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11 August 2012

A VSP for VP

Paul Ryan is not a serious person. He takes himself very seriously, and many in the fundamentalist cadre of uber-fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party take him seriously, but aside from that, Ryan has the potential to be a serious liability to the Romney campaign. I would put this up there, in fact, with the ill-conceived choice of the McCain campaign four years ago to enlist Palin as their running mate. You see, many worried that this campaign, like countless before it, would be all about smoke and mirrors. Politicians are adept at delivering targeted narratives to divergent voting blocs. Moderate independents are told and hear one outline, the party base is told and hears another, and the actual platform is obscured in the cacophonous rhetoric. This will not happen in 2012. In choosing Ryan, Romney has guaranteed that the 2012 presidential campaign will be singularly about one thing: how and for whom the economy works. There will be no hiding, and the choices could not be more stark. Moreover, the arguments are not new. We've been hearing both Pres. Obama and Rep. Ryan talking about their different views of the political economy for more than two years. The positions cannot be confused.

Ironically, while we Americans often see ourselves as exceptional and for all of our open loathing of those silly Europeans, we are going to have the same type of election that many European nations have been holding in recent years. Do we want pain and discipline or will we recognize a role for government in easing and even curtailing the capriciousness of the economy? Neither campaign will be able to hedge its bets. This election will be a real choice.

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