Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You can’t always get what you want

Yes. That is a Stones reference.

Since the naming of Paul Ryan as the running mate of GOP Presidential nominee-apparent Mitt Romney, the Anybody-But-Romney crowd has quieted down its protests. It’s about time, considering that his last serious competitor, Newt Gingrich, dropped out of the race in May, and even the ABR crowd can’t get behind holdout Ron Paul. Still, as pleased as they are with the Ryan pick, and the unabashed conservatism he represents, they aren’t singing Mitt’s praises just yet.

Oh, they’ve come around in just about every way imaginable. They’ve always praised his business experience. The flip-flopper and gaffe memes have been largely discredited. His lack of foreign policy experience is dismissed by citing the same of Reagan. Likewise, the Tenth Amendment is cited to put aside questionable aspects of his governorship in Massachusetts apart from RomneyCare. And even there, the ABR’s seem to now take Mitt at his word that he intends to do away with ObamaCare and are even discovering the humongous differences between the two plans.

After all that, the only remaining objections are his Mormonism and the lingering question of just “how conservative” Mitt really is, whatever that means. The religious objection may be as insurmountable as it is illogical, but brining Ryan onto the ticket seems to have bolstered Mitt’s conservative street-cred. As such, the ABR’s have reluctantly lined up behind the GOP hopefuls, but they are determined to make that reluctance known. Halting praise for the Romney/Ryan duo is always prefaced with sentiments such as, “He wasn’t my first pick, but…” as well as suggestions that a vote for R&R is a vote for Ryan 2020.

Enough already! We get it. You weren’t on board from day one and you’re embarrassed to admit that you were wrong, not just about who would come out on top, but also about blasting Mitt as a RINO. It’s fine. You don’t have to apologize. The ABR crowd has been pretty clear all-along what it is they want. Short of the reincarnation of Ronald Regan (who, if you believe in that sort of thing, won’t reach the appropriate age before the 2040 election) they want an über-charismatic orator who can run rings around the media.

Putting aside the fact that the current candidate has two medias to run around, left- and right-wing, neither of which is particularly accommodating, as well as lessons that should have been learned in 2008, I want to hearken back to the Stones’ song, which goes on to say, you just might find you get what you need.

The fact is, this country is in trouble, and it has little to do with how charming the face of the GOP is. Issues that previous presidential candidates regarded as taboo have been allowed to metastasize to the point that they overshadow all the frivolous wedge issues. James Carville’s famous phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” has come back to haunt Democrats this cycle and the GOP has responded by putting its two most economically savvy politicians on the same ticket. The same ticket has firmly grasped the entitlement third rail and demonstrated that it isn’t live anymore.

This country got where it is because of timid choices: to do what is popular, to defer, to spend now and pay later. The time for timid choices is over. It’s boldness on the part of Romney that has caused this election to finally be about substantive issues—the issues everyone claims to be interested in at every election—rather than slipping into yet another mindless popularity contest. I think we can all agree that a bold leader is what this country needs.


Individualist said...

Paul Ryan is a great pick because he is the GOP focal point for the budget. his being on the ticket emphasizes that.

Romney is a good cnadidate but he has the stigma of New England liberalism by association. hopefully however the conservative momentum will continue long enough to correct things and it won't matter.

tryanmax said...

I don't think Romney is likely to set conservatism back in any way. (After W, how could he?) The foundation of conservative politics is economic sanity. Without that, none of the rest works.

rlaWTX said...

I have family in S Idaho, generally conservatives. They are not -um- fans of the LDS. Even they are on board with Romney because they recognize the danger of another Obama term.
[They got a kick out of the "Mormon vs Moron" bumper sticker that's going around.]

"third rail isn't live" - good visual!!

tryanmax said...

It's a concept as old as philosophy, not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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