cases well. You've even got me thinking about a deadlock in the GOP race, with Ryan being the deadlock breaker. Here's another point for you: Ryan could be to The One what The One was to McC in 2008: a young, fresh face, who can promise hope and change and has the plans to do so instead of rhetoric and a crazed press. Contra Roy, we will need plans and strategy to execute them. The press will gouge the GOP and conservatism in a frenzy that will exceed 2008. But their power will be less this time; people will be wiser (if sadder.) Ryan can supply the plans. As for the strategy:

It's all going to depend on events. If housing drags down the economy into a double dip recession, the GOP will have a terrific chance if they don't blow it by being the Party of Stupid. Ryan can make a solid contribution here too.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(3) Roy Lofquist made the following comment | Jun 3, 2011 2:42:55 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Koster,

There is a hoary military shibboleth: Captains do tactics, Colonels do strategy, Generals do logistics. These are all distinct and equally important functions. Best not confuse them.


(4) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 3, 2011 1:59:44 PM | Permalink

I like Ryan for 2016 or 2020, but at the same time I'm skeptical about Northeastern Republicans when the politics gets hard or dirty. It's not just that they sometimes turn into RINOs, it's also what I think happened to George H.W. Bush and to a lesser degree his son, George W. Bush, at the end of his second term. As Presidents, they seem to have a hard time standing up for conservative economic values when faced with problems coupled with pressure from Beltway pundits, economists and politicians. But if anyone can do it, Ryan may be the one.

(5) Mike Myers made the following comment | Jun 3, 2011 2:13:50 PM | Permalink

But Ryan is most emphatically not a Northeastern Republican. He's a cornfed boy from Wisconsin. Now he may have been schooled in the Northeast. I've not looked at his resume closely--but he's definitely from Wisconsin.

He's a smart fellow though. And I'm tempted to say that he is needed at his current post in the House more than he's needed as a GOP President. Your mileage may vary on that question.

(6) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 4, 2011 1:53:55 PM | Permalink

I hope Ryan is a reliable conservative, Mike, and I agree he might be. But I'm not convinced about Wisconsin. How do you explain former GOP Governor Tommy Thompson?

(7) Patrick made the following comment | Jun 9, 2011 6:46:04 AM | Permalink

I like Ryan a lot, and I think his plan sound. But at this point, I think of him as pretty much a one trick pony. Can he swing on foreign policy, defense, border security, terrorism (but I repeat myself)?

(8) Beldar made the following comment | Jun 9, 2011 6:50:52 AM | Permalink

Patrick (#7), see this post, and the linked speech, on just that subject.

Ryan's record on foreign policy/GWOT/military votes are in the mainstream for conservative Republicans. I think his instincts are sound.

It would be a disservice to Ryan to overstate his foreign policy credential and experience, however. If we're looking for a candidate who has the sort of multi-purpose experience that George H.W. Bush had when he ran in 1988, there's not a candidate of either party who can match that.

Remember that Obama picked Slow Joe Biden primarily to shore up his foreign policy gravitas. I'm very confident that GOP presidential nominee Ryan could choose someone better than Biden from the GOP ranks for that, once in the position to make that choice.

Remember, too, that last go-around, the GOP nominated a guy who was supposed to be a foreign policy elder statesman, who turned out to say some pretty stupid things about Gitmo, enhanced interrogation, and a number of other issues.

There's really not a strong foreign policy figure among the current or rumored GOP candidates. Guiliani, as ex-mayor of NYC, arguably has more foreign policy experience than Pawlenty or Romney, but Ryan or even Bachmann could arguably trump any of them on this credential. Unlike, say, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush or other former state governors who've be strong foreign policy presidents, Ryan at least has the foreign policy experience of a long-time Congressman, without McCain's eccentricities.

But the economy is Ryan's strong suit. And that's what the election is likely to turn on.

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