No, Mitt Haircut isn’t withholding his labor to protest non-existent collectivism but he has picked avid Ayn Rand admirer Paul Ryan as his running mate.Other than placating the supply siders and the Wall Street Journal editorial page this is both a head scratcher and a sign that Romney is terrified of his base, Whatever happened to moving to the center for the general election?
Romney was already hemmed in by his right wing and now he’s picked the man who wants to privatize everything but the Lincoln Memorial. Ryan must really, really want to be President: otherwise why give up chairing the House Budget Committee for second place on a ticket that shows every signs of bursting into flames and then going down to defeat. Perhaps Ryan wants to make a mint on the lecture circuit or something.
I guess Romney and his minions don’t read Salon’s Steve Kornacki who compared the *possibility* of this choice the other day to Bob Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996:
The supply-side crowd had long had it in for Dole, too. But now Dole embraced their agenda in full, unveiling a $540 billion plan to cut income tax rates 15 percent across the board and to slash the capital gains rate in half, with a promise that the resulting growth would lead to a balanced budget in six years.
A week later, Dole made his second move: a surprise V.P. pick – Jack Kemp, a godfather of the supply-side movement and an old Dole nemesis. (Back in the ‘80s, Kemp had quipped that Dole “never met a tax he didn’t hike.”) Kemp had been an early favorite for the ’96 presidential nomination, but had declined to enter the race. The choice affirmed Dole’s sudden commitment to right-wing economics. It also generated some extra media buzz because of the unusually high profile of Kemp, a former NFL quarterback who’d won favorable press coverage for his efforts to broaden the GOP’s appeal to minority voters.
As we all know, it didn’t work and Ryan doesn’t even have the *positives* that Kemp had: a pleasant personality and his jockish diversity shtick. Ryan is a cold fish and a stone cold prick. In short, Romney just added more iciness to a campaign already low on warmth and humanity. Besides, who the hell wants to be compared to Bob Dole? Of course, Dole was at least funny but he got his ass kicked, which is what may well happen to the Two Rs…
Instant Update: Steve Kornacki’s piece about the Ryan pick is headlined, The smell of panic. I quite agree.
An alternate headline could be: Romney doubles down on teabaggery, dickishness and malakatude.
Upper-date: According to Dave Weigel, Ryan doesn’t have to give up his house seat. So much for the courage of his nutty convictions…