“The first thing I would have done... is pick a Republican.”
This is an eerie echo of a sentiment made on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom by fictitious news anchor Will McAvoy(Jeff Daniels). Namely, that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party.
Not to go all conspiracy theory on ya, but whether you believe that Ryan's nomination was an attempt to "energize the base" of the far right, appease that base, appeal to younger voters, or simply that the nomination was bought for a cool 100 million, Ryan's nomination has to shake you a bit if you're not an avid supporter. And that's because, as Charney points out, his ideologies are pretty far to the right, and have little to do with the principles of the republican party. What's more, his plans seem to ignore the prospect of compromise - something vitally necessary to move legislation forward that is necessary to effect change in Washington.
In short, he's a likable guy with ideas few people care for.
Here are the top three reasons why Ryan scares me:
1) His tax plan was a complete flight of fancy. Loved by conservatives, hated by liberals. Medicare voucher system? Seriously, how it happened that all but 4 house republicans voted for that thing is beyond me. Most Senate Republicans too, despite the fact that most of them wanted to change it, and it is deeply unpopular. What was this, a daft show of support for one of the few so-called-visionaries of the Republican party? Seriously, was it Ryan's good looks and P90X-inspired abs? WHY YOU VOTE FOR DAT?
2) His policies and voting record on everything related to the female of the species pretty much sucks.
3) The Ayn Rand thing. It's weird. Hey, I like Ayn Rand, but I like Ayn Rand because her works are thought provoking, sometimes stark portrayals of what is and could be. NOT, as Ryan believes, as a model for government, without regulation or any sense of altruism. YIKES. This is like me telling people "I love dogs and would love to work as a dogcatcher, for I have taken many dogs to the pound to be euthanized." Jinkies, it's really weird, people.
These three things make Paul Ryan a Sarah Palin with an IQ. That is pretty terrifying. As Bill Maher put it: "So somehow he[Ryan] is the smartest guy in the party, and she[Palin] is stupidest woman on earth, but they agree on everything."
Paul Ryan likes the music(not the lyrics! Not the lyrics!) of Rage Against the Machine. They ain't down with that. As Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello wrote in Rolling Stone recently:
"I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment... Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions."
So, Ryan not popular with heavy metal guitarists.
Worst of all, I question the man's integrity in general. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan led a block of the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan. As Jonathan Chait in NY Magazine put it: "...with the possible exception of anti-tax activist/Bond villain Grover Norquist, nobody has done more in recent years to prevent the passage of a bipartisan debt agreement than Paul Ryan."
In other words, for Paul Ryan: forget the will of the people. Forget what's best for our nation. Let's just make sure we win the Presidency. mkay.
Perhaps that's the REAL reason he got the VP nod - his willingness to cast off all desire to help his country for the cause of the Republican Party.
I'ma sum up: If you have to run with Paul Ryan(who was anywhere from 4th to 14th on the list of prospective and likely VP running mates, depending on who's list you're looking at), then you're more interested in firing up the 1% base, the wealthy donors who would love a fiscally hawkish and charismatic proponent of zero government intervention. This isn't about the far-right base as much as it is about wealthy donors having a laissez-faire* bureaucrat to cheer on, via the Romney Campaign's treasure chest.
Ryan: Scary VP. Scary.
"Another trust fund baby, born on second and thinks he hit a double" OWCH.
*laissez-faire: who cares what it means. It's FRENCH! Therefore bad for America.
Update: Check out Michael Kinsley's apocalyptic vision of a Ryan Vice Presidency at Bloomberg. Then take a wide stance with both hands on your hips, throw your head back and guffaw.