Romney embraced Ryan after the sociopathic — indifferent to the truth — ad for Barack Obama that is meretricious about every important particular of the death from cancer of the wife of steelworkerJoe Soptic. Obama’s desperate flailing about to justify four more years has sunk into such unhinged smarminess that Romney may have concluded: There is nothing Obama won’t say about me, because he has nothing to say for himself, so I will chose a running mate whose seriousness about large problems and ideas underscores what the president has become — silly and small.
He on whose behalf the Soptic ad was made used to dispense bromides deploring “the smallness of our politics” and “our preference for scoring cheap political points.” Obama’s campaign of avoidance — say anything to avoid the subject of the country’s condition — must now reckon with Ryan’s mastery of Obama’s enormous addition to decades of governmental malpractice.
Obama is, by now, nothing if not predictable, so prepare for pieties deploring Ryan’s brand of “extremism” that has supplanted responsible conservatism. Goldwater, quoted above, infuriated the sort of people who, regardless of what flavor of conservatism is in fashion, invariably purse their lips and sorrowfully say: “We think conservatism is a valuable thread in our national fabric, etc., but not this kind of conservatism.” Goldwater’s despisers did not recognize his echo of words by Martin Luther King Jr. 15 months earlier.
In his “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” King wrote, “You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. . . . But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love. . . . Was not Amos an extremist for justice. . . . Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel. . . . Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
Remember this episode when you hear, ad nauseam, that Ryan is directly, and Romney now is derivatively, an extremist for believing (a) that “ending Medicare as we know it” will be done by arithmetic if it is not done by creative reforms of the sort Ryan proposes, and (b) that the entitlement state’s crisis cannot be cured, as Obama suggests, by adding 4.6 points to the tax rate paid by less than 3 percent of Americans.
When Ryan said in Norfolk, “We won’t replace our Founding principles, we will reapply them,” he effectively challenged Obama to say what Obama believes, which is: Madison was an extremist in enunciating the principles of limited government — the enumeration and separation of powers. And Jefferson was an extremist in asserting that government exists not to grant rights but to “secure” natural rights that pre-exist government.
The silly and small Obama will attack the R&R ticket by warring against its whiteness, its richness, its alleged extremeness... but that's what silly and small people do.
I believe the American people will see through the attacks.
Bring on November.