August 11, 2012

Ryan VP Pick Should Not Be Cut and Dried for Conservatives

Over the last few months I have ticked off a number of people by writing that Mitt Romney may not earn my vote in November. With Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) now on the ticket as the nominee for Vice President, I am now far more open to supporting Romney than I was one week ago. Picking Ryan shows a significant amount of political courage and risk-taking, since Democrats and liberals will obviously declare both men want to throw Grandma off of a cliff. With Ryan on the ticket, though, the GOP has a candidate who can articulately point out that if we don’t change Medicare, Grandma is going off the cliff anyway.

However, I have significant concerns about the effusive praise conservatives have had for Ryan since he was picked as the nominee. In his acceptance speech, Ryan talked about both parties being part of the problem at times. Here’s the thing – Paul Ryan should highlight himself when saying that. Since entering Congress in the late 1990s, he voted for NCLB, the Medicare drug bill, funding for two badly-run wars, the Bush auto bailout, and TARP. Granted, he offered an alternative plan to TARP, and opposed the initial plan, but in the end he voted for it. He also voted for the Budget Control Act in 2011.

Paul Ryan as VP under Romney means entitlement reform – should they win in November – will be pushed off for another ten years. It means defense spending will continue to go up. It means the GOP is supporting a VP nominee who went from working for politicians to being a politician – a true establishment pick, which is not necessarily bad, but I am surprised so many anti-establishment Republicans are ignoring this fact about Ryan. It does mean the campaign is indeed picking the most articulate defender of entitlement reform in the nation, even if his budget plan is extremely centrist and takes decades to eliminate the deficit.

He’s a solid choice if you want someone good on entitlement reform…as long as you push it back ten years to get political support, which means we’ll be in the middle of the Baby Boomer years before we START reforming Medicare and Social Security. That’s entirely inadequate, and those conservatives who say his is the best plan for reforming Medicare haven’t seen the Coburn “Back in Black” plan or the Rand Paul entitlement and budget plans.

Ryan is a very articulate opponent of deficit-spending, which is awesome for conservatives. But no amount of smooth, intelligent discourse can hide the fact that his plans are modest, center-right proposals at best, at least when it comes to balancing the budget anytime soon, and his record on tough votes seems to have been forgotten by many conservatives.

Again, however, all of that said, I think Romney did pick a really solid person to balance the ticket, especially when it comes to showing at least some seriousness on the budget and entitlement reform. Strategically, it will draw conservatives into the fold, and will provide a great counterbalance the bumbling, foot-in-mouth syndrome of VP Biden and the awful, no-solutions President currently holding office.

Of course, I still reserve the right to not vote for the GOP nominees if they fail to put forth proposals and a campaign that gives me reason to trust they will make significant steps on spending cuts and reforms. Additionally, I will be watching to see if I can trust Romney to put forth conservative, pro-life judges once in office. As a Catholic and social conservative in general, I find abortion to be tied with the debt for the most important issue facing the country. While Romney and Ryan probably won’t do as much as I’d like on that issue, either, even their modest efforts on stem-cell research, the HHS Mandate, hopefully defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. will be of great benefit to the unborn babies Obama’s policies will kill.

by @ 2:22 pm. Filed under Paul Ryan
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119 Responses to “Ryan VP Pick Should Not Be Cut and Dried for Conservatives”

  1. Nostradamus Says:

    Give em severe “Kick liberal butt” hell Mitt!

  2. Chris Says:

    Paul Ryan first fundraising stop?

    Colorado.

    http://www.coloradopeakpolitics.com/

  3. Ollie Says:

    Newsflash:
    1. You’re already bitching Ryan is not far-right enough for you and his reforms are weak b/c they don’t slam everything to the far-right immediately. We have to actually get in the WH first.
    2. Abortion isn’t anywhere near the most important issue. We are at the brink, SoCon. Economy economy economy. Jobs jobs jobs.

  4. Drob Says:

    According to Drudge, only 80+ percent thing Ryan is a fine Vice-President. Barely 10% think he is not. So with this kind of margin who really cares what you think? Ryan is the Vice Presidential Candidate so get over it.

    Ryan was a champion of repeal Obamacare and completely crushed Obama in the past. Obamacare just came to the top again. It will become a defining issue. So either jump on board or not. Ryan takes Romney’s message to a very clear level.

  5. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Dustin, if you honestly believe immediate entitlement reform is possible, you are dumb as a box of rocks. What Romney/Ryan does is by far the most courageous political proposal adopted by a presidential ticket in decades that I can recall. And you’re bitching?

  6. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Ollie,

    His reforms are not weak because they don’t balance tomorrow. They are weak because they don’t address enough long-term reforms (his budget increases defense spending, is vague on tax reform, and doesn’t touch Social Security) or even modest spending cuts in the short term. I’m not saying he and Romney should jump far-right, though I wish they would. I just want to see some legitimate proposals that would do more than tinker around the edges.

    Abortions kill 1.2 million Americans every year. If you’ll note, I put debt and abortion at the top of the list — I’m not only a social conservative. Please read my piece again, and you will understand this.

  7. Dustin Siggins Says:

    MC, immediate entitlement reform isn’t necessary, though it would be ideal. If we don’t do entitlement reform in the next two years, we need tax and other spending reforms to make up the difference. I’m fine with waiting until 2015 or 2016 to start reforms, as long as they are put into place soon and other reforms are done.

  8. Jonathan (Romney-Ryan 2012) Says:

    If Romney would win 50 states in this election, the constant complainers would be upset that he didn’t carry Washington D.C.

  9. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    8

    Yep. And it would allegedly be because he didn’t pick Allen West.

  10. Chris Says:

    3,

    This campaign is actually all about social issues. The fiscal issues will help sway the 3-5 percent of the electorate that is truly undecided. But both campaigns have highlighted religious freedom and the right to life as the real driver in the election. It is what will motivate each side’s base to rally to either side, and it’s what will drive turnout higher.

    Economic issues may push a close race into a more comfortable win for either candidate, but in a close race, as in 2004, it is actually the “heart” issues, like marriage and life, that will decide the campaign. Ryan helps this tremendously.

  11. Liz Says:

    Good then. You go vote for golf man and hair plug boy. Good for you, you live in America, you actually have a choice.

  12. Granny T Says:

    For anyone that might not be aware of it…Janesville, WI used to have GM plant. Many of Ryan’s constituents worked either at that plant or at their suppliers. I understand Ryan listening to the people he represents. Unfortunately, GM still closed down that plant leaving Rock County’s unemployment rate one of the worst in the state even with the bailout. FYI some of those working for suppliers that were against the bailout and against trying to save the local GM plant (because their own job was nonunion and they were paid less) were shocked when they lost their own job when the plant shut down & no longer needed their parts.

  13. Ollie Says:

    I read your post in full. You clearly state abortion is equal to debt as the most important issue. In fact, debt rates third, behind economy and unemployment.

    I understand your desire for drastic reform, but winning politics are a process. We can perhaps get beyond tinkering IF & WHEN we win the WH and Senate, as well as remove the kryptonite called obamacare. Unfortunately, entitlements are woven too tightly into our national fabric thanks to democrats, and there is no quick amputation. I feel ya guy, but get excited and don’t spread the not-good-enough vibe. This is too important.

  14. Hudson Valley Rep Says:

    #9 Darn right! A Santorum/West ticket would win w/ 99% of the vote even if there is no evidence of it what so ever!

  15. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Ryan’s budget saves this country. And we’re complaining that it’s not good enough. Appalling.

  16. Chris Says:

    Sean Trende: Ryan pick “middling to poor.”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/08/11/evaluating_the_paul_ryan_pick.html

    “This probably improve’s Obama’s chances of winning.”

    I love Paul Ryan, but I don’t know how wise this was. If you’re going to be a HUGE risk, why not go with a Rubio or a Martinez, where you may not end up with the darling running mate you had hoped for, but you’re not providing an enormous target for Team Obama.

    I’m staying upbeat about the pick, but my gut says “oh no.”

  17. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Ollie, your comment about spreading the “not good enough” vibe is exactly what my brother said to me when he looked at the piece prior to it being published. :O)

    MC, it doesn’t save the country. Coburn’s and Rand Paul’s budgets save the country.

  18. Ollie Says:

    10.
    Yes the landscape is littered with social issues, don’t deny they are there. They are not the most important issue is all we’re saying.

  19. Boomer Says:

    Ryan’s budget is not Romney’s plan and Romey’s plan is the one they will be running on and implementing with or without Dustin’s approval.

  20. Machtyn Says:

    14. Santorum is not going to win in 2016 should Romney lose this year. The only person who is more transparent in their pandering is Obama.

    With regards to the article, it mentions the Bush auto bailouts. What Bush auto bailouts? I only know about Obama’s government/Union takeover of GM.

  21. I Blame The Habsburgs Says:

    Dustin, you were much more reasonable in the ROS days. It’s a shame that you went to work for Laura Ingraham. All the criticisms you leveled at Ryan are fair, but your proposed action of abstaining from voting for Romney is puerile and self defeating.

  22. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Wow, someone bump this ridiculous thread downward. We have someone who’s trying to out-conservative Paul Ryan in the OP, and we have a hispanderer complaining that we don’t have a hispanic running mate in the comments. This is hysterical.

  23. Hunter Says:

    I don’t think it’s just bitching and moaning to bring up Ryan’s actual votes on important pieces of legislation and question his fiscal conservative bona fides. I like Ryan and I’m generally happy with the VP pick. Also, I’m not someone who gets hung up over a candidate voting for or supporting a handful of laws or policies I disagree with; I think purity tests are a waste of time. I just find it interesting that a guy who voted for NCLB, TARP, Medicare Part D, the auto bailout, etc. somehow came to be the Tea Party-approved poster boy for limited government. Listening to the radio this afternoon, I heard several commentators talk about how Ryan would bring libertarians back into the fold. I just don’t think that’s an accurate way to describe where Ryan is politically. To me, he’s a sharp, reform-minded Third Way politician — and that suits me fine, by the way — but hardly a champion of small government conservatism. The fact that his budget proposals and reforms for Medicare and Social Security have been demonized as some sort of radical conservative agenda is just evidence of how stupid and hopeless our politics have become in recent years.

  24. Chris Says:

    10,

    I don’t consider religious liberty (or especially unborn children) “litter.” I know you didn’t mean it that way, but my point is that abortion and religious liberty are, in fact, absolutely central to who we are as a people and where our country is going.

    20,

    I think you’re quite wrong about that. I feel very confident saying that, should Romney lose, either Huckabee or Santorum will be the leader in the clubhouse for 2016.

  25. gatorboy Says:

    Too bad you weren’t available for the VP spot Dustin.. So full of ideas.. I mean posting on a blog and all.. real important stuff..

  26. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Scott Walker ?@ScottKWalker
    In Reagan Democrat territory on south side of Milwaukee at a family restaurant. Patrons were thrilled w/@PaulRyanVP pick!

  27. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Jim Acosta ?@jimacostacnn
    Ryan heads to Iowa State Fair on Monday a Romney Ryan campaign official confirms.

  28. NY4Romney Says:

    Thanks MassCon

  29. Ollie Says:

    17.
    Its ok, I had to pep talk my sister’s bf just this morning.

    Ryan’s plan makes it sustainable, which is the first step. You try to get rid of 15.6 trillion in 10 years. Good luck. Ever seen Brewster’s Millions? :)

  30. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    If Romney loses this year, Paul Ryan will be the Republican nominee in 2016 if he runs.

  31. Chris Says:

    22,

    Sean Trende: Ryan pick “opens up an Obama landslide scenario for the first time.”

    That’s SEAN TRENDE, who is by no means a White House sycophant or liberal antagonizer. He has been very positive about Romney’s position up to this point, and that’s what he’s saying. To be sure, he also points out the positives of the Ryan pick. But he believes that it’s a “middling to poor” choice. That tough.

  32. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Santorum and Huckabee have absolutely zero shot at becoming the nominee ever. Huckabee doesn’t want it, and Santorum will fail spectacularly. There’s a reason Santorum was last to surge, and the only reason he surged in the end is because he was an anti-Romney vote. Only 5% or so of the GOP actually supported him as their favorite candidate when other options presented themselves.

  33. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    31

    I don’t listen to Sean Trende for my opinions. I develop my own opinions. And you should too. Trende doesn’t have any intuition whatsoever. He’s a numbers guy with some good connections to DC figures. Whoopdie-doo. Same thing with Silver. Think for yourself.

  34. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Ollie, I didn’t say get rid of the debt in ten years — that’s just this side of impossible, unless you cut almost half the budget from now until then. It’s also not what I support.

    Ryan’s plan doesn’t balance for over two decades. It doesn’t even begin taking sizable chucks out of the budget for ten years.

    To clarify, I consider the economy, spending, jobs, and taxes under the “debt” umbrella, since they are all so tightly interconnected. I should have clarified that above.

    Gatorboy, do you think my criticisms were inaccurate? Were they not substantive? It’s one thing to say that I’m wrong, or that my analysis is missing something, or something else of substance (see Ollie’s criticisms regarding strategy, for example, ignoring his insulting “SoCon” mention). But to dismiss my argument in the way you do adds nothing to the discussion.

  35. Chris Says:

    If it really is possible to flip Wisconsin–and I don’t think it is–then that provides Team Romney with a reasonable alternate path if VA and OH prove too difficult to pick-up. Colorado and Iowa are already looking like Romney’s swing-state bright spots, and a flip in WI and NH would be a bit of a long-shot, but not unimaginable.

  36. Nick Says:

    Mr.Dustin: How come there are no one like yourself on the Left complaining about Obama and his avoidance of certain left wing ideologies.

    Is it right to waste a vote because you did not get 100% of what you want in Ryan plan.

    I support Gay Marriage and I am also Pro-choice, but I am also a Fiscal moderate and worried about country direction. So if I go with your theory, I cannot vote for any one. Romney is not Pro-choice/Pro-Gay Marriage and Obama is a closet Socialist.

    GOP/Ryan to their credit passed a budget which touched holy sacrament “entitlements”. Just for that we all should commend them. Can we make further improvements if Romney/Ryan wins, absolutely. But trying to find faults with Ryan/GOP who put their neck on line is sad.

  37. WesternCon Says:

    OP: Obvious concern troll is obvious

  38. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Romney/Ryan event starting shortly in Manassas, VA.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/tab/live#/video/cvplive/cvpstream1

  39. Nick Says:

    31: If I remember right, Sean Trende is the same guy who said party identification does not matter in polls.
    It is highly possible Romney may lose, but this is good for the country to have open discussion on some serious issues we are facing. $16 Trillion and huge pension liabilities at state level and with Asia doing better at attracting companies, we will become like Europe.

    Ryan was a great choice not just for winning this election, but to discuss direction of this country.

  40. Smack1968 Says:

    My record in predicitons in 2011/12 is – 0 for 2500.

    Wisconsin is going ROMNEY RYAN RED!!!

    Book it!!

    The drive to “1 for 2501″ is on!!!!!

  41. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Nick,

    This is going to sound arrogant, but the reason I offer these critiques is to be intellectually honest. If I just support the guy who is the GOP nominee, and don’t offer substantive critiques, I am not doing my job as a political observer and as a human being.

    It’s not a matter of getting 100% of what I want. It’s a matter of what I see as fiscal reality, and Ryan’s plan isn’t even close. People seem to misunderstand my intent — I am not saying Ryan and Romney need to be like me for me to vote for them. What I am saying is that I need to see evidence they are somewhat close. That’s all.

    I give GREAT commendation to Ryan for his plan, even if it very centrist.

  42. Jonathan (Romney-Ryan 2012) Says:

    #40:

    Ha! If you’re going to start getting a winning record Smack, I hope that’s the one to start it off.

    BTW the Romney-Ryan event in Manassas is absolutely packed. There’s some genuine enthusiasm for this ticket in the Old Dominion.

  43. Bloodshy Says:

    Dustin… reading your stuff makes me tired. And not because it’s intense or edifies. It makes me sleepy… it’s boring… it’s pointless. But it does allow me to wallow in the dreary wasteland of your pessimism for a few moments, which makes me appreciate the little things in life a little more. So thank you.

  44. Nick Says:

    #41: All good.

  45. Ollie Says:

    That was bad form, I apologize.

    Still think we have to get the train on the tracks before we roll, fair enough?

  46. Utah Libertarian Says:

    Dustin @ 34 – The Ryan Plan also didn’t have the ability to do what a Romney Plan can do. A congressman, in a minority situation (Dems holding Senate and WH) can only propose so much and have any kind of a prayer to get it passed. Do you assume that a Republican WH and at least holding the House won’t start to change the options of what could get passed? And what if the Republicans take the Senate as well? If Romney had the ability to work with friendly majorities, much more than the Ryan Plan would be on the table for discussion.

    I don’t think anyone can look a the current Ryan Plan as a final draft of anything if Mitt wins.

    Try not to be so glass-half-empty about everything.

  47. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    George Allen warming up the crowd at Romney/Ryan rally

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/tab/live#/video/cvplive/cvpstream1

  48. Ollie Says:

    Its on c-span if you’re waiting on cable news…

  49. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Garrett Haake ?@GarrettNBCNews
    Impossible to estimate crowd size here, they spill out in every direction, but they are LOUD for an outdoor venue.

  50. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Emily Friedman ?@EmilyABC
    Sea of people here in Manassas for Romney/Ryan rally – staffers say 5k at event – several thousand more in area pic.twitter.com/gt6wGsyw

  51. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Jon Ward ?@jonward11
    Manassass crowd is definitely loudest, most enthusiastic and probably biggest I’ve seen for Romney. Very loud

  52. Jonathan (Romney-Ryan 2012) Says:

    The folks behind the podium are holding up “Romney/Ryan” signs for the first time.

  53. Will Says:

    I’m sorry, but this is absurd. This right-wing purity nonsense is the way to making the GOP (the only viable conservative party) perpetually irrelevant. The ONLY way anything gets done in this country is when people compromise. The suggestion that any compromise is going to eternally label someone a RINO or a moderate is absurd.

    If right wing psychos are going to scrutinize Ryan and determine he is not conservative enough to be the VP nominee, then we might as well stop spending money on this election right now, because Obama will inevitably win.

  54. Joseph D. Walch Says:

    What a kill-joy.

    Romney chooses probably the strongest American alive who is even close to making any headway on significant budget/entitlement reform and you, Dustin, complain that we don’t have somebody who isn’t a far right ideologue? Guess what, Americans are center-right and will not vote far right. Reagan was center-right, Thatcher was center-right. We need to run the most conservative candidates that can get a majority of Americans to vote for them. Romney/Ryan are those people.

    And, to threaten not to vote is simply idiotic. Such behavior is childish and counterproductive. There is a clear choice between Romney/Ryan and Obama/Biden, and to withhold your vote simply because you think Republicans don’t go far enough is a suicide pact.

  55. Chris L. Says:

    I just read the Sean Trende piece in RealClearPolitics.com that was referenced earlier in the comment thread. While Sean makes reasonable points, I simply disagree with his conclusions and overall theme. What I find curious is that he does not offer a suggestion as to who would have clearly been a better choice. He makes some brief (and I think weak) mention of McDonnell and Portman, suggesting that either one might have resulted in winning Virginia and/or Ohio. Yet, polls have consistently shown that neither would have helped Romney much in their respective states; more specifically, internal GOP polls of which I am aware do not confirm Sean’s suggestion that McDonnell would help in Virginia. The problem in Virginia is in the Northern Virginia DC suburbs-exurbs and it is directly tied to a GOP image of extremism on social issues at the expense of economic and competent management of the government issues. We are still smarting from the silly theatrics earlier this year of the newly elected GOP-controlled Va. General Assembly. That weakened McDonnell’s effectiveness as a VP nominee. In fact, contrary to Trende, I will argue that the Ryan image will help Romney with the Northern Virginia swing voters more than would McDonnell. In the end, the only VP candidate in my lifetime that won a key state for the ticket was LBJ in 1960. VP candidates do not win particular states as much as they help open or close the consideration of voter types and perhaps in certain regions (less of a factor now than in 1960) to the presidential candidate. Its more about the overall narrative, theme, or vision. A good example was Clinton choosing Gore in 1992 that seemed to signal a change in the nature of the Democratic Party and a move to be competitive in the South.

    Trende suggests that Ryan hurts with working class voters, but he does not explain how exactly. Is he suggesting that we abandon long-term entitlement and budget reform? Working class voters have a vested interest in restoring fiscal responsibility. I have a feeling that Trende had another candidate that he personally favored; he just did not want to tell us. Finally, let’s face it: There is no perfect pick in this business. Everything comes with some risks, and we never know how it will ultimately play-out until later in the game. In 1980 a number of the right wing activist types went nuts over Reagan’s selection of Bush, saying that we had “sold out” or worse. I also remember in 2008 that a lot were initially giddy over Palin. Ultimately, reality sets in. So we shall see. But, again, I disagree with Sean Trende re Ryan and more importantly, I call on him to open up and clearly state who would have been better and why.

  56. Jack Bauer's Dad Says:

    Just made my first ever campaign donation for Mitt and Paul!! I was planning on donating anyway, but by picking Ryan, Mitt has me wanting to make it a regular contribution, right up until the election. Nothing too big from this workin’ man, but how many more like me are out there, so concerned about the possibility of an unrestrained second term, that they’re willing to part with their hard-earned cash to get rid of the Job-Destroyer-in Chief? Go Mitt and Paul!

  57. Doug NYC GOP Says:

    Disappointing post, Dustin.

    I think you need to re-think this.

    Mr. Walch above has some very valid points.

  58. no newt Says:

    54..i’m a libertarian…and this type of thinking is what drives me crazy about the libertarian movement…all or nothing…the Left annihilated the republic and the Constitution incrementally for a century..to get it back will be a long process..Ryan should be viewed as a victory in that context

  59. Chris L. Says:

    A quick follow-up to my comment #55…..

    Ryan has the potential to help with younger voters, with creative class-type voters, and with suburbanites concerned about excessive spending and the deficit. That has the potential, at least, to put several states in play and/or to improve out chances in some of the battleground states.

  60. Will Says:

    41 – And what is not voting for Romney going to accomplish? It will reelect Obama and put us in an even deeper hole. There is nothing sacred about casting your vote for a particular person. The RIGHT to vote is sacred and should be fought for, but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with voting pragmatically. Voting for Johnson or some other no namer as a protest of Romney accomplishes absolutely nothing good at all.

    You seem like a reasonably intelligent person. I cannot understand why people like you think you are helping the country be refusing to vote for someone that isn’t a perfectly pure conservative. It makes no sense at all, and 15 minutes of thought would reveal that to you.

  61. Will Says:

    Romney: The President disrespects the office by taking this campaign into the gutter.

    A-Freakin’-MEN!!!

  62. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    61

    That rally was electric. It was so electric and crazy, Mitt and Paul ended up talking faster than their mouths! Romney embed reporter’s tweet sums it up:

    Garrett Haake ?@GarrettNBCNews
    The crowd here is PUMPED for this ticket but also truly furious at Obama. Romney’s unleashed something w/ this pick, but can he control it?

    And my response: Does he want to control it? I don’t think so.

  63. MsFeb14 Says:

    I just want to say to Obama, his cronies, and supporters, “Be afraid, be very afraid!”

  64. Doug NYC GOP Says:

    Chris “Sorry to drool and spray my guests with spit” Matthews is playing up the MediScare angle with Chunk Todd on the Lib Nazi MSNBC network….looking very dour.

    They are selling the senior vote is gone for R&R

  65. Boomer Says:

    Romney has announced they have raised over $2 million since the Ryan announcement and this last rally had over 8000 people on top of the 2 earlier events. I’ve heard at least 3 different Tea Party leaders today say they were thrilled with the pick.

    Dustin is free to have his opinion but he sure as hell doesn’t speak for conservatives.

  66. Anthony Dalke Says:

    Dustin, buddy, I know you mean well and care more about policy than politics, but at the end of the day, the latter half of the equation matters.

    The policies that look the best on paper don’t make a difference if they fall in the face of political obstacles.

    Ryan represents our greatest chance to bridge the gap between ideal policy and political reality.

  67. Will Says:

    65 – I have heard from friends in the area that there was a long line to get into the event. They didn’t think they would get in. I wonder if they had to turn people away.

  68. Kateshon Says:

    Folks — could we be less violent against the Democratic commenters please? Thanks. They give us a feel of the race too, ya know. ;-)

  69. MarqueG Says:

    I agree with pretty much all of Dustin’s critique, but I’m still going to vote to end the Obaman socialist experiment and sincerely hope that, first, Romney/Ryan can win, and, second, they turn out more Coburn-like than they’re letting on. We’re in dire need of some serious budget balancing, tax reform, and regulatory restraint. While both Romney and Ryan have talked the talk, their individual proposals seem weaker than their rhetoric. Then again, the team they’re running against aims to beat the R&R proposals by offering nothing but scorn and cynicism rather than counterproposals. So there is something to be said for remaining broad and vague in proposing policies, or to sound moderate when offering specifics.

  70. Keith Price Says:

    Dustin, I’ll just add my agreement to what MassCon and others have said about your post.

    There’s a relatively small percentage of the country who are far right conservative — even less on the social issues. To get elected, Romney has to appeal to the majority.

    We live in an environment that has realized they can vote themselves goodies whenever they want. Most reasonable people realize we need to cut spending — just as long as it comes from someone else’s benefits.

    It would be suicide for Romney to be pushing for anything more than he already is. He’s already going to be attacked, ruthlessly for what he’s suggesting. And, you’re not going to vote for him because he’s not pushing for more??

    Just look at his record and trust that he’ll do whatever he can to turn the country around. But, he does have to get elected, first. Don’t turn away because he’s being smart about this.

  71. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Will 60, whether or not to vote for Romney has been on my mind, and I’ve debated and analyzed it endlessly, for well over six months. This piece came from a Facebook post and debate last night, so I have indeed thought about it a lot.

    Utah Libertarian, I was glass half-full in 2010. The GOP almost completely failed to follow through on its victories in 2011, so I’m back to being pessimistic. :O)

  72. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Keith, I’m not asking him to be far-right. I’m asking him to be less left of center-right.

  73. Keith Price Says:

    72. I get that. But, if you really look at it, going any further right than he is will just make it harder to get the independent and moderate votes.

  74. Keith Price Says:

    Missed the recent live event. Anyone got a replay link?

  75. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Keith 73, we obviously disagree. I think a conservative could win with the right media strategy.

  76. Will Says:

    71 – I don’t know how it is even debatable. Why would you not vote for him?

  77. Sean Says:

    Dustin, I’m in the same boat as far as quite possibly not voting in this election, but the Ryan selection unequivocally helps Romney’s chances of getting my vote. He’s a smart politician and strategist who has put forward serious proposals on entitlement reform and spending. While they don’t go as far as I’d like, he’s been a major factor, along with Sens. Coburn and DeMint, in injecting entitlement reform into the national debate. My only real problem with him, and it’s a big one, is his vote on the NDAA. That said, there are very, very few people whose selection would’ve made entitlement reform more likely over the next four years.

  78. Will Says:

    72 – If you think Romney is left of center, you are insane and have no business having FPP privileges. Are you crazy? Left of center? My goodness.

  79. Will Says:

    The idea that Romney is to the left of the median voter on any issue is objectively false. If you can’t see that, then you have no business being in a position to influence people (especially people that are already prone to be purists). On what issue is Romney “left of center”.

    Unless you are defining the “center” as half-way between Obama and the right-wing fringe (which is equally insane).

  80. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Sean, I said in the piece that the Ryan selection absolutely helps to potentially get my vote.

    Will, I said he is left of center-right, not left of center. Please read more carefully.

  81. Will Says:

    80 – What the hell does that mean?

  82. Will Says:

    And what is your basis for saying that he is “left of center-right”?

  83. Constitutional Conservative Says:

    Our country is in the position it is because, for decades, guys like Dustin Siggins have taken untenable positions that actually help those who seek to destroy our freedom and our Republic.

    Dustin Siggins stated, “Mitt Romney may not earn my vote in November.”

    Apparently, Mr. Siggins would rather keep Barack Obama unless Mitt Romney can “earn” his vote. Mr. Siggins thinks of himself as a special person who can blame our problems on those who do not measure up to his standards. He gets validation from others who have the same mindset, and in turn, Mr. Siggins makes them feel validated.

    If Barack Obama is reelected in November, Mr. Siggins will blame Mitt Romney for not getting him and people of his ilk to the polls.

    This is especially important in swing states, where Mr. Siggins and people of his ilk loudly tell conservatives, “Hey! If Mitt Romney does not have the special perspective that only we have, it is imperative that we make sure Barack Obama wins reelection.”

  84. NY4Romney Says:

    That rally was great! Obama better be careful what he wishes for because he’s going down. HARD.

  85. Dustin Siggins Says:

    I mean a friend who knows Romney well and did work for his campaign on the side told me he is a left of center on “human issues” like abortion and immigration, and that he’s right of center on fiscal and economic issues.

    I mean he’s between center and center-right.

    CC 83, it’s the “hold the nose” crowd, people like you, that has put our nation in its financial difficulties. Enjoy holding your nose again and watching the GOP and the nation collapse under the weight of inflation, taxes, and high entitlements.

    I am in Virginia, so I know my vote matters.

  86. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    85

    Holding your nose and voting for the budget-slashing, company-reorganizing CEO Romney and the courage-wielding, budget-passing courageous conservative Ryan should not require you to hold your nose. You should be excited.

    Republicans and Democrats got us into this mess. But Republicans like Romney/Ryan did NOT get us into this mess. Do you deny this?

  87. Constitutional Conservative Says:

    85. That is quite a perspective you have. I have never before heard that electing Mitt Romney will contribute to the nation collapsing “under the weight of inflation, taxes, and high entitlements.”

  88. Keith Price Says:

    85. Dustin, that’s the post that finally broke the credibility camel’s back. It was already pretty loaded up, but for you to say voting for Romney/Ryan contributes to the problem of inflation, taxes, and entitlements but voting for Obama (or 3rd Party, which is the same thing) is not just blew the last thread of credibility you might have had.

    The ONLY way your position works is if you can get enough of a voter coalition together to get a candidate that meets your criteria while still being viable to the overall electorate.

    Well, you didn’t do that. So, you have Romney, who gets you part of what you want and Obama who gets you nearly all of what you don’t want. Good grief, vote for the guy that gets you part of what you want!

    If you want a better candidate, go get one on the ballot. But, make sure it’s one who can win, otherwise you end up getting someone like Harry Reid re-elected.

  89. Nick Says:

    People who question Mitt Romney conservative credentials need to live in a Northeast Blue State. I see folks calling Christie a RINO don’t understand the challenges of running a state where legislature is 80-90% democrats.

    If we go with same requirements as Mr.Dustin has, Elizabeth warren will be next senator of MA. She is left of left of Obama. Like Obama she is a millionaire, but talks about 1%/99% and actually the one who started the “You did not build that” crap. This is all because Scott brown is not conservative enough for folks who want a purity candidate.

  90. NY4Romney Says:

    89

    Exactly. Here in New York no one will even challenge Gillibrand and Schumer for senate because they cannot win. George Pataki was the last Republican governor, he was well liked but I think he was a moderate(I was too young to understand politics other than he won, he lost at the time). Rick Lazio was the only guy who had a chance against Cuomo, but the tea party hi-jacked him at the convention and we got stuck with nutjob Carl Palladino, who got crushed. He wanted to take a baseball bat to Albany(literally) and used gay slurs(like real ones not doma or traditional marriage) and got crushed. Randy Altschuler is the best we could get in NY1 to challenge Tim Bishop, a Nancy Pelosi pawn who came to my high school and said “we don’t have to cut spending”! Altschuler ran a company that helped outsource jobs to India. That is the best we can come up with. Being a conservative statewide up here is nearly impossible. The fact that Mitt and Christie even got elected is impressive.

  91. Enrique Says:

    Mass Con,

    Excellent comments in this thread.

    Someone’s got to beat back the bullshit. Thanks for taking up the banner to dispense with a lot of other commenters’ nonsense.

  92. Enrique Says:

    Dustin,

    We’re on the same team. I’m with you on ideology.

    But, really, for shame. You should be ashamed.

  93. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Keith, we’re going to collapse anyway. If we collapse sooner, the consequences will be bad… but not as bad.

    Nick, I’m from New Hampshire and was born in Massachusetts (lived there for three months, and most of the extended family lives there). I actually really liked Scott Brown in 2010, even though he’s to the left of Romney. However, after being excited and optimistic in 2010, the 2011 and 2012 results of that and the 2010 blowout have me disappointed, to say the least.

    Enrique, I should be ashamed for what, exactly? Holding a VP candidate responsible for his voting record?

  94. Liz Says:

    Awesome. Ronmey never disappoints. Outstanding. Competence is back in style.

  95. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    91

    Thanks

  96. Keith Price Says:

    93. Holy Smokes, Dustin! So, you’ve taken the same approach as Ra’s al Ghul in Batman?? Gotham is too corrupt to be saved so it must be destroyed!

    Well, thanks for revealing that horrifying part of your psyche.

  97. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Keith, I think we’ve exhausted the usefulness of this exchange — that’s not what I wrote, and I think you know that.

    By and large, I enjoyed debating and discussing with you, but if you are going to accuse me (I assume with some seriousness) of having that in my personality, this conversation is over.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  98. Keith Price Says:

    97. Dustin, I exaggerated for effect, but you did say this:

    Keith, we’re going to collapse anyway. If we collapse sooner, the consequences will be bad… but not as bad.

    I understood that to mean you’re not voting for Romney because you’d rather see us collapse sooner with Obama than drag it out with Romney.

    I see that as a lessor degree of intensity but on the same vein as Ra’s al Ghul. You are essentially advocating an early collapse so we can rebuild without all the crap.

    And, I side with Batman. Gotham is still worth saving.

  99. Dustin Siggins Says:

    But there’s a difference, Keith — I’m with Batman as well. I want to clean things up, and quickly. But this whole idea that we can nibble around the edges for ten years before really hitting things hard is not correct.

    We’re going to collapse unless major change happens. I hope Romney and Ryan are that change, but I have serious doubts.

    And despite our disagreements here, I don’t think I made a bad case to at least be not quite so cheerful as people are being about Ryan. After all, I merely looked at his voting record.

    And, yes, you are right about your understanding of what I meant.

  100. Keith Price Says:

    99. No one, here, is suggesting we nibble around the edges for 10 years. We’re saying, let’s get Mitt elected before asking him to risk totally scaring off the voters.

  101. petunia Says:

    Dustin–I’m sorry but you are so far away from the real world. Every problem you have with Romney is completely bogus! And now you think Ryan means higher spending and more government? What is wrong with you. You make no sense!!! Your objections have no basis in the real world!

    You have some weird idea of the world, that simply is not real. There is no human alive who would do what you want. Not even you, if you were elected. You make no sense.

    And I think you know it. I think you know you were played by all the lies about Romney and haven’t got the courage to admitt it. I think you know it, and have to keep up the act because you think somehow we won’t notice your lack of logic or facts to back up your objections! The only way you could get to where you are is to really really believe things that have been disproved over and over.

    You are full of pride, and that makes you look dumb.

    That’s what I think.

  102. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Petunia, I am simply looking at math. Consider:

    1. The Ryan plan would add trillions to the debt over a decade. FAR less than what Obama would add, but still adding more. So, yes, higher spending.

    2. The House budget (AKA Ryan plan) would increase defense spending, and allow Social Security to grow untouched. It also would allow Medicare to grow without significant reform over ten years. So, yes, more government.

    But keep insulting my intelligence. That’s a good way to convince me. I’m tired of arguing with people who use emotions and insults to argue instead of logic. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  103. Patrick Henry Says:

    102. 1. Unless you’ve stated otherwise (and I can’t find where you have), you’re using the numbers the CBO has scored to critique the Ryan plan. By law, the CBO which cannot use reality its scoring. The Ryan plan, using actual reality is very very good. It’s not a “nibble around the edges” kind of thing.

    2. See point #1.

    It’s not insulting your intelligence, but you’ve decided to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. That’s just stupid in this case.

    Seriously? Who are you going to vote for that will make any difference? And for all you guys in “deep blue states” who say your vote won’t matter so you’re going to vote 3rd party, you are wrong. If all of you actually voted Romney/Ryan, it could make a difference.

    Obama wins and gets to nominate Supreme Court justices? They will be pro-abortion. On that point alone, you should be rallying for Romney. But, no… he’s not perfect. Ryan isn’t either.

    I’m not telling you how to vote, but you’re arguments for not supporting Romney/Ryan are horribly weak.

  104. Keith Price Says:

    102. The other thing to remember is that Romney is not bound to Ryan’s budget plan. That was created without Romney’s input. I fully expect Romney and Ryan to brainstorm and tinker with it once they’re in office. And, they’ll propose an even better one to congress.

  105. Keith Price Says:

    101. 103. +1!

  106. Dustin Siggins Says:

    Patrick 103,

    Good point — and I will concede I had forgotten about that point when it comes to CBO’s tax calculations. Good call.

    Regarding the other one, though, his plan literally ignores Social Security, and doesn’t implement the voucher program until ten years down the line. That’s not a CBO error. Ryan also opposes cutting defense.

    My arguments for not supporting Romney/Ryan are good but convoluted, and thus difficult to explain in writing. I think I’ve done a fair job in this thread, though, so if you WANT to go back and read 100 comments, including my responses, go ahead. :O)

    Keith, that’s my hope, and I’ll have to see what they put forward in the campaign. I hold out some hope they propose something good before November.

  107. Wendilynn Says:

    Yes, Ryan voted for a lot of those programs we now know caused problems. But Ryan has said in the past that the crash in 08 took everyone by surprise and he “saw the light” as it were. He’s been consistent ever since. He thought he was going one way, and then it bit everyone in the butt and he, unlike many, wised up. He learned.

    I can respect that.

  108. Constitutional Conservative Says:

    Dustin,

    If you have the answers, then why don’t you get yourself elected and solve everything for us?

    Could it be that “main stream” candidates get elected while “fringe” candidates do nothing but enjoy “fringe” support from people like you?

  109. Will Says:

    85 – So you are going to condemn Romney based on the rumor you heard from a friend that says he “knows” Romney? Well, guess what … I know Romney too and your friend is full of crap.

    You, of all people, should know not to rely on such faulty information.

  110. Will Says:

    85 – And I thought you didn’t say Romney was “left of center”?

    How absurd! If this is the level of ignorance of someone in the conservative media, then we are truly in trouble. I am baffled at how far off base someone like you, who makes your living off of providing information to people, can be. You are just spouting off hearsay as if it were gospel truth. Ask your boss about the value of hearsay. Surely she hasn’t forgotten how unhelpful it is in finding the truth.

  111. Will Says:

    If Barack Obama is reelected in November, Mr. Siggins will blame Mitt Romney for not getting him and people of his ilk to the polls.

    This is exactly correct. People like Dustin, and his counterparts in the conservative media, secretly want Romney to lose because they delusionally think it will prove that Republicans should have nominated a right-wing psycho as their nominee. This is truly delusional and historically farcical. If we don’t recognize what these people are trying to do, they will succeed and destroy any hope of saving this country. It is truly disturbing how selfish and short-sighted they can be.

  112. Will Says:

    93 – If it wasn’t for Scott Brown, we would have Obamacare + a public option (in other words, a public takeover of healthcare). How soon we forget.

  113. Will Says:

    99 – Guess what. What you want is a fantasy. It’s not oing to happen. Time to wake up and join the real world.

    We should be focusing on what can be accomplished, not dreaming about fantasies while Rome burns. I can’t believe how delusional you are.

  114. Will Says:

    106 – You think you have done a good job at making an argument against Romney in this thread! LOL. Truly delusional. When the basis of your dislike of Romney is that your “friend” told you that Romney is secretly pro-choice (which is patently false), you have a long ways to go before you get to doing “a good job.”

  115. Piper Says:

    Romney could/should have picked Santorum, like McCain should have picked Huckabee. It’s sad that he has no clue and I guess he think’s we will just hold our noses and vote for him. I wish we Christians had somebody else in the race to vote for. I see no one I can feel good about casting a vote for. They are both Liberals and Romney not picking Santorum speaks volumes. Remember Mitt, Santorum did very well in the south and other states? you won’t be able to carry.

  116. Piper Says:

    The big question is if both Romney and Obama are liberal’s who does a christian/conservative vote for? And I don’t want a lesser of the two evils so to speak. We really need somebody else in this race to vote for.

  117. Ryan60657 Says:

    ” Since entering Congress in the late 1990s, he voted for NCLB, the Medicare drug bill, funding for two badly-run wars, the Bush auto bailout, and TARP.”

    That pretty much sums up the criticism of Paul Ryan’s fiscal conservatism. That, and the fact that his budget plan won’t balance the budget for 30 years.

    That being said, I like him and his ideas a lot — I just wish he and Romney would back off the tax cuts until the budget is balanced, or at least paired them with significant entitlement reform.

  118. Keith Price Says:

    117. Ryan, tax cuts is the foundation of Fiscal policy. The idea is that you allow job makers and investors to keep more of their own money and they use it to create jobs and invest in other companies, which also create jobs.

    You create jobs, you increase productivity, and you increase tax revenue.

  119. Colorado Guy Says:

    I agree with you for the most part, Dustin. I couldn’t care less about social issues so I don’t care what the ticket does/says on those matters. I’m much more concerned about fiscal and foreign policy.

    Picking Ryan was a step in the right direction for the Romney campaign, but by no means was it a deal-closer for me. I will watch closely the next three months, as I have been for the last 3 years, for some real policy proposals for bold, conservative reform of the budget, tax code and entitlements. If Romney/Ryan fail to deliver on these issues, I will do as I’ve planned since Romney secured the nomination and cast my vote for Governor Gary Johnson in November.

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