Last night, after having dinner with a friend, we ended up, pursuant to part of our conversation, watching the first half of Excalibur, a flawed, but very (very, very) watchable movie. As a result, I missed the two “big” speeches at the Republican National Convention last night.
When I did scan the web last night, I learned that conservative bloggers andpundits, while almost unanimous in loving Ann Romney’s speech, had mixed views on Chris Christie’s. Byron York thought the New Jersey governor’s address did not succeed. Jonah Goldberg called it “a mild disappointment.”
. . . that the electorate in November would turn to the Republican ticket because it understands better than politicians the depth of the country’s problems — and that only the Republicans would speak honestly about them and the need to change course before it’s too late.
Perhaps, the reason Christie highlighted his own record was to show that understanding and that even thought Republican leaders in state houses across the country face incredible obstacles to reform, but are nonetheless pushing ahead with solutions to their jurisdictions’ problems.
Christie’s goal, in short, was to warm up the audience for Paul Ryan, showing that Republicans have solutions to the nation’s fiscal problems.
In the interview with the other Republican elected to replace a Democratic governor in 2009, the National Review’s Jim Geraghty asks a question which shows not just that Republican governors have championed reforms, but that reforms has helped improve the economic situation in their states: “Completely coincidental“, he quips “that all of Obama’s national policies are only working in those Republican states, huh?” (I.e., states where Republican governors have enacted real reforms.)
“What Paul Ryan brings to the ticket”, adds that governor, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell,
is a seriousness about the incredible challenges facing America. We’re broke, and 23 million people don’t have jobs. That is a serious situation for the greatest country on earth. Paul Ryan is a serious guy who’s had a plan for balancing the budget, for reforming Medicaid and Medicare and reforming entitlements. Everything that Barack Obama doesn’t have the courage to take on, Paul Ryan’s had a plan. Even though some people haven’t liked all of the details, he’s had a plan to get there! So I think he helps immensely with that.
In this manner, Christie’s keynote address and Ryan’s selection stands in clear contradistinction to the Obama Democrats who repeat tired phrases about returning to “failed” policies of the past while accenting the verbal gaffes of an obscure Senate candidate without offering suggestions on how to improve things.
Chris Christie has shown that Republicans mean business, that they are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of reform. Democrats, however, prefer rhetoric.
It would be nice, if our friends in the legacy media would follow up on Democratic critiques of Republican plans and ask, “Okay, now we’ve heard your critique of the GOP, please tell us what’s your plan? How do you plan to reduce the debt and protect entitlements from insolvency?”
As Jon Huntsman wrote last May, critics of Ryan’s “approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare’s ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans.”
Politicians who criticize the Republican approach have a moral responsibility to make clear their own plans for reforms. So, instead of criticizing Chris Christie for touting what he has done in New Jersey, Democrats owe the American people the courtesy of outlining their plans for reform — instead of repeating attacks on Republicans.