It used to be that Republicans were a rather docile lot, given to compromise to get a few things through the House of Representatives. Democrats during a previous era between the '50s and 1994 held onto the House without any threat the Republicans would take over. The Senate changed hands many times, but Republican senators were still middle of the road (Charles Percy, Everett Dirksen). By and large, Republicans were only known for one thing: a friend to big business and millionaires.
During the Ronald Reagan '80s and '90s and 'thousands (he's still around), Republicans, in addition to appealing to blue collar democrats and southern soft-core biggots, began courting the religious right. Jerry Falwell's "moral majority" provided countless votes to the Republicans at all levels of politics.
The religious right is still a very important constituency for the Republicans, but with the economy the way it's been, Romney, et al, has been trying to shape this election around the bad economy and jobs picture. Until he selected Paul Ryan.
Ryan embodies two extreme wings of the Republican party: the wealthy and the nutty religious, who want to impose their morals on the rest of us, while giving massive tax cuts to the upper crust (some estimate a cut of $125,000 per year for anyone making over $1 million). These tax cuts, in the Ryan budget, include making Bush's tax cuts permanent. It's the Bush tax cuts coupled with two unpaid for wars during the Bush years that have ballooned the deficit - a deficit that grows the national debt and that Ryan says is so bad.
How can a multi-millionaire, out of touch candidate (Romney), teamed up with someone whose views on contraception and abortion AND who's in favor of more tax cuts for the wealthy and more taxes on the middle class going to win this election? Why isn't this thing beginning to take off for President Obama? Am I being too impatient? Is Ryan a wonky version of Sarah Palin?
With all that's been out there on Ryan since he was named Romney's running mate, I still don't see any strikes at his Achilles heel. I'm not even sure what his Achilles heel is. Should we not worry about this and justgo after Romney? He's the one at the top of the ticket, after all. Was I spoiled by the Palin nomination? What a gigantic fumble that was, for all to see. This Ryan thing has me a little spooked.
All the criticisms of Ryan's plan and his religious views do tend to define him, but he doesn't look and act like a typical Republican in this day and time. He doesn't smirk and sneer, like Dick Cheney. He doesn't call the opposition crazy names. He does have a penchant for sounding downcast and bleak, and that's not a good thing during bad economic times. No one wants to listen to a whiner with sad eyes and downturned lips. Oh, he's serious all right - serious as hell about wanting to be Vice President Ryan. Let's hope he doesn't have Teflon. That "tired old man we elected king" (Don Henley) was known to have Teflon - nothing stuck to him, no negativity, nothing (except briefly).
Absent a major gaffe by Ryan as the American voter is getting to know him, I am at a loss to see what's going to make him crack, show he's vulnerable, show that he's NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT.
The Romney campaign wants to send Ryan to Florida. Let's hope this is his undoing. I agree with concentrating on swing states; but I'd feel much better if the President would start pulling away from Romney in the national polls too. Romney's take on his taxes this afternoon is a good thing. The idiot's back, saying stupid stuff, and focusing the media on what he doesn't want it to focus on: everything that we know is shady about this guy.