Monday, July 12, 2010

The Ryan Roadmap

Republicans should embrace Paul Ryan's Road Map | Washington Examiner

I need to look at this in a lot more detail, but I really like Ryan. Reagan ran on a lot more specifics in '80 than most politicians, won, did a lot of what he said, and the rest is history. in '94, "The Contract With America" gave the Republicans not just a victory, but a way to hit the ground running -- it was enough to get the runaway spending of the time under control, kick off a rally (that did turn out to just be a bubble), and give us a few quarters of surpluses -- not bad.

As the article points out, the political temptation is always to just run against unpopular opposition. Republicans MUST resist this temptation! Bush thought that "triangulation to the left", the inverse of which was masterfully executed by Slick Willie after his '94 spanking (uh, no, not a spanking administered by Slick to some young thing ... "the election, stupid!").

Triangulation was a DISASTER for Bush -- Republican voters don't like political games. They hated the Drug Benefit and other spending. The base lost faith. When Slick went along with a balanced budget in the late '90s however, plus NAFTA and Welfare Reform, moderates flocked to him, and a lot of the Republican base was less than excited to remove him for Dole -- the principles cut both ways with the same voters.

NOTE: Same thing for military -- you didn't see Republican protesters for Kosovo, or Clinton's ineffectual responses to terrorism or Saddam's activities, nor do you see them protesting Afghanistan or Iraq now. Democrats? Kosovo and Clinton's actions in the '90s were fine with them -- Democrat can even do some military stuff, makes them seem "butch". Ton's of war protest and angst over Gitmo when Bush was President -- BO elected, still in Gitmo, not hinting may not be able to get out? Not a problem. Iraq, Afghanistan? Nary a concern as long as their party is in the WH. POLITICS, not principle drive Democrats -- "consistency is not an issue".

If Republicans just run against the unpopular Democrats, they are just "the lesser of two evils" -- Democrats are FOR "hope and change" ... Republicans are "against -- so what. Here is a bit more of what a reasonable way to run a national race here might be:

As ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Ryan was able to get the Congressional Budget Office to run the numbers in his plan. CBO concluded the plan would "make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent [and] lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP." Pretty impressive results, I'd say.

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