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What does the Paul Ryan pick really mean?

Every election we get all fired up when the VP pick is announced, but why? The 24 hour news networks have to fill time and we all understand that. But why do we get so caught up in it election after election? How short are our memories? What has a VP ever meant to any of us? How many Vice Presidents can you name that didn’t take over as President that were truly impactful? Cheney and??? How many can you name at all? How many can you name that lost in an election? Who gives a shit?!

The pick is important in certain cases, no doubt. McCain choosing Palin was important. McCain was 72 years old and a former prisoner of war. The Cheney pick was important because Bush was lazy and in over his head and he knew it. (Cheney actually picked himself if you’ll recall…) But in all other cases in recent history the VP pick has been largely unimportant. What has Joe Biden meant to your life for the last four years? Are we worried about a guy who’s never had a drink keeling over before he’s 70?

I won’t argue that the VP is entirely meaningless. Only that it is usually meaningless and absolutely over-hyped.

But more important than the pick itself is what it says about Mitt Romney. Indeed, the pick proves what we already knew. Romney is insecure about his Conservatism. So insecure in fact, that he made a horrible strategic decision in choosing Paul Ryan.

The strategy, as the RNC calls it—and rationale, I say—is that Mitt needed Ryan to “energize the base.” I must have missed something. This is the same base that believes a Kenyan Socialist is systematically dismantling the Constitution, right? The same base that goes to rallies holding signs of Obama with the Hitler ‘stache?  The same base that won’t abide another penny of taxes for the wealthy? These are the people who weren’t going to make it to the voting booth to vote out the most hated Democratic President of all time?

I call bullshit. Whether they’re voting against Obama or for Romney is inconsequential. The result is the same. The base is coming out en masse this November. However fragile Romney’s Conservatism, he’s not Obama. And he’s rich and white, and almost a Christian. Definitely not a Muslim anyway. This pick wasn’t made strategically. It wasn’t tactics. It was fear based. It was a choice made based on Romney’s insecurities as a Conservative and a Mormon in a party with a base that’s further Right than it’s ever been and overwhelmingly Christian.

This is the thought that keeps me up at night.

Sure he’s goofy. And disconnected. And probably an alien. But he seems pretty harmless. He sings off key. He repeats some strange line about trees being the right height. Despite his support for rich guy tax policy you get the feeling that underneath it all he’s not that different than Obama—the Obama we’ve seen the last four years anyway. He was governor of one of the most Liberal states in the Union after all. He did implement Obamacare before Obama did. Doesn’t seem all that radical to me.

And I don’t think he really is all that radical. But he is something potentially more dangerous and the Ryan pick confirms it. He is utterly insecure.

Insecurity is dangerous when it’s attached to tremendous power.

LBJ was famously insecure and this, according to many Presidential historians, led him to drive us deeper into Vietnam. The result as we all know was millions of lost lives and widespread and enduring suffering. If Johnson could be bullied why not Romney?

Against all sanity he chose a VP candidate who is way further to the Right than he is. Thankfully, this is a move that will cost him the election. Independents won’t swing for Ryan. And running with a rabid ideologue shoots new life into a Democratic base that has been frighteningly quiet thus far.

His curse is our gift. And the move that proves how dangerous he really is ends up being the same one that saves us from that danger.

I was terrified of his insecurity and now I am grateful for it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the dogs sockpuppet

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

    by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:27:32 PM PDT

  •  Would have been? (5+ / 0-)

    This fait accompli notion is getting more dangerous all the time.

    He could still become VP and Romney President.

    Dan Quayle, as bad a choice, won.

    •  Uhhh... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm making a prediction based on the assumption that my diary won't sway millions of voters into staying home on election day.

      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

      by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:48:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fine to make a prediction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homo neurotic

        Your headline goes far, far beyond prediction into the realm of celebrating far too soon.

        To me, it represents the dangerous assumption by far too many on our side that Ryan not only could very well hurt Romney, but there is zero chance that he is anything but a disaster.

        It's not a question of swaying people to stay home. It's a matter of overconfidence that can be lethal to our side.

        I beg you to reconsider the headline. It takes away from the quality in the diary.

        •  I appreciate your point sean (0+ / 0-)

          And I agree that if I changed the headline I would get more recs. But the headline is an accurate portrayal of the content. If people are so reactive that they can't get passed it that's on them.

          What I think you should consider is that there is a difference between celebrating too soon and being confident. Most voters don't pay much attention to politics at all, far less frequent Daily Kos. Spinning this as a blunder by the Romney campaign can be powerful among that segment.

          Liberals are always cast as the party of wimps. Acting with a little cockiness once in a while isn't necessarily the road to apathy. Might be the road to victory.

          And I honestly believe that unless they plan on hiding Ryan for the next three months there won't be any shortage of fuel for the Left.

          I agree that the title is a poor choice for the local paper and a dangerous one at that, potentially. But the title was chosen in consideration of the folks here at Daily Kos. I figured that a politically savvy crew could handle it. We'll see.

          In any case, I wrote what I honestly believe and a diary should reflect honesty before serving as a political weapon. I am not self-important enough to think that the choice of a word in my title will impact a national election. But I am honored that you think it will. =)

          “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

          by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:17:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Experiment (0+ / 0-)

          Tomorrow I'll post the same diary and call it "Does Mitt's Insecurity Make him the Most Dangerous Presidential Candidate of All Time?" and see what happens.

          “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

          by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:04:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Don't you mean "would be"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homo neurotic

    PLEASE don't count your chickens before they're hatched.  There is a lot of work still to be done.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:45:31 PM PDT

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      Now I remember why I stopped posting here. Please see my reply to seanflynn. Jesus you guys. Deep breaths.

      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

      by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:49:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With thousands of potential readers here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homo neurotic

        the chances are excellent that ANYTHING sloppy or debateable WILL be critiqued or debated.  Good to keep that in mind.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:54:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Try debating the content... (0+ / 0-)

          And abandoning the paranoia that I just cost Obama the election by making a prediction.

          Next you'll claim I'm a Right wing plant sent in to sabotage the Obama campaign by breeding apathy amongst Democrats through creative use of grammar!

          “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

          by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:58:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Romney may well be insecure -- (2+ / 0-)

    certainly he's stiff and often appears awkward and embarrassed.  

    But he's not a bit like Obama, because (as I firmly believe) Obama CARES about us little people. Romney doesn't care who gets hurt as long as investments are growing.

    Obama admitted to participating in grade-school teasing and said he was ashamed of it -- Romney was the ring-leader of high-school bullying with assault, but denies any memory or any shame.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:51:02 PM PDT

    •  Do you plan on responding to the main content? (0+ / 0-)

      Or setting up straw men and nit-picking?

      And by the way, in response to your quote/tag... The extinction of the human race will come NOT from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function but from it's refusal to not watch pornography while driving automobiles.

      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

      by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:54:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great point... he is dangerously insecure. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r fisher, maybeeso in michigan

    That alone should disqualify him for being anywhere near the Presidency.

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:00:18 PM PDT

    •  Right? If we've learned anything from history. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for responding to the content. Rare in these parts.

      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

      by r fisher on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:02:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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