Summary: Let’s consider the significance of VP Paul Ryan. My conclusion: it makes little difference. In our system the key decisions were made during the primaries, especially during the earliest months — when few paid attention.
This is America in the 21st century, irony ascendant. Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee — the House being the senior chamber on money bills — with his primary distinction being his inability to craft a plan that adds up. Or remotely matches GOP priorities, or any rational sense of national priorities.
In this respect Ryan matches his running mate, whose economic proposals are ruining the reputations of the experts who signed them.
The saddest aspect of this pair of charlatans is that they’ll be treated as serious statesman — obsequiously so — by the legion of journalist-stenographers who will dog their footsteps until November.
No, that’s wrong. The saddest aspect of this is that it marks the second time the GOP has nominated a team woefully unqualified for the Presidency. The elderly crank and his Alaskan fruitcake VP. And now the innumeracy twins. All living proof that our political system broke years ago, and we didn’t notice.
But half of America will love them, applauding their every word. Just as the Democrats will applaud Mr. Hope And Change, despite that he broke most of his 2008 campaign pledges — and their hearts. It’s all about tribes today. Who we are (or pretend to be), rather than policies.
Now for the good news:
It might not matter much difference who wins. Our candidates are much like our beers, indistinguishable in blind taste tests.
Obama’s economic and foreign policy largely continued those of Bush Jr. If elected, Romney probably will continue most of Obama’s policies. Both are servants of the ruling elites in America, running America while we doze before our TVs. That gives the system continuity and stability unappreciated by its critics.
The much discussed bitter polarization exists in rhetoric only, disguising the lack of substantive policy differences. Since they plan to do similar thing, their marketing pros turn up the volume. My candidate is an reforming angel of God; your’s is Hitler-Satan.
Now you can skip the rest of the campaign, except as entertainment (it’s primary function).
Transcript of presidential candidate Mitt Romney announcing his selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, as released by the Romney campaign.
For more information
The posts from the 2008 election could have the names changed and be run again.
- President Romney will prove an effective President, reshaping America for his constituents., 17 April 2012
For all posts see the FM Reference Page about Obama, his administration and policies.
- Obama’s national security team: I hope you didn’t really believe in change?, 26 November 2008
- Obama supporters mugged by reality (and learn not to believe in change!), 9 December 2008
- Change you should not have believed in, 10 February 2009
- Obama knows how to lead America by exploiting our fears, 5 June 2009 — A key skill for 21st C Presidents
- Stratfor looks at Obama’s foreign policy, sees Bush’s foreign policy, 30 August 2009
- Motto for the Obama administration: “The more things change, …”, 5 September 2009
- Change, the promise and the reality, 11 October 2009
About elections (in general)
- Lilliput or America – who has a better way to choose its leaders?, 19 November 2008
- About campaigns for high office in America – we always expect a better result from the same process, 17 June 2009
- Why do awesome people – like us – have such inadequate leaders?, 2 April 2012 — Because we vote.
The important posts about our political system
- How long will all American Presidents be War Presidents?, 21 March 2008 — The 7th year since 9/11, with the only debate about the Long War being what nations America should fight. We see this even the speeches of the most “liberal” candidate, Senator Obama
- These days all American Presidents are War Presidents (part 2), 13 September 2008
- These days all US Presidents are War Presidents (part 3), 23 November 2008
- About Obama’s coronation – wisdom from Fred, 23 January 2009
- Our leaders have made a discovery of the sort that changes the destiny of nations, 1 September 2010
- We have the leaders we deserve. Visit McDonald’s to learn why., 30 October 2010
- The good news: America’s politics are neither polarized nor dysfunctional. That’s also the bad news., 16 November 2011