This is all immediate reaction and not at all about policy or wonkish. Stay tuned for positions, etc. during the week.
While most woke up to the news of Paul Ryan being selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate and reacted with “Who?” I woke up - at six AM no less - and thought “Oh shit”. And then I went back to bed. I awoke two hours later and it was still true: Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin could be the Vice President of the United States of America.
Most people are unaware of Paul Ryan, who he is, where he’s from, and, most importantly, his politics. In fact a caller on C-SPAN decided right there on Saturday morning after seeing a two line blurb on Ryan and that he majored in Economics , and gosh darn it! She was going to now vote for Mitt Romney because of what amounts to 140 characters.
Let that sink in for a minute.
It’s been two days since this announcement and it has yet to fully sink in. And when I do allow myself to really think of the possibility of Paul Ryan being a breath away from being President of the United States my heart beats faster. Which, if you think about it, is a great way to get the base going on either side.
This race has been going on for what seems like years and in that time enthusiasm has waned and people have become complacent and bored. Apathetic, too. With the announcement of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has solidified his conservative base while at the same time showing a true contrast between himself and President Obama. For many “inside beltway” types there has long been a stark difference between the two camps and we’ve tried to convey that message for months with few results. Paul Ryan is like taking a steak knife to the Democrats/Republicans/What’s the difference? blob and cutting it right down the middle.
Paul Ryan terrifies me. He’s a conservative’s conservative and not in a crazy Bachmann-esque way but in a way that allows him to get his Medicare slashing, draconian cuts to education, more money for the ultra-wealthy budget passed in the House of Representatives two years in a row. He’s the man who would tell you that despite your health as a woman, you should not be allowed to have a life-saving abortion.
Paul Ryan is polarizing. He’s a hot button. He evokes a visceral reaction from the left because of his extremism. And now, he could be Vice President of the United States.
I’m scared. But damn, y’all, I am fired up.