I used to say that Barack Obama was the worst thing to happen to the modern Democratic party. Now, even though I still don't like the guy, I advise readers to vote for him -- or at least, to vote against
Romney. What caused this shift in attitude?
If forced to point to a single article which encapsulates my fears, I would choose this one
, in which Grover Norquist brags of his ability to control a President Romney.
We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
A startling statement, this -- especially if one recalls that Republicans built "fearless leader" cults around Reagan and both Bushes. Norquist explicitly stated -- months ago -- that the real architect of domestic policy would be Paul Ryan. Grover considers Ryan to be either his partner or his creature.
Way I see it, Grover Norquist = Palpatine and Paul Ryan = Darth Vader. I was going to liken Romney to General Grevious, but Grevious isn't robotic enough.
Michael Kazin of the New Republic predicts that Ryan will be the most powerful VP in our history
-- yes, even more controlling than Dick Cheney.
Although Ryan is young enough to be Romney’s son, it is his ideas which thrill the conservative policy wonks. And if Republicans win, it is Ryan’s policies which GOP partisans will demand the new administration push through Congress. So when Romney introduced Ryan today as “the next president of the United States,” it may not have been just a meaningless mistake, caused by the excitement of the occasion. In a the grip of an unconscious fear of being overshadowed by his running mate, Romney may have committed a classic Freudian slip.
If I were more of a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that the slip was intentional.
continues with this "Who's in charge here?" theme...
In this sense, Ryan’s nomination represents an important
historical marker and the completion of a 50-year struggle. Starting in
the early sixties, conservative activists set out to seize control of
the Republican Party.
What makes Ryan so extraordinary is that he is not just a
handsome slickster skilled at conveying sincerity with a winsome
heartland affect. Pols like that come along every year. He is also (as Rich Yeselson
put it) the chief party theoretician. Far more than even Ronald Reagan,
he is deeply grounded is the ideological precepts of the conservative
movement — a longtime Ayn Rand devotee who imbibed deeply
from the lunatic supply-side tracts of Jude Wanniski and George Gilder.
He has not merely formed an alliance with the movement, he is a product
Now, I am
enough of a conspiracy theorist to suggest that Romney chose Ryan as a way of motivating his party's dirty tricksters: "You now have something to fight for. Do your work."
Why on earth would Romney even want
to be President in name only? Well, there is the not-inconsiderable fact that Ryan's budget would reduce Romney's tax burden to less than one percent
Only someone deep in the throes of hallucination would claim that there would be no difference between an acting President Ryan and a re-elected President Obama. Liberals have no choice but to reconcile themselves to the re-election of a bad president, because Ryan and Romney really are that
freakin' scary. As activists used to say back in the 1980s: Vote on Tuesday, protest on Wednesday.