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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) listens to testimony during a hearing on
Even if he loses, he'll be back for more of the same
Imagine for a moment that you are a political junkie. Imagine next that you on the way toward a vacation in the Mojave Desert where you know that you will have absolutely no access to the internet for four days. Imagine that you are on a desolate highway, half an hour from the point at which you expect your connection to the outside world to end. Now imagine that your Twitter stream starts filling up with the breaking news that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has just selected Rep. Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential Unit running mate against President Obama, and while everyone else in the political scene is analyzing, speculating, and responding rapidly, there's nothing for you to do but know that in a few days' time, you'll finally have a chance to observe the fallout.

Such a disconnected environment lends itself well to idle speculation around the only relevant question out there: Why on earth did he do that? It's common practice that a presidential ticket would want its second fiddle to be someone who seems to drag it to the center, rather than someone who represents the ideological fringe of the nominee's party; someone who is perceived as benign and is generally well-liked, rather than someone whose signature piece of legislation went down in flames. And even if that weren't the case, the last thing a nominee would want to do is jeopardize his party's chances at holding onto the House majority that would be driving the agenda of his first term, should he attain the presidency. Yet in one fell swoop on a Friday evening, Romney did exactly that, affiliating his candidacy with the darling vanguard of the far right while giving Congressional Democrats everything they could possibly want in terms of an electoral bogeyman for their campaigns. This deviation from what seems to be common sense, and what is certainly expected practice, raises the question of whether the Romney campaign believes he has a serious chance at winning.

Despite the neck-and-neck nature of national polling, the only math that matters in a presidential election is that of the electoral college, which presents a far less rosy picture for Romney. At this stage in the game, even Karl Rove has indicated that even if Romney won every single state that is a true tossup right now, Obama would still cruise to reelection. CNN's electoral map is somewhat more favorable, but any extended manipulation of the interactive map leads to the conclusion that most any viable path to a Romney victory must include a sweep of Florida, Ohio and Virginia—and even then, there are plausible scenarios under which the president could earn another four years by holding his support in Midwest and Mountain West. Even worse, only about five percent of voters in swing states report being open to changing their minds, meaning that for Romney to have an even-money chance, some sort of sea change in the electorate would have to arrive before the election.

The extremist nature of the conservative right presents another quandary. Despite its fervent loathing of President Obama, the activist base is lukewarm toward its party's presumptive nominee. Republicans know that they can't win this election if the base doesn't turn out, but what it would take to motivate the base could harm the candidate with the ever-shrinking number of swing voters that he would need to mount a comeback. All in all, if you're a Republican looking to get rid of President Obama in the short term, none of this bodes well: Master prognosticator and statistician Nate Silver currently gives Obama a better than two-to-one chance at winning in November. And while that constitutes an improvement for Romney compared to last week's forecast, it's hard to imagine that at least some of those gains won't be given back as Democrats continue to pound the drums of war against the extremist Ryan budget.

But if, by contrast, you're a conservative ideologue looking to push the transformation of Medicare into a profit program for private insurers even further into the realm of ideas that can be discussed as legitimate in American politics, the pick of Ryan as second in command is self-explanatory. Given the odds of defeat that the ticket faces as whole, it could be considered far better in the long run from their perspective to have Ryan on the ticket and force the open-air debate about whether to dismantle the Great Society rather than pick someone more moderate who could at best only slightly improve Romney's odds pulling off what would at this point be an upset. After all, it matters far less if Romney loses if his campaign manages to kick the can of wholesale privatization a few feet further down the road of ideological acceptability.

The first challenge for President Obama and Congressional Democrats will be to avoid all the pitfalls and do the work necessary to get boots on the ground and win. But the second will be to make explicitly clear that the defeat of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will not just be of them as candidates, but will rather constitute a wholesale rejection of the extremism that forced Ryan onto the ticket in the first place.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Interestingly, here's a local ME editorial that (36+ / 0-)

      takes the opposite view of why Romney is apparently falling on his sword by taking on Ryan as VP:

      ie, he's doing it for the good of the party, which can only survive if the tea party fringe is divested of their current stranglehold on the party's voting base.  I find that not credible, btw, because Romney hasn't got a selfless bone in his body.  And that's the reason I find the above explanation to be out of the bounds of credulity.  Doing anything for "the greater good", no matter how wrongly the greater good is construed, is beyond the ability of Romney to conceive of, let alone act on.  

      I prefer Occam's approach: the most obvious explanation is that Romney is so dense and self-absorbed that he actually thinks Ryan's inclusion on the ticket will help him win and achieve the draconian changes he's shooting for.  He's demonstrably that venal and stupid, iow.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:36:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I'm confident that Obama wins re-election (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nespolo, Larry Parker

      Strong gains in Congress?  Not so sure.

    •  Why the GOP has to be the target, not just R&R (4+ / 0-)

      I diaried about this the other day.

      We should be fighting this election not only to defeat Romney and Ryan. We should be working hard to discredit the entire corrupt, incompetent G.O.P. conservative apparatus. We should be revealing the bankruptcy of their so-called Big Ideas, their continual policy failures, their broken promises, their outright un-American behavior. And we should NOT make the mistake of thinking it will be over in November - because the Republicans will only continue their war by other means. Vicious in Victory, even Nastier in Defeat.

      They don't want to play nice, they don't want to share, they have no respect for anyone except themselves, they hold themselves accountable for nothing. It's time to put them out of business.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:15:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LuvSet, Ian Reifowitz, Nimbus

      But the Republicans never take "No" for an answer.  

      For instance, if Mr. Bush was told "No," resoundingly, when he expressed interest in privatizing Social Security, his idea was revived by the Republicans and will be again.  

      When the Republicans lost the battle on the Affordable Care Act, they continued to vote in the House, periodically, to kill the "unConstitutional" plan.  

      In just the most recent Congressional session, the Republicans have held over 30 votes on abortion-related legislation, never mind that this argument was lost 40 years ago.  

      And in the Senate, where the Republicans are the minority party, they continue to wield unfair power, because, instead of listening to the majority of the voters, they ignore the voters, refuse to compromise and obstruct anything that is proposed by a Democrat or Independent.  

    •  Agreed. Why? Ryan is the perfect dupe & scapegoat (0+ / 0-)

      for the impending loss.  Romney is, if anything, a soulless pragmatist, in fact a brilliant quant.  So he has been able to see the handwriting on the proverbial wall for some time now.  The economy is all he's got and it is quite clear that Obama can't be dislodged on that basis.  
      So Romney's greatest need is not for a running mate who can win the election, because it can't be won.  Romney's greatest need is for a scapegoat upon whom to blame the loss.  God know that the great and glorious Mitt can't be blamed.  Oh, heavens, no.

      Ryan is, on the other hand, a hugely gullible dunce.  Gullible, because anyone who can't see through Ayn Rand is gullible, and a dunce because his economic plan numbers don't exactly foot and tie.  That makes Ryan the perfect dupe and patsy to take the fall for the looming anti-Republican landslide.....An absolutely perfect scapegoat.  He fills Mitt's needs to a T.

      Romney: Wrong on GM. Wrong on bin Laden. Wrong on taxes. Wrong on austerity. Wrong on Medicare. Wrong for America.

      by SGWM on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:54:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ryan doesn't represent 'the ideological fringe' (26+ / 0-)

    ....of that party at all. He represents their mainstream.

    A Romney concession pick would have been a bland, safer option in Portman or Pawlenty.

  •  Concession? Heck no. (40+ / 0-)

    Romney thinks he's going to win.

    This is a base election with a bunch of swing states run by Republicans intent on disenfranchising, suppressing, discouraging, and limiting traditionally Democratic constituencies. They've got Citizens United and dark-money billionaires on their side. And never forget that they recognize no limits on their ability to lie, cheat, and steal in pursuit of power.

    So, no. Not a concession but a doubling down.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:06:34 PM PDT

  •  WI is the wild card. (8+ / 0-)

    If we hold it (as we should) then the scenario you sketched out would lead to a fairly comfortable victory.  If we lose it, hen we have to win in FL or OH and the election becomes a reprise of 2004.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:08:49 PM PDT

    •  Not necessarily. (0+ / 0-)

      Obama can win by holding all of his states from 2008 except for Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio and Florida and that doesn't seem unlikely. Obama's been polling strong in PA, VA, NV and CO. IA would be his toughest hold in that scenario. I actually think Ohio is going to be safely Obama's. Polling has shown Obama doing well there and Ohio's economy is doing better than the national economy.

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:11:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe they're (19+ / 0-)

    so confident in their voter suppression bills that they want to get the ticket that will end the New Deal and the middle class in four short years..........

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:10:15 PM PDT

  •  only a capitulation to the 'bagger wing & typical (4+ / 0-)

    corporatist cowardice

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:13:05 PM PDT

  •  Obama wins now, but (9+ / 0-)

    Ryan is for the FUTURE - no other potential VP pick would have been a credible GOP candidate in 2016 (for the Kochs).  

    Who will we have to run against Ryan in 4 years?

    I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012.

    by Food Gas Lodging on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:13:28 PM PDT

  •  If that's so, I'm opening a concession stand. (5+ / 0-)

    Hot dogs n'stuff.

    Popcorn n'things.

    Chicken filet sandwiches n'beyond.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:15:45 PM PDT

  •  he is being a CEO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, JKTownsend, ljb

    Mitt "know" how to do things and he picked someone that "he" thinks will help him.

    He didn't listen to advisers.  His advisers do what they are told to do, just like in business.

    Palin was picked because she was a long shot and no other person being looked at would be an improvement in McCain's standing.  Palin was just incompetent for the position.

    Mitt picked someone like him.   No other reason.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:16:21 PM PDT

    •  I sort of agree, but also too: (0+ / 0-)

      Even Romney has to have figured out by now that the press isn't exactly in love with him, and it's got to be driving him nuts.  So he picks the Village's choice for Most Serious Man in Washington to gain some press cred for his campaign, because every Master of the Universe knows the proles just vote the way the media tells them to.

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:01:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The plan: lie and then cheat (16+ / 0-)

    You can see it, the deliberate and all-out reframing of the Medicare issue so it's Obama who is "stealing from seniors and destroying Medicare" and Romney/Ryan who are "protecting seniors by preserving and protecting Medicare." There is no honor, no holding back, and they hope they can just keep calling white black and up down all the way to November.

    Part #2 is of course gaming the voting system in a handful of key states, by voter suppression, machine-rigging, and who knows what else.

    And Part #3 is the racist dog-whistle, louder and more blatant, with full encouragement to the birthers and other wingnuts.

    The last thing they want is a straight up-and-down vote on the differences in policy and principle between themselves and the President. They will do everything money can buy to ensure that never happens.

  •  hope (8+ / 0-)

    Let's hope second term Obama is more forceful--especially with recess appointments of judges and sub cabinet positions.  Time to highlight how injurious Republican obstructionism has been.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:18:40 PM PDT

  •  I agree and certainly hope you're right! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, eps62, JKTownsend

    Where in the Mojave were you going at this time of year?

    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

    by caseynm on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:19:11 PM PDT

  •  Typo? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    Confused about paragraph 4.

  •  Picking Ryan is not about winning the presidency (8+ / 0-)

    The Republicans knew that was a lost cause months ago. It's about winning the conversation. And the Republicans want to do away with the social safety net. To that end, the choice of Ryan makes total sense. Even if a there is never another Republican president, there will be plenty of Democratic ones. The  idea to do do away with Medicare and Social Security has been floated. Someday, it won't even seem like an outrageous idea. Many voters already think that it's not so crazy. And some day, one of those Democratic presidents will be signing the "Preserve Medicare by Voucher Act" or the "Social Security Freedom to invest in risky financial instruments Act." in to law.  And they will be hailed as great conciliators, and obviously very, very, serious, just as Bill Clinton was when he gutted Welfare to provide more cheap labor for Wal- Mart and the all volunteer Army. And beyond that, when the Republicans have another somewhat uncooperative Dem president that won't give them exactly what they want, they will swoon for the good old days when they had a cooperative Democratic president doing their conciliating, err I mean bidding. Just as they are waxing poetic now with Clinton. The Republicans have always played the long game, and as usual, they always seem to end up winning.

    •  They win by fighting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For the last 2 years they opposed everything, demanded concessions and got most of what they wanted. They took hostages, held up disaster relief, the budget, ACA, and got as much of what they wanted as they could. If they have a tough vote and they need a moderate republican from a liberal state to fall on his sword, he'll do it. Their long game is Permanent Republican Majority. They aren't interested in a 2 party system, give and take legislation, compromise and cooperation. Just a continuous republican majority... forever.

  •  His wife and family made him do it (8+ / 0-)

    Here is a different take on why he picked Paul Ryand;
    The Romney Family Takes Charge


    But while Romney's staff had their doubts, the Congressman had the support of a separate, and increasingly influential set of advisers who have long had the candidate's ear: His wife and five sons.

    According to people close to the family and campaign, Ann Romney and the most politically engaged of the brothers were early advocates for Ryan to join the ticket, having grown friendly with him and his wife over the course of the summer's vetting process. Mrs. Romney and Janna Ryan "got along famously" as they got to know each other, said one source, while Tagg Romney — an increasingly crucial adviser to his father this year  — grew to like and respect Ryan as he crossed paths with him on the campaign trail.

    Romney, who has long trusted his wife's "people instincts," gave substantial weight to her endorsement, which, combined with his own personal preference for Ryan, was enough to overrule his advisers' concerns, said one source.

    Personally I lean to the Koch brothers buying in with $100M.

    The question for me is Florida.  If Rmoney does not carry Florida he is toast and Florida Repugs are largely older over 65 retired, who voted for McCaine heavily, but these people do depend on Medicare and Ryand wants to throw them to the lions armed with vouchers.

    Medicare is the issue for November.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:23:16 PM PDT

  •  It is a concession (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, JKTownsend, Nespolo the Koch brothers.

    Mittens doesn't know his ass from his elbow.  T-Paw, Portman, Herman Cain, Paul Ryan, Vlad Putin...they're all the same to Romeny.  He doesn't care so long as he can go into the record books as having gotten farther, politically, than his father (why is it all Rethug politicians seem to have daddy issues?).

    Romney would have put Seamus on the ticket (even on the top of the ticket) if someone told him it was a good idea.  Instead, the Koch brothers sat him down, handed him a check, and told Romney that this turnip would be his Veep.

    He's not conceding the election.  He honestly believes that if he continues to be an empty vessel--with no plans, no history (that he hasn't declared off limits), no present, no future--that he'll win.  He continues to be on every side of every issue, offering no specifics.  And the media has completely let him get away with that.  And so long as they continue to enable him in this empty campaign, then he may be right about his chances.

    Ryan, in the end, will have no effect on the final numbers, one way or the other.  Other than LBJ, I can't think of a Veep who ever did.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

    by costello7 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:25:17 PM PDT

    •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's pretty difficult to make the case that Palin didn't effect McCain's numbers.  He probably would have lost no matter who was on his ticket, but by less.

      And, it seems Ryan will have an effect on the final numbers, to the degree to which this becomes an election about Medicare, and entitlements and it seems it's well on its way to that.

      Common wisdom may say the VP pick doesn't matter, but that's when wisdom has played a part in choosing the VP.  Both Palin and Ryan were hail Mary picks, not thoughtful ones. Both are extreme candidates that bring out sized attention to themselves and effect the outcome more than has been historically true.  

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:05:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree on Palin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think, if you look at where the polls were just before McCain named her and look at where things finished, you would conclude that she made no difference whatsoever.  The fact that the needle jumped wildly in between doesn't alter that.

        And I honestly don't think Ryan will change the numbers this year.  The cake was pretty much baked long ago.  

        On the edges, a Veep pick can move one vote here or there, but the psychology of the larger mass won't be affected by such a minor move.  I've been saying for three and a half years that Mittens would be the Rethug nominee and that Obama will be re-elected ("comfortably" is the word I'd use for the electoral numbers) and nothing's happened yet to change my view.  

        Indeed, these voter ID laws have the potential of changing things far more than the Ryan pick.  Can the Rethugs steal the Presidency (again)?  Absolutely.  Can Romney beat Obama fair and square in 2012?  The nature of human psychology would say no.  And, honestly, I can't even see this election being close enough to steal (not that they won't try).

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

        by costello7 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:49:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Regarding McCain, (0+ / 0-)

          the question that cannot be answered is what might have happened if McCain had picked a less attention sucking VP.
          You say that his numbers before the Palin pick were equal to his numbers in the end.  I will trust you with this, because I don't have the time to do the research on that right now.

          But even so, there is still nothing that can answer how many more numbers McCain might have gotten, without Palin.  In the end, it's no secret that many a moderate republican voted for Obama rather than have Palin a heart beat from the presidency.  And how much did this effect McCain's down ticket?

          You seem to dismiss the fact that since the pick of Ryan the discussion of Medicare has blown up full and wide.  Would the Obama campaign have gone there anyway? Yes.  But now they go there with the blessing of Mitt on Ryan's plans, no matter what he tries to tell us.  This IS a game changer in this campaign, and a major changer of the discussion.  That's huge.

          We'll have to agree to disagree when it comes to VP picks.
          I would say that in the past, your POV has been correct.  But as the GOP in the last 2 presidential cycles has become increasingly panicked, and made increasingly extreme choices, I cannot agree with you that the VP pick doesn't have an effect on these elections.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:39:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Got one: Aaron Burr, 1800 (0+ / 0-)

      Of course that was before the rules were changed - and WHY the rules were changed. :-D

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:08:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Flaw in the analysis (12+ / 0-)

    Romney doesn't care about the future of Medicare, the GOP downballot, or the Overton Window, and he doesn't have any particular ideology other than the acquisition of money. All he cares about is becoming President.
    No need to overthink this. He picked Ryan because he reminds him of himself; an entitled rich prick with an abundance of vanity and a willingness to brownnose.

    The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet. Mark Twain

    by AWhitneyBrown on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:25:54 PM PDT

    •  I think it was the extreme (0+ / 0-)

      pressure from the right wing and his money men that led Romney to choose Ryan.  They wanted Ryan's vision out there front and center, not the least because Romney has no vision.  The fact that Ryan happens to be a mini Mitt is imo, just a bonus.

      Oh yeah, and the wife.  There's a comment here I believe that talks about Ann's preference for Ryan.  Which seems about right for her, as she seems to really believe that what "you people," need---middle class riff raff of all stripes, is another guy who will set you straight as to your unimportance.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:21:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is what it's all about. (5+ / 0-)
    But if, by contrast, you're a conservative ideologue looking to push the transformation of Medicare into a profit program for private insurers even further into the realm of ideas that can be discussed as legitimate in American politics, the pick of Ryan as second in command is self-explanatory.
    Not only that, they think it can be a winning issue for them this year -- not sometime in the future. The GOP is running a full-throttle coordinated campaign on Medicare. Just look at Ryan's visit to Florida. It worked for them in 2010. They feel that they must kill Obamacare in 2013 and begin the process of dismantling Medicare and Social Security. Once Obamacare gets fully implemented, it will be as popular as Medicare and Social Security and will strengthen the Democratic Party for a decade or more.
  •  I'm surprised that the right wing (5+ / 0-)

    isn't more pissed off at Mitt than normal. He bows to the Koch Bros and Teabaggers and picks their golden boy and then proceeds to silence him ... no talk of actual plans, just lies about how they're "saving" Medicare. My real concern is the voter suppression. It is going to be one hot mess in Ohio and Pennsylvania--states we can't afford to lose.

    "The Democrats have moved to the right and the Republicans have moved into an insane asylum." ~Bill Maher

    by Constant Comment on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:27:31 PM PDT

    •  Numerically we *could* afford to lose *one* (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but it's a shitty idea to concede any state, even the most wildly unlikely. Make the bastards fight and spend mucho buckolas for every single vote.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:10:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speculation is the Koch Bros picked Ryan (6+ / 0-)

    and the promise of the infusion of $10M funds from the Kochs lead Mitt to choose Ryan.  The Kochs are playing a long game here, being sure to not repeat the mistake of GWB, picking an older VP with significant health problems.

    Historically, VPs have a leg up on the competition and what the Kochs are shooting for is a Ryan presidency in 2020, bought and paid for.  

    •  Oh yeah? That hasn't been true since 1800 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Historically, VPs have a leg up on the competition
      Who has actually pulled off getting elected President after having been Vice-President (without finishing out a Presidential term and then running AS President)?

      John Adams, 1796
      Thomas Jefferson, 1800 (in a squeaker)
      ----- rule change from winner-take-all/runner-up take second -----
      Martin van Buren, 1836
      Richard Nixon, 1968 (8 years later)
      George HW Bush (1988)

      That's hardly a strong case for your argument.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:21:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was referring to the primaries where the various (0+ / 0-)

        aspirants duke it out; sorry if I were not clear

        •  That hasn't always helped either :-) (0+ / 0-)

          Aaron Burr was kicked off the 1804 ticket (Jefferson had every reason not to trust him)
          George Clinton never officially ran (he pulled 6 electoral votes from "faithless electors" in 1808).
          John C. Calhoun locked horns with Andrew Jackson - and lost, so he was off the 1832 ticket.
          Richard M. Johnson squeaked onto the ticket in 1836 and got dumped in 1840.
          George M. Dallas wasn't picked by anybody in 1848.
          John C. Breckinridge (Buchanan's VP in 1856) went Confederate.
          Abe Lincoln traded in Hannibal Hamlin (1860-1864) for Andrew Johnson in hopes of postwar fence-mending (didn't work out too well).
          Schuyler Colfax (1868-1872) got the boot - they shoulda kept him, as his replacement, Henry Wilson, died in office.
          William Wheeler (1876-1880) was uninteresting before, during and after his term.
          Levi P. Morton was passed over in 1892, and had a failed run at the Presidential nomination in 1896.
          Adlai Stevenson (the first) got out-charismaed in 1896, and ran for VP again in 1900 with the man who out-charismaed him: William Jennings Bryan. (They lost.)
          Charles W. Fairbanks was shut out in 1908, and was VP on the losing ticket in 1916.
          Thomas R. Marshall got nowhere in 1920 despite (or because of?) being Wilson's two-term VP.
          Charles G. Dawes was passed over for VP in 1928 through the personal intervention of the President he had served under: Calvin Coolidge.
          Charles Curtis went back to practicing law in 1932 (it was a good time to have a steady job, ANY job).
          John Nance Garner served two terms, made too many enemies, didn't want a third term (FDR DID, though), and went back to private life.
          Henry Wallace served that third VP term and got the heave-ho. He ran as a third-party candidate for President in 1948 and finished a dismal fourth, behind Strom Thurmond(!).
          Alben Barkley withdrew in 1952 after campaigning for a mere 20 days.

          It seems to be only recently (since about 1960) that having been a sitting VP counts for much.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:19:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Any time you defeat an incumbent, it's an upset. (5+ / 0-)

    "...someone more moderate who could at best only slightly improve Romney's odds pulling off what would at this point be an upset."

    Since the President holds the "bully pulpit," any time you defeat an incumbent, it's an upset. So, yes, if Romney wins, it will be considered an upset no matter what the polls state the week before the election.

    It's a given that the GOP will lie through their teeth in order to get in to office, then do whatever pleases their corporate overlords once they get in. The best hope we have of keeping Obama in office is to convince the nearly unconvincable that the GOP are lying about Medicare and Obama in general. Then, they'll either stay home or switch their vote to Obama.

  •  He's what they want (7+ / 0-)

    Seems to me that Republicans genuinely feel there's a strong majority behind what they're doing and that their lies work well enough to get away with the rest of it.

    Ryan is a hero in that party over that ridiculous budget. I was talking to my Conservative grandmother and while she wasn't kissing the guy's butt, she somehow seemed to feel that he was doing something right.

    From her perspective, she was able to pick out any part of Ryan's plan that remotely sounded positive, leading her to believe that the claim that Ryan wants vouchers and such must be false and what the Obama camp is pushing is a lie.

    This is what you're working against. I don't see it as a concession, I see it as an embrace of what they've come to be in the last few decades.

  •  I'm afraid Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, JKTownsend

    doesn't have progressive interests in mind with his actions any more than Romney does Conservative ones.

    His presidency by and large shows a lack of pushing the envelope in our direction except when it advances his political fortunes. Remember the crickets on single payer? And remember a team of rivals? Torture?

    Obama's advocacy of marriage equality was, I'm sure, in line with his core beliefs, but it was based on cold political calculation of the trend of the nation rather than being a bold risk in order to do the right thing.

    Needless to say, an Obama motivated by self-interest is light years ahead of Romney's self interest.

    A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

    by A Mad Mad World on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:32:33 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for your Romney-winning concern (5+ / 0-)

      This is the primary rationalization for staying home on elecition day.

      The Democrats aren't really progressive and the Republicans aren't really conservative, so no matter who you vote for, the government it going to be continue being dysfunctional and won't ever get better. The irrational conclusion is that voting doesn't matter.

      People who would vote for someone who they believe has earned their vote are people who will eventually stop voting. It's not about voting for the lesser of two evils, either. Even though you recognize that Obama's position is light-years ahead, this is hardly a motivation to get out the vote.

      It's simply about voting. Period.

      The sad fact is that people who are afraid or anti-social will vote.
      People who are complacent or discouraged won't vote.

      Not voting is a vote for Willard.

      This is how we got screwed by Nixon, Bush, Reagan, W, and a dozen rabid right wing state legislatures who are now revoking your right to vote.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:12:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are you stealing my stuff Dante? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, JKTownsend

    Glad you're bringing up the point I made in my luke-warmly received diary from a week ago.  

    I agree.  I think this is the powers in the Republican party playing the Medicare long game.

    •  As the one with POA for my 81 year old Dad, (4+ / 0-)

      The Ryan plan to wipe out Medicaid scares me more than the Medicare trashing.  An all out push is needed to remind folks that when your assets are gone it's Medicaid that kicks in and pays for the roof over your head.  A small number of todays retirees will have enough to outlive their assets and I doubt most of today's workers will have enough saved to last until their last breath.  Boomers and 40 something's should be reminded of this daily...if you have elderly parents or you expect that your parents will be elderly one day, Paul Ryan expects you to take them in when the money is gone.

      •  I totally agree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As I am thinking about saying to my brother-in-law

        'Ryan's cuts to Medicaid could mean the difference between mother-in-law having help to the bathroom before she goes to bed at night, or mother-in-law laying in her shit all night.'

        Another point I intend to make to him is 'Medicaid is what pays for developmentally disabled nephew to have a day program or residency program, job coach, speech therapy, transportation, etc etc etc.  Without it, he sits like a zombie playing PlayStation all day.'

  •  I think he wanted a wingnut "mini-me" (8+ / 0-)

    It's all very psycho-sexual.

    If Obama didn't get Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger; then Bin Laden didn't take down the World Trade Center because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

  •  Mitt RobbedMe wanted wost VP in history award! (7+ / 0-)

    The choice of Ryan puts him solidly in the running for the all time worst VP pick. I seriously think McLame might have snuck into the Presidency, if he just hadn't picked Palin. So, that was a bad choice. But, Dittsy Mittsy picked someone who could both bring him down and his party's control of the House as well. Now that's one epicly bad choice that is destined for the record books!

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:35:09 PM PDT

  •  And after he wins, Obama should (4+ / 0-)

    (and I suspect will) frame victory as a mandate for exactly what you describe.

    Four more years for the lanky Kenyan!!!

  •  "If you walk with a man who limps" (6+ / 0-)

    You believe that everyone limps!

    They see the world through eyes shaded by hate, envy and fear.

    Would not want to be them.



    Some people make you want to change species

    by ulookarmless on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:36:16 PM PDT

  •  The answer is no. (12+ / 0-)

    Romney wants to be president, nothing else matters.  He could not care less about promoting one ideology over the other.  If he thought torturing puppies would get him elected, he would do it himself on-stage.  He picked Ryan because it would shore up his increasingly uncompromising base, and because he thinks Ryan's looks and demeanor could fool some of the independents.  Thats it.  

  •  The problem with the Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, Larry Parker

    is the idea that the losing VP pick goes to the top of the class for the next election. It totally fail;ed with Palin and now Ryan. Once they lose if he somehow believes he is the next anointed one then they will have 4 more years in the wilderness.

  •  Republican are peddeling a bad product. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, eps62

    And they know it. That's why they have to have all that money trying to sell a bad product.
    Business is business.
    Even with Republicans.
    To deny Obama four more years would be very bad for business.

    Kos is Kind, Smart and Important.

    by Stop Pandering on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:44:44 PM PDT

  •  How do the Flip-Flop Brothers decide who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, greatferm

    gets to flip or flop on any given day? Do they flip for it?
    Also, America desperately needs to know this: How do they managed to do a whole Three Stooges show with just two stooges? I think the laws of physics are being violated ;)

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:48:06 PM PDT

  •  In terms of planning a fall election strategy for (7+ / 0-)

    Obama, I would probably do the following:

    - Check the small states:  IA, NV, NH, NM.  Obama has been doing that this past week and into this final week before the GOP convention.

    Of these 4 small states, 3 are battlegrounds and Obama leads clearly in 2 while IA has had a dearth of polling and could be a less than 5 point race.  Judging by Obama's reception on his statewide trek through Iowa, I believe he is ahead and will likely win the state.  The economic issues he raised (taxes, wind tax credit) and the social issues (medicare) will likely keep that state in the blue column.  That said, it is unclear whether we have the clear registration advantages we had before so we will need to keep pitching the indie voter.  He and Biden will need to go there a few times.  NM is not a battleground but with a popular GOP governor and a contested Senate race, Crossroads might make that race a little closer.

    - Check Wisconsin.  For Obama's small state strategy to truly work, it depends on holding the Kerry and Gore states, and WI is one of those states.  When Dems won it in 2000 and 2004, the margins were very close (Kerry won WI by about 11k votes).  We have to respect that Ryan's presence on the ticket as a hometown boy will make that race a little tighter in the early going.  A few trips there to reestablish ourselves can make sure it stays in the Dem column.

    - Check headfake states:  PA is the big one here.  GOPers always covet it, never win it, but they have voter id on their side. Obama's team needs to do a careful calculation of the actual votes they can get and what Romney's best scenarios are.  If they feel that Romney's math doesn't add up, just stick to GOTV and send the VP as needed.  

    - Make Romney cry state:  NC.  Obama has been polling very well in NC.  Take Ras out of the equation and the margin between the 2 is less than a point.  Romney can't win this election without NC.  We want it so bad because he needs it so bad.  Obama should commit to NC through the end of the election.  He can win it again.  I think he could win by a larger margin than 2008.  That said, it is the only battleground where Romney has polled in the high 40s.

    - CO, OH, FL, VA - these are the big 4 states. Over the course of the summer Obama has led in the vast majority of polls in all of these states.  That said, these 4 will be a dog fight to the end and Obama has to bank on winning at least 2 of them (though I think he will win all 4).

    He needs to look at third party impact in these states.  Also needs to see if he can diminish Romney's margin among seniors to lower than what McCain received.  The way to do that is to exploit the Ryan medicare plan.

    The optimal scenario for Obama is that he comes out of his convention with a small national lead of around 2-4 points (essentially where he is now).  Based on that lead, he would expect to hold WI by no less than 2 points on recent voting history.  

    He then should nail down the small states so that Romney does not seriously contest them into October other than through ad spend.  Then turning to the final 4, he can use the last 6 weeks to repeatedly visit and outwork Romney in each of these states.

    I believe it is possible for Obama to win Colorado, Virginia, Florida and Ohio by 4-6 points each.  I believe Romney is that bad a candidate and Obama that good.

    To tie this into this diary's theme, Ryan is a terrible choice except to the extent that he can make us sweat in WI.  If he  helps turn WI red, then it is a genius pick.  If WI stays blue, then Ryan is an utter failure.  Ryan will hurt the GOP in FL VA and OH.  The Senate races in each of these states will work to Obama's advantage to reinforce the message.  We are running a unified campaign. They are running scared (from their own votes).

    We are going to kick their ass, but the process takes some time to unfold.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:49:09 PM PDT

    •  Iowa has kick-out-the-gay-marriage judge (0+ / 0-)

      On the ballot.  Religioso goobers and bigots will be out in force, and they'll pull the lever for Romney while they're casting the judge to hellfire.

      Not good for Obama's chances.

      •  People in CA overturned legalized same (0+ / 0-)

        Sex partnerships in CA in the same election where Barack Obama won 61% of the vote. Obama will be all right on that front.

        Alternative rock with something to say:

        by khyber900 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:15:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Romney's too delusional to concede... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, investorb, eps62 least consciously. Maybe it's all those magic undies and golden plates and the ease with which his faith apparently encourages lies when lies serve their goals. Not really sure, but I think he really feels it's his destiny.

    Of course deep down he may sense that the path from here, where he's effed up royally yet again, and "there," where he has no idea of how to get there using reality, will likely lead him to a dead end. Thwarted again, destiny robbed once more.

    To me this move smacks of sheer desperation. Kinda like McCain 4 years ago. And inability to stand up to pressure from the Kochs et al. I hope it turns out the same as things did 4 years ago. Some days I'm sure it will, other days I'm reminded of how easily duped a growing number of Americans choose to be and I fall into despair.

    The whole thing is really repulsive.

    Ich bin ein Wisconsiner!

    by Apphouse50 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:49:54 PM PDT

  •  It's not a concession. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    Picking Rayn shored up the base at the cost of some middle of the road votes.  The idea there is to keep things close (they are, by the way) and hope that something unforseen happens really late in the cycle to hurt the incumbent.  In that case they could get lucky and win.  But a dispirited base that was already skeptical of the nominee would have put them down too far to make up in a burst of bad news.

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:53:03 PM PDT

    •  Catch is, "the base" keeps shrinking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And the more batshit insane the GOP becomes, the more the base shrinks, until there's only the batshit insane supporters left (the rock-bottom 23%).

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:29:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's strategy with policy and running the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, basket

    country was to petition the gop for bipartisanship.
    He kept adopting specifically gop/conservative ideas in the ACA to prove his "moderate/right of center " status.

    Every time he moved to the right, the gop reflexively moved to the left, to create a delineation between them and him. (for purely partisan reasons)

    So he started playing with it, strategically, and pushed them further and further to the right, without giving up too much actual policy, because he realized they were incapable of actually passing legislation.
    So he gamed them into the whole "sequester" fiasco.

    Then, when OWS finally was able to break through the fog of "austerity" that had overtaken the media, he adroitly stepped back and gained leverage of the whole spectrum from center right back to the left.

    So Romney prevailed in the gop primaries, but he was essentially invisible. An amorphous fog that essentially filled the same space as Obama in the political spectrum, but had no substance.  He had no chance to draw a stark line of contrast between him and Obama.
    I think they picked Ryan in order to get some kind of stark delineation between Romney/Ryan  and Obama.
    Romney/Pawlenty or R/Portman would have been fundamentally invisible.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:54:44 PM PDT

  •  Agnew, Dole and Quayle were base picks, not... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, pademocrat

    ...picks designed to drag the ticket to the center.

    It's common practice that a presidential ticket would want its second fiddle to be someone who seems to drag it to the center, rather than someone who represents the ideological fringe of the nominee's party...
    The opposite seems just as common for Republicans, at least.

    The case against Assange debunked:

    by expatjourno on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:56:20 PM PDT

  •  I think you answered your own question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome, Food Gas Lodging

    in your analysis.

    There are few undecided voters at this point so the race becomes a GOTV effort.

    For Romney to have any chance at knocking off Obama in a few months, he knew he'd need a very energized base which just wasn't going to be there if he picked one of milk-toast alternatives.

    I don't think it is a stupid pick for Romney, however, it is a very stupid pick for Republicans as it hurts their chances in House and Senate races.

  •  The Lurch to the Right Makes Me Wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, a2nite, pademocrat

    Combined with voter suppression in places like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvannia, I worry...could rmoney win?

    I remember the republican stolen elections of 2000 and 2004.

    Posthumously Baptized and Retroactively Retired. It’s 1950 If Romney Is Elected.

    by wild hair on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:01:54 PM PDT

  •  Here's why I worry about Ryan (0+ / 0-)

    Losing VP candidates CAN come back

    I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012.

    by Food Gas Lodging on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:03:51 PM PDT

  •  Romney/Ryan Behavior (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, eps62

    I'm beginning to suspect that the Republican companies that make electronic voting machines -- the ones that are too complicated to provide a printed receipt of the actual votes cast -- have already programmed them to give us a Republican victory regardless of the actual vote.  What else explains the amount of money being spent, the voter suppression being attempted,  and the outlandish positions being taken by Republican candidates?  If you know you've already won, why wouldn't you be that way?
    Of course, each touch-screen voting machine has a small impact printer built into it like every other printer used in credit card transactions, so every voting machine could easily print out a two-part receipt, just like a credit card transaction.  The voter would then sign the white copy and give it to the election judge and save the yellow copy.  That way, a recount would actually be a real recount.  Otherwise, we are supposed to just trust the republican companies that made and programmed the machines.  Reagan was correct -- Trust, but Verify.  I want a paper receipt for my vote because I believe the Republicans have demonstrated that they intend to steal this coming election.

  •  His personality--and biggest mistake (3+ / 0-)

    I was doing something else while the Sunday talk shows ran, and suddenly--almost subconsciously--came to an "Aha" moment. Every single show was talking about Ryan. Romney's name was an afterthought.

    There are only two truths here. One, Romney wants to be Pres (not do the job, just be the pres) so much that any bribe from the Kochs would do it. (Yes I believe the story. The amount doesn't matter, and even if some was Adelson it doesn't matter either.)

    But the second is more telling. The Kochs et al are much more concerned about getting their philosophy out there than winning; in fact, they may have given up on Romney.

    What has Romney done? Think of the scene in Oh, Brother! He's sold his soul to the devil(s) and now he has nowhere to go. Ryan has every headline and the agenda is all his. Romney is now an asterisk in history.

  •  Since when is the "second fiddle" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    someone who drags the ticket to the center?  The VP works the base.  Joe Biden represented the traditional  older liberals who were suspicious of Barack Obama's credentials. Sarah Palin was McCain's concession to the wingnuts even he couldn't stomach, but he over-reached. It is the presidential nominee who must work the center, in swing states,  for what few swing-able votes are generally available. If Rmoney sends out Ryan to try to get those votes - as he seems to be doing in the early going - that is just dumb. Ryan is there to keep the crazies on board.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:10:41 PM PDT

  •  a concession to kochs. there will be more R's voti (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, bythesea

    ng for D's this year, and few D's switching.  enough informed voters despise Romney business and tax practices, and enough low info righties despise Ryan's privatization of fed programs that work, the tea party, and war on women

    time to make the O win assumption and focus on house races.  house race ads will GOTV. also.

    paul ryan created the deficit

    by rasfrome on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:10:43 PM PDT

  •  I see it differently (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    The right-wingers THOUGHT Romney had put an ideological soul brother on the ticket, yet how have they been running this week?  TO THE LEFT OF THE DEMOCRATS ON MEDICARE!

    In other words, in their first week, at least, the Romney ticket has been running as liberals, as defenders of the greatest socialized medicine system this country has ever seen.

    I wonder how the righties feel about that?

    •  If you don't realize they're talking out their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62, bythesea

      assholes and don't mean a single word they're saying, then yeah, they sound like they're "to the left". But it's all bullshit, words without meaning, sound without substance, empty hypocrisy.

      They're out to see how many voters they can blind with bullshit, that's all.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:34:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's all about.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eps62, bythesea

        ... the low-information voter not realizing they're talking out of their a-holes.  

        But it's interesting that R&R feel they NEED to go left in order to win over those voters.

        I just wonder if the righties feel a bit betrayed this week.

  •  Just this morning at breakfast I spoke with a (8+ / 0-)

    good friend regarding the election. He said that he was disappointed with Barack and it really didn't matter which one wins since "the president doesn't really have that much power in the end." He was very discouraged with politics.

    I avoided "getting into the weeds" and calmly stated that the president has a hell of a lot of say when it comes to nominating members of the Supreme Court who serve long after the presidents term has ended.

    I pointed out that the republican nominees gave us Bush and Citizens United among other improper rulings. I then expanded my remarks to include the thousands of presidential appointed federal judges and how their rulings affect our daily lives.

    He replied that he hadn't thought before just how important it is to re-elect Barack!

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Templar on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:12:30 PM PDT

  •  I Expected Him To Pick A VP To The Right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    Keeping the base enthused will increase voter participation and help with fundraising. It does create an opportunity to make this an election that will form a consensus and a narrative for progressive policies. Obama had that chance after winning in 2008. He didn't do it.

  •  Who would concede a 4 point race? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, pademocrat

    Especially since Democrats have a horrible reputation of staying home, and the youth nonvote shows every sign of doing the same this year.

  •  Ryan was picked to get the Village (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, Egalitare, Russycle

    Romney picked Ryan more to get the Village than to get the right-wing zealots.  

    He figures that he has the right-wingers because he is running against Obama and their hatred Obama is all he needs.  He is probably right.  Unless Romney is down five points or more the first week of November, they will come out for him.

    Romney picked Ryan because the Village loves Ryan.  He is constantly touted as a great mind, a serious person, one who represents the future.  

    Prior to the pick, Romney was clearly losing the Village over his tax returns, over Bain, and over the generally trashy tone his campaign had begun to take on.  He needed to stop the bleeding in swing state polls, but he needed to stop the bleeding in the Village salons first.

  •  God's Will isn't about Polling, don't you see? (0+ / 0-)

    Romney and Ryan share one thing that none of us progressives will ever understand.  

    They are Righteous.  This gives them the freedom to be as pure and ideological, without the constraints that come from having to calculate consequences as it is possible to be.

    Neither of them look like they lose sleep worrying about what the right thing to do is, because they are certain God is inspiring their words and actions and He will make certain the outcome.

    The one concession they make to the will of the electorate, such fools as mortals be, is the need to lie.

    For the Righteous, the ends justify the means because they must contend in a world full of the blind and the misled.  

    So it is that Romney's calculations about Ryan need go no further than the certainty they both share that they are already Elect of God.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:27:12 PM PDT

  •  There is only one way this makes sense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they plan on stealing the election again

  •  Fish Catches Fisherman? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All jokes about Paul Ryan's love of "noodling"aside, I'll refrain from commenting on what he stuck down Romney's throat in order to get the nomination.
    OK, I lied.
    Over at No More Mister Nice Blog we get what may be much closer to the truth of this selection:
     "'s more like an unhealthy long term erotic dance between an aging alpha male desperate to retain his power as the world changes, and a young man who responds to being pursued by wrapping his pursuer around his little finger. For some of this you have to read between the lines--and recall that Ryan was voted "biggest brown-noser" by his high school classmates--but you can't help feeling the young man knew just how to hook the older man, while also playing hard to get..."

  •  Uh.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dante Atkins, basket
    Republicans know that they can't win this election if the base turns out, but what it would take to motivate the base could harm the candidate...
    Don't you mean if the base doesn't turn out?

    2012 is looking better and better!

    by Erik the Red on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:35:36 PM PDT

  •  The Presidential election has become the (0+ / 0-)

    ultimate red herring to distract from the down-ticket races.  Conservatives have figured out that the law is their ticket to nirvana.  From "there ought to be a law," they've moved to "there's gotta be a law" to make sure we get our way.
    While money has proved a handy tool to manipulate the population, a two-pronged approach is needed for complete domination. The law has to be tailored right up front, since relying on judges has proved risky. Because, even if judges eventually declare laws unconstitutional, they have no enforcement powers and monetary judgments have little effect against deep pockets.
    Just look at the banksters.  If they lose trillions in nominal value, they can buy themselves out of any jam with a few billion.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:44:50 PM PDT

  •  Rmoney may be evil, but he isn't severely (0+ / 0-)

    Conservative enough.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:54:13 PM PDT

  •  We are seeing a battle to the death... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, basket, bythesea

    between the "old guard" G.H.W. Bush Republicans and the new "young guns" of the radical right wing of the party.  Regardless the horse race atmosphere the media would like to portray, the "old guard" knew their chances were very slim indeed.  By putting Ryan on the ticket they will be in a very good position to lay their defeat at the feet of the lunatic right.  They will then be able to overfill their coffers with the cry of "creeping socialism" while retaining that very proper country club demeanor.

    The big losers will be Dick Armey's crowd of ridiculous tea-baggers.  Dick will not mind.  He'll just go on to his next scam and probably never take his hands out of the pockets of those nitwits.

    The grifters at the RNC, Heritage Institute, Cato Institute, etc will continue to fleece the likes of the Kochs and the Coors brothers all in the name of ideological vacuity.

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:55:52 PM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney has faith in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Stupid Americans.

    Those of us who were around in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004 can attest to the power of this demographic.  Even in the years it doesn't seem to win, it usually does.

    In fact, a lot of people voted for Obama in 2008 for reasons that were pretty stupid.  They thought a grand renewal was at hand in which their lives would get a lot better.  A huge chunk of them pretty much gave up on that in despair months before the midterm elections and we had a 'wave election' that wiped out big Democratic majorities.  Now they're 'Undecided' aka lean R/R or openly off to vote for Romney and Ryan.

    I see the pick of Ryan as consistent with the general theme of this election: it's the Billionaires' Turn to run the country.  We've tried government by a black man and many millions of poor people who voted for him.  

    Paul Ryan reminds of me of the people in the meeting of Bentley "University" Young Republicans I saw in an upscale fast food place a few years ago.  Same idiocy, same smarm, same opportunism, same delusion of having a serious point of view.  Same Stupids.  

    The only way for fervent idiocy of the kind to be defeated is to elect it to power and watch it fail.  I know anything other than defensive or oblivious Obama triumphalism isn't PC around here, but to me the signs are mounting that there will be a national wave of Stupid in November.  And we will do the national fiscal experiment of Romney/Ryan/Boehner government.  The country has a way of letting the Stupids rule and they get destroyed by the backfire as soon as it can afford to, and sadly we can afford to.  

    We are now sufficiently numb to and prepared for more economic pain.  A lot of the R/R vote will be one of economic despair, really.  We've done modest economic Change in the form of the Obama term.  A Romney term will be immodest economic Change- all the (in this case economic) fear and panic and rage will come out and rave and finally burn itself out, as is the norm to Republican periods of government.   And at last the country will be so emotionally spent and no longer able to cling to the last straws of illusion that it will finally be honest with itself.   As it isn't now.

    Which means internal Democratic purging and national election victories in 2014 and 2016.

  •  Here's my theory.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, eps62

    Willard believes that he cannot win without the right-wing wing-nut fringe, otherwise known as the "base."

    The GOP actually believe their own crap.  All these lies and distortions they have been spouting now have become, to them, indistinguishable from the truth.  The whole concept of truth is now relativistic to whatever they say.  

    They believe their anti-scientific mumbo-jumbo.  They believe their creationism baloney.   They believe that McCain didn't win because he and Palin weren't ideologically pure enough.

    What they need, and I mean NEED, is a huge, resounding defeat in November, to help them get back to reality, where there are actual problems that need to be worked on.

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Candide08 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:14:53 PM PDT

  •  Do the maps take into account (0+ / 0-)

    The effect of new voter ID laws?

    For example, if I lived in FL, I would not be eligible to vote, because I have received no official document with my social security number on it in the last 60 days.  So, it wouldn't matter that I have voted in every election, including primaries, since I turned 18 - I would no longer be eligible to vote in Florida.

  •  Florida, Ohio and Virginia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All of those states have Republican governors and secretaries of state.

    Remember Florida 2000? Ohio 2004?

    Hope Dems in those states have their eyes wide open!

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:17:15 PM PDT

  •  I still believe that… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the present situation Romney hasn't hurt his chances any more than helped them by putting Ryan on the ticket. But, it does preserve unity in the party, marrying big business, wall street and the tea party to the campaign. No clear cut, one aspect of the alliance to blame when it all goes to naught. And it might preserve the big boys' tenuous control over the oncoming tea slinging, fundamentalist masses. Anybody else and infighting might have been a threatening factor. Not a dumb choice at all.

    I'm voting for the UPPITY ONE

    by qua on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:25:09 PM PDT

  •  Rommey's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not conceding at all.  He doesn't expect to win the election, but he does expect to steal it, as Bush did two times.

  •  Most candidates by now.... (0+ / 0-)

    are doing whatever they can to sell the middle/undecideds/independents.

    Romney is still trying to sway his base.  HIS BASE!!  This is quite telling.

    OBAMA 2012!! LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION!!!  ALL royalties earned through 10/1/2012, go directly to re-election of our president, through

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:47:20 PM PDT

  •  I thought Ryan got on the ticket because everyone (0+ / 0-)

    else said No fuckin' way.  

  •  if the Romney ticket picked Ryan in order to (0+ / 0-)

    bring the changing of Medicare into the national discussion - why is their line currently that it is Obama who is trying to change Medicare - for the worse, of course. Vote for the Romney ticket to keep Medicare the same!

    If the Ryan pick was intended to bring the winger ideas into the mainstream (they aren't already?) why is the Romney ticket not trumpeting said ideas? Ryan is mumbling about his ideas at the campaign's behest ...

  •  The next President of the United States? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, bythesea

    Maybe Willard was saying that about Paul Ryan because he knows Obama will continue on in 2013.

    Whatever.  Ryan's toxic.

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen. (Oh, and I support President Obama in 2012.)

    by Benintn on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:35:27 PM PDT

  •  Its all in the contrast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edmund Xu

    Painting Romney as a liar, a scumbag, etc. is not the path to holding your numbers, motivating your base, discouraging his base, or swaying independents: which are the things you need to do.

    All that does is play in to the "both sides bad" narrative. Its not a terrible strategy for a frontrunner, but it doesn't lengthen your coattails to legislative races nor help gain a stronger mandate for a second term.

    Its time to do what no one expects: go positive. Think Reagan vs Carter.  Romney is Carter, doom and gloom, talking about how terrible the economy is. Obama plays Reagan - its morning in America.  We're hopeful. Things are getting better. We're a great country doing great things.

    That would set up a real contrast: negative versus positive. It fits on bumper stickers. Its a simple message for low-information voters, like independents. It motivates your base and discourages the other side's. Who wants to go to the polls to cast a vote for things being lousy?

    That means every Romney "unemployment 8%!" ad becomes a drumbeat of negativity, and turns voters off.

    And while we're channeling Reagan, go with his tax reforms of 1986.  Tax capital gains on the same basis as ordinary income, which gives room for both deficit reduction and lowering earned income rates. Let Romney call it class warfare when you treat millionaires and trust fund parasites the same as bus drivers and paramedics and teachers.

  •  It could be the stolen states, or to cover MR's (0+ / 0-)

    ass. If Romney picked a safer person and the current polling averages held about where they are Romney would lose in an historic blowout. The demographics show that we are entering a period where it will be very difficult for Republicans to win presidential elections if they don't steal them. Romney would be the president that really ushered in this period in the right's mind if he went w/ a safe pick. Now he has Ryan and they right-wing media won't spend the next decade ripping Romney and destroying his legacy. That is one potential reason he went with Ryan.

    Another is the electoral math. If the GOP can steal FL (which I think is highly likely at this point) by eliminating voters from the voter rolls, and they are also able to eliminate the right to vote from enough people to win in PA the electoral math all of a sudden becomes doable if they can also win Wisconsin. In this scenario instead of just having to win essentially every swing-state they only have to win a couple of select states.

  •  But if Romney loses (0+ / 0-)

    with Ryan on the ticket instead of a moderate, then it would mean a voter mandate against the awful Ryan Plan. Methinks the conservatives are taking an awful risk here. But then again, since when has the right ever cared about what the majority of people think?

  •  Romney's betting on unenthusiastic D turnout (0+ / 0-)

    He thinks that a consolidated conservative Republican turnout is worth the price of some lost moderate indies, under the assumption that they'll stay home rather than swing Obama. Likewise, they're expecting that the Democratic base is going to be lax and that a lot of them are going to sit on their hands.

    We have to make sure that doesn't happen.

  •  the other choices (0+ / 0-)

    hey all of the other VP choices for Romney were terrible.
    so why not choose Ryan?

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:04:22 PM PDT

  •  Sorry but you're all wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    Romney did this so that he would not be kicked to the curb at the convention.

    Remember the "Anyone but Romney" mantra? Well, come convention time they will all have awakened from this bad dream. OMG, what have we done?!?

    This saves him.

    End of story.

    There is nothing more exciting than the truth. - Richard P. Feynman

    by pastol on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:01:35 AM PDT

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