12 Aug 2012

Romney Nails His Colors to the Mast

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Paul Rahe observes that Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate defines his campaign and justifies his candidacy.

In choosing Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney has opted to go for broke, and he has indicated that he is a serious man — less concerned with becoming President of the United States than with saving the country from the disaster in store for it if we not radically reverse course, willing to risk a loss for the sake of being able to win a mandate for reform.

I have been unsparing in my criticism of Romney’s political record. I unsay not one word about that. If we were to judge him honestly by his conduct as a Senatorial candidate in Massachusetts and as that state’s Governor, I believe that we would find him sadly wanting.

I have also consistently been of the opinion that, of the declared Republican presidential aspirants, Mitt Romney was the least unacceptable. In his private capacity, he is a man of excellent character; as a businessman, he was accomplished in the extreme; and, as a candidate, he consistently displayed the discipline required. There were others in the race who had good qualities, but they lacked one or more of the crucial qualities that Romney possesses.

I also hazarded a guess — that current circumstances might make a genuine conservative of Mitt Romney, that his understanding of the fiscal crisis we face might very well force him to think more deeply about the moral roots of that fiscal crisis, which is to say, about the inner logic of the administrative entitlements state and the moral as well as the fiscal bankruptcy produced by that inner logic. I was accused of wishful thinking, and the accusation was just. For my wish was, indeed, father to the thought, but this does not mean that the thought was wrong.

Governor Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate suggests, in fact, that my suspicions were correct. For by making this choice, Mitt Romney is declaring war. There will be no evasion, no triangulation, no attempt to mask what is at stake in this election. Instead, Romney and Ryan will directly confront Barack Obama and call him to account for putting us on a ruinous course.

This will alter radically the dynamics of the race. The money spent by Obama trying to demonize Governor Romney will prove to be money entirely wasted. The election is not going to be about Mitt Romney. It is not going to be about the sexual revolution. It is not going to be about Bain Capital. It is going to be about the failed policies of Barack Obama, about their dangerous character, and about the sober, sound alternative the Republicans represent.

This will help the Republicans in Senate and House races immeasurably, for it will give Romney and Ryan coattails — now, without a doubt, the candidates in these other races have something concrete on which to run: repeal Obamacare, pare back the entitlements state, reform our system of taxation, and put our fiscal house in order. No one will doubt the capacity of the Republicans to rule.

I have predicted that Romney will win by a landslide. The choice of Paul Ryan means that Romney has chosen the path that will maximize the significance of his victory and its impact on the races for seats in the House and Senate. As in 1980, this is going to be a national election — in which local particularities count for much less than usual.

2 Feedbacks on "Romney Nails His Colors to the Mast"

Cindy Ryan

I agree with you David.


Romney will not win in a landslide — for the simple reason that there is a majority (or close to majority) of the public that has a vested interest in rejecting reality in favor of wishful thinking (in 2008 they called it Hope).
Reality says you cannot continue to borrow so much that debt service consumes much of your future production. Hope says The Rich will pay it.
Reality says “that which you tax you get less of, and that which you subsidize you get more of”. Hope says you can increase taxes on producers (e.g. younger workers and entrepreneurs) to support non-producers (e.g. retirees and welfare slugs) without affecting economic growth.
Reality says that Medicare “as we know it” is unsustainable. Hope says we can squeeze out another few years before the sh*t really hits the fan.
Reality says all decisions involve tradeoffs. Hope says that Wise Men can make resources unlimited.
Reality says that wages are determined by what you can produce that is valuable to others. Hope says all people should earn a “fair” wage irrespective of what they produce.
Reality says that in order to cut up pies, you must first produce them. Hope says that pies are a given and that the real question is how big each person’s slice should be.
Reality says that everything government spends must first be withdrawn from the private sector. Hope says that government can create economic activity by spending other people’s money.
Reality says that economic decisions are best made by people when they vote with their own dollars. Hope says that economic decisions are best made by people when they vote at the polls.
Reality says that the only way you can lose weight is to exercise more and eat less. Hope says that there is a pill you can take or a device you can buy on QVC that will cause you to lose weight.
Reality says that children have to grow up to be adults. Hope says that, like Peter Pan, you don’t have to grow up if you wish hard enough.

In short, Reality sucks. It involves more effort than our current population wants to exert. Hope is always just one more vote away.


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