Gay Patriot Header Image

A Constructive Response to Tragedy

Posted by V the K at 8:39 am - December 7, 2014.
Filed under: Real Reform

It didn’t make national news when Michael Bell’s 21-Year-Old son was shot dead by police outside his home in Kenosha WI. It didn’t make the news when the Police investigating the death cleared themselves of any wrongdoing. And instead of burning down his neighborhood, or blocking traffic to prevent innocent people from getting to their homes or jobs, Michael Bell devoted himself to reforming the system; and in particular, the aspect of the system that allowed cops to investigate and clear themselves of wrongdoing.

From the beginning I allowed the investigation to proceed and didn’t know it was a sham until many of the facts were discovered. But before long I realized a cover-up was under way. I hadn’t understood at first how closely related the DA and the police were—during his election campaign for judge, the DA had been endorsed in writing by every police agency in the county. Now he was investigating them. It was a clear conflict of interest.

In 129 years since police and fire commissions were created in the state of Wisconsin, we could not find a single ruling by a police department, an inquest or a police commission that a shooting was unjustified.

In April of this year we passed a law that made Wisconsin the first state in the nation to mandate at legislative level that police-related deaths be reviewed by an outside agency. Ten days after it went into effect in May, local police shot a man sleeping on a park bench 15 times. It’s one of the first incidents to be investigated under the new law.

Notably, some law enforcement official opposed the reforms, saying that having one more level of oversight would be too much hassle. They were successful in watering down the bill from its first version, which had a lot more teeth. Nevertheless, the new rules do add some much needed accountability to police actions, and demonstrate that while those who throw tantrums may get all the attention, those who work hard quietly but persistently often achieve better results.

Republican Welfare Reform Versus FSFTG

Posted by V the K at 2:44 pm - November 13, 2014.
Filed under: Real Reform

Maine, under recently re-elected Republican Governor Paul LePage is instituting a work requirement to its Food Stamp program.

As a result, adults 18 to 50 years old with no children and who are able to work must do so or volunteer for 20 hours each week. Otherwise, their benefits will be limited to three months over a three-year period, according to The Boston Globe (H/T Mad World News).

“People who are in need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout,” LePage said in a statement. “We must continue to do all that we can to eliminate generational poverty and get people back to work. We must protect our limited resources for those who are truly in need and who are doing all they can to be self-sufficient.”

New York City, under Sandinista-supporting Democrat mayor Bill deBlasio, is following Obama’s example and eliminating the requirements that welfare recipients work for their bennies.

Every workday morning, Phedra Schliefer-Tobias mops floors, cleans toilets and scrubs sinks just like the rest of the members of the custodial staff in a nine-story office building in Lower Manhattan. But her city-issued identification card — her badge of shame — makes it clear that she stands apart.

In bold, black letters, the ID card describes her as a “Non Employee,” proof that she is not on a career track. She is a 48-year-old welfare recipient, working for her benefits and “going nowhere,” as she puts it.

But these days, Ms. Schliefer-Tobias is hopeful that her ID card is destined for the trash bin. Across New York City, she and other workfare participants are abuzz about news from City Hall.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is revamping the city’s welfare program, vowing to dismantle what was once the largest workfare program in the nation and to embrace new strategies for moving thousands of people off the welfare rolls and into jobs.

Instead of work, the welfare recipients will only have to sign up for “education and training” programs; i.e. Free [stuff] from the Government {FSFTG}. Meanwhile, the workfare jobs will be filled with unionized employees, and connected Democrats will get city funding for “education and training” of the welfare recipients. For Democrats, a win-win-win. For taxpayers, not so much.

Despised Republican Governor Creates Billion Dollar Budget Surplus

Posted by V the K at 2:07 pm - March 12, 2014.
Filed under: Real Reform

It can be said, without exaggerration, that leftists hate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with the white-hot heat of a thousand blazing suns. They’ve tried to have him recalled. They’ve threatened to murder his children. They’ve given aDemocrat prosecutor carte blanche to conduct a witch hunt of Walker’s supporters and political allies. The only politician they possibly might hate more is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Anyway, Scott Walker’s budget reforms and efforts to make Wisconsin more business friendly… over the screaming protests of progressive leftists … have helped produce a billion dollar state budget surplus.

“Senate Republicans Tuesday narrowly passed Gov. Scott Walker’s $541 million tax cut proposal in a vote that guaranteed the cuts will become law.” …

“With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s bill will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state,”

He cuts taxes and the state’s finances get better. And have you noticed that Texas… with zero income tax… is more fiscally solvent then Big-Taxing States like California, New York, and Illinois, isn’t it? Mind-blowing. It’s almost as though leftists are completely wrong about economics and conservatives are right.

Hey, it would also be nice to have a President who was business-friendly, fiscally responsible, and understood economics … but, no, we’ll just have to make do with Golfy McSpendalot because Mitt Romney gave his dog a gay haircut and wanted to outlaw tampons, or something.

This Is What a Crushing Bureaucratic State Looks Like

Posted by V the K at 10:40 pm - January 14, 2014.
Filed under: Real Reform,Socialism in America

Courtesy Whackobird Senator Mike Lee: The little stack on the top is laws passed by Congress and signed by Congress. The big stack consists of 80,000 pages of regulations written by unelected Federal bureaucrats that have the power of law; each and every one of them requires an army of bureaucrats and armed officers to monitor and enforce against the citizens of the United States.

laws-regs

I liked it better when “Banana Republic” was a clothing store, and not a description of the country I was living in.

 

Ted Cruz: Up next for destruction?

From Rich Lowry’s brief profile of Senator Cruz at Politico, he sounds pretty smart, like he might be an effective leader for small government (or the Tea Party, if you prefer).

So…is he next? As the Left has proven with Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, and others: Any small-government leader with a bit of effectiveness or charisma MUST. BE. DESTROYED. REGARDLESS OF TRUTH. Especially if they could hold some appeal for women, blacks, or Hispanics.

Jammie Wearing Fools has gathered a few links on the nascent Cruz Derangement Syndrome.

A case for conservative optimism

To some degree, I regret not having blogging during the fiscal cliff negotiations.  They may, to be sure, represent a low point for congressional Republicans, but they may also represent a turning point.  The once-divided House Republicans emerged unified from their Williamsburg retreat.  And Congress has now disposed of one of the few issues Obama emphasized in the campaign — and demagogued after his victory — increasing taxes on the wealthy.

He will not longer be able to use that issue (i.e., “tax the rich) against Republicans as effectively as he did in the campaign.  And he now gives Republicans a chance to remind Americans about the second part of his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction: spending cuts.

Las Friday, we learned that despite his successful reelection campaign, President Obama does not have the power he needs to “fundamentally” transform the nation as he would like.  The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the incumbent’s attempt at constitutional overreach, striking down his use “the Constitution’s recess appointment power to make appointments despite the absence of a recess” to appoint members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

This ruling will make it relatively easy for employers to challenge all the pro-union rulings the NLRB has made since Obama announced the appointments.  The Democrat cannot willy nilly put policies into place increasing regulation and giving more power to favored special interests.

And despite a largely favorable press, Obama’s current approval rating hovers just below that of George W. Bush at a similar point in his term, indeed, as George Will observed, the Democrat enjoys “the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any reelected president when inaugurated since World War II”, with the eminent pundit opining that the incumbent’s “contradictory agenda [is] certain to stimulate a conservative revival.” (more…)

Government Spending Cuts Help the Economy

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 6:12 pm - January 4, 2013.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Economy,Freedom,Real Reform

A few weeks ago, a piece on Bloomberg looked at the question of whether government spending cuts hurt the economy. (Hat tip: Hot Air) First, the authors remind us that a large public debt saps economic growth:

In a paper released this year, economists Carmen M. Reinhart, Vincent R. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff said that periods of debt overhang — when accumulated gross [ed: public] debt exceeds 90 percent of a country’s total economic activity for five or more consecutive years — reduce annual economic growth by more than one percentage point for decades.

Over 20 years, the authors write, there can be a “massive cumulative output loss” that reduces gains by 25 percent or more. The U.S. went over the 90 percent threshold after the 2008 financial crisis…

To grow robustly, the U.S. must reduce that debt overhang. But that would mean genuine spending cuts: large enough to give us a budget surplus. And that would cause a recession, right? Maybe not:

In the 1990s, Canada, for instance, reduced debt-to-GDP ratios through an aggressive combination of actual, year-over- year spending cuts and higher taxes. The result wasn’t malaise but a burst in activity.

The same happened in the U.S. right after World War II. In 1944 and 1945, annual government spending (in 2005 dollars) averaged about $1 trillion and represented more than 40 percent of GDP. By 1947, it had plummeted to $345 billion in 2005 dollars and 14 percent of GDP. Even facing the demobilization of millions of soldiers, the economy soared and unemployment fell despite almost universal fears that the opposite would happen.

Such outcomes are not flukes. Research by economists Alberto F. Alesina and Silvia Ardagna underscored that fiscal adjustments achieved through spending cuts rather than tax increases are less likely to cause recessions, and, if they do, the slowdowns are mild and short-lived.

…[especially] when spending reductions are accompanied by policies such as the liberalization of trade and labor markets…

Read the whole thing; they cite more examples of countries who achieved growth through government-cutting measures, like Sweden, or the UK in the 1990s. There are still more examples, which they didn’t cite: the UK in the 1980s (where Thatcher’s spending cuts enabled an economic boom), the U.S. in the early 1920s (where Harding’s spending cuts did likewise), and more. (more…)

Jeb Bush gets what Mitt Romney missed
(about conservatism and “economic mobility”)

Readers of this blog know that I have long been a fan of Jeb Bush, having favored the accomplished former Florida Governor as my candidate for 2012 at least since November 2010.

And while it is still too early to start planning for 2016, when you google that good man’s name, look at what comes up:

Our reader Kyle alerted me to an article that shows that Jeb understands an aspect of modern American conservatism that Mitt Romney failed to articulate.  “Jeb Bush,” writes Mark Silva . . .

. . . the former Florida governor who based a political career on school reform, today called for a “restoration” of lost American values and economic mobility based on educational accountability.

With the gap between the impoverished and privileged in the U.S. widening, the solution lies in a regime of school and teacher evaluation, national standards and more “school choice” in alternatives such as charter schools, he said.

“We have these huge gaps in income,” Bush said at the start of a two-day Washington conference sponsored by his Foundation for Excellence in Education, “with people born into poverty who will stay in poverty.” He said: “This ideal of who we are as a nation — it’s going away, it’s leaving us,” adding: “There is one path that can change this course.”

Emphasis added.  Economic mobility, his belief that people born in poverty, reared in dependency, don’t have to stay in that condition and can rise about their circumstances.

It frustrated many Reagan-Kemp conservatives when, right after the Florida primary, Mitt Romney said because of the “safety net,” he wasn’t concerned about the very poor.

Reagan conservatives, however, have long been concerned about the poor because that safety net sometimes traps them in a cycle of dependency.   And we want to create the opportunities that will help them find the means to move up into a better economic situation. (more…)

The president’s resistance to real — & necessary — reform

The president,” wrote Jennifer Rubin yesterday, “who ran with no agenda and is now a lame duck, has not distinguished himself by tackling tough problems.” His reelection campaign made his, as his campaign manager put it, the party of “the micro stuff“.

(Perhaps Mitt Romney would have won last week had he been better at articulating the bigger picture.)

WIth such a small ball focus, Obama doesn’t seem willing to address the big challenges facing our country, notably the coming insolvency of entitlements, out-of-control federal spending and the increasing burdens of the regulatory state.

Last Thursday, Glenn linked a piece suggesting he has no interest in tackling these problems:

The sound and fury will be over big fights on taxes and spending. They will look like replays of the last four years and not end up accomplishing much. The big changes to our economy will be the metastatic expansion of regulation, let by ACA, Dodd-Frank, and EPA. There will be no change on our long run problems: entitlements, deficits or fundamental reform of our chaotic tax system. 4 more years, $4 trillion more debt.

Why? I think this follows inevitably from the situation: normal (AFU). Nothing has changed. The President is a Democrat, now lame duck. The congress is Republican. The Senate is asleep. Congressional Republicans think the President is a socialist. The President thinks Congressional Republicans are neanderthals. The President cannot compromise on the centerpieces of his campaign.

Result: we certainly are not going to see big legislation. Anything new will happen by executive order or by regulation.

Read the whole thing. And this is what is truly sad.  We need real reform right now, big changes to address fiscal problems looming beyond the cliff.  We have a debt problem.  And a regulatory problem.  And yet now we have an administration committed to moving us in the opposite direction, writing ever more regulations and increasing the costs of compliance to job creators. (more…)

Right-to-work states account for most of nation’s job growth

Seems laws President Obama opposes may have helped secure the Democrat’s reelection.  At his American Enterprise Institute blog, Carpe Diem, University of Michigan economics professor Mark J. Perry reminds us that the incumbent opposes right-to-work laws, legislation which “protect employees from being fired for refusal to pay union dues or fees”.

States which such laws on the books

were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.  If these states’ job increase had been no better than the 0.85% experienced by forced-unionism states as a group, the nationwide job increase would have been less than half as great.  And the President wouldn’t have been able even to pretend the economy was in recovery.

Aggregate household employment grew by 1.86 million jobs in the 22 states with right-to-work laws.  2.59 million jobs created in the nation during that period.  And that number is even more impressive when you consider that the states without right-to-work laws include some with the largest population like California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. (more…)

The kind of genuine conservative candidate Republicans need

As careful readers of this blog know, I had wanted former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to enter the 2012 contest for the White House.  Perhaps the Democrats would have run against him as the scion of the Bush dynasty.

He had been, however, a successful reform-minded governor of a major state, has withstood a fierce partisan challenge in 2002 and successfully reached out to Hispanic voters.  Perhaps, Jeb had (at least politically) a lousy last name, but I feared, as Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel put it, in their election post-mortem, that Mitt Romney’s

. . . biography hurt him. During a cycle when voters remained angry at Wall Street, Romney bore the weight of a finance background. And because of his own history in Massachusetts, he could never effectively go after President Obama on Obamacare, the president’s biggest political weakness.

None of this was ever a secret, but the Republicans nominated Romney anyway. They had no choice. The alternatives were unacceptable.

Exactly.  The remaining alternatives all carried more baggage that Mitt did.  Democrats were able to define him as a out-of-touch plutocrat rather than a real reformer.  (And I do wonder if some Republicans stayed home because they didn’t think the man who signed Romneycare into law was committed to repealing Obamacare.)

Anyway, Carlson and Patel wrote a great piece–one that I highly recommend.  They help define what kind of candidates Republicans need to nominate if they are to win elections.

We need, as they put it, “genuine conservatives . . . with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.”  Fortunately, it seems, the two freshman Republican Senators are cut from that cloth.

May we see more of their like in 2014.

Obama’s Committed to Policies of the Past; Romney to Real Reform

When Bush left office,” Tim Stanley writes in the Telegraph,

. . . unemployment was 7.8 per cent; today it is 7.9 per cent. Debt is up, food stamps are up, income is stagnant. Bush bailed out Wall Street and so did Obama – even Obama’s much vaunted “rescue” of the auto industrywas actually kick started by Bush. If Bush suffocated civil liberties with the Patriot Act, Obama blew them to Kingdom Come with that awful kill list.

In many ways, the policies and performances of Obama and Bush are rather similar. There are some differences. First, Obama accelerated big government trends that he inherited from W – debt as a percentage of GDP is way, way up.

(Via Sarah Hoyt @ Instapundit.) After citing the parties’ “cultural” differences, Stanley concludes that both W and Obama are New Dealers:  “If Bush was Roosevelt Lite, Obama was Roosevelt Max Strength.”  Only problem is “that the moment when the hardcore Roosevelt fans finally got the keys to the candy store was the exact moment when it had run out of candy.”

Simply put, all that government spending had depleted the Treasury.

And Obama never asked the American people to pay for all the “candy” he wants to shower upon them.  He filled up our shopping carts with items he, to borrow an expression, just “didn’t pay for.”  He only talked about raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, tax hikes which would barely put a dent in the deficit.  He didn’t ask other Americans to pay their fair share for programs designed to benefit them.

Although Obama promised four years ago to change politics as we know it, the only real change he has offered has been to accelerate the pace of government spending.  “The Romney/Paul [sic] ticket”, has, by contrast, Stanley offers, seemed to grasp “that America simply cannot continue the way it is going. (more…)

Simply put, Mitt Romney’s policies are better for gay Americans*

On the abstraction notion of “gay rights” (turning to the government to craft gay-specific policies), the Democratic Party has long been superior to the GOP, but  it terms of supporting a broad spectrum of policies which benefit gay individuals, the Republican Party is head and shoulders above the president’s party.  Simply put, small government policies favor all Americans, including gay Americans.

We don’t need gay-specific legislation.  We just need the government to stay out of our lives.

Less government intrusion in our lives means we have more freedom to direct our own lives.  It means entrepreneurs, including gay and lesbian business owners, will find it easier to establish, maintain and build their enterprises.  Individuals will have greater choices.

And not just gay- and lesbian-owned enterprises.  We have seen how quickly private corporations have responded to social change, offering benefits to the same-sex partners of employees and adopting policies banning discrimination in their workplaces.

Today, our friend Jimmy LaSalvia, the Executive Director of GOProud, takes up that theme in a piece at the Daily Caller, arguing that gay Americans should vote for Mitt Romney:

Governor Romney supports cutting taxes for middle-income Americans and simplifying our overly complex tax code. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need in this troubled economic environment is higher taxes.

Romney has a plan to make American companies more competitive by lowering corporate tax rates, opening new markets to U.S. goods through new free trade agreements and reducing bureaucratic red tape by eliminating unnecessary and unworkable federal regulations.

Gay Americans, like all Americans, are suffering under Obama’s big government policies.  Drive along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and note the number of storefronts with “For Rent” or “Available” signs decorating their otherwise empty display windows.

How many gay-owned businesses have gone under because the cost to comply with federal regulations was too great for hard-working entrepreneurs?  Mitt Romney knows what it’s like to build and sustain and enterprise.  His policies will help remove the barriers to entry that now make it difficult for creative individuals with a good idea and a little bit of capital to turn that idea into a business — allowing them to realize their dream while creating jobs for others.

* (more…)

Conservative ideas for economic growth & job creation

WIth word yesterday that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will now focus more on policy specifics, Jim Geraghty suggested the issues he should have hit yesterday to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

Do Hispanic businessman want to hear about deficit reduction, Medicare, and reducing the size of the federal workforce? Wouldn’t this be a good place to talk up building the Keystone pipeline, ensuring that federal regulations don’t strangle the economic boom stemming from fracking, and tax simplification, and to make a full-throated denunciation of a Washington culture of crony capitalism, where who you know is more important than how well you can do a job?)

Now, to be sure, Romney has already given the speech, but Jim did provide a nice rund0wn of the key issues on the conservative agenda which would promote economic growth and create jobs.

Chris Christie, like Paul Ryan, reminds us that the Republican is the party of real reform

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.

Jennifer Rubin and John Podhoretz liked the speech, with the latter citing the governor’s failure to attack the incumbent indicated instead a suggestion

. . . 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. (more…)

Gay Republican and Conservative Groups Embrace Ryan Selection

Back in the 1990s, nearly a full year lapsed between Republican Congressman and candidates signing the Contract with America and Log Cabin endorsing that document promising government reform.  The prominence Republicans gave to the Contract returning its focus to real reform and fiscal responsibility.  Having gained such prominence from attacking the GOP in 1992, the then-leadership of the ostensibly Republican organization was wary of embracing the GOP, even when it was not focusing on social issues.

How thing have changed.  Two days after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the current Executive Director of Log Cabin, wrote in the Daily Caller that

Congressman Paul Ryan is a strong choice for vice president, and his addition to the GOP ticket will help Republican candidates up and down the ballot. As chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the Republican “Path to Prosperity,” nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.

Unfortunately, Cooper used his opinion piece to make the case for statist legislation, but the fact remains that he has openly embraced the “conservative economic vision” that Ryan has promoted.  He even indicated on Facebook that he “liked” Paul Ryan for VP:

Clarke’s willingness to champion Republican politicians like Ryan and real conservative reforms has served to distinguish him from some of his predecessors. And Clarke is not the only right-of-center gay leader to herald Romney’s pick. Shortly after the Republican announced his choice, GOProud’s Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia called Ryan “a bold and inspired pick“: (more…)

Paul Ryan’s advantage:*
optimism, a reassuring manner, a confident presence
& an ability to his express himself in a sober and serious manner

I have collected a great variety of links to and selected quotations from a number of blog posts and opinion pieces (as well as taken a number of notes) to I posted I’ve been planning in which I would (as I detailed yesterday) contest the “‘conventional wisdom’ . . . that Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate all but dooms the GOP ticket to certain defeat this fall.

All that collection and selection, however, may not really have been necessary.  Earlier today, I found that Michael Gerson had effectively said what I had intended to say in his op-ed on Monday:

The Republican ticket will go large, arguing that budgetary indiscipline creates uncertainty that undermines current growth, while eventually leading to fiscal crisis and economic catastrophe. This is a more complex argument than “economy, bad.” It is also more likely to yield a governing mandate, which seems to be Romney’s admirable, unexpected goal.

In the fight Romney has picked, Ryan is an advantage. He is the best policy thinker and best communicator among the rising generation of conservative reformers. He combines a sober realism about a teetering, unsustainable entitlement system with a bubbly, Jack Kemp-like belief in the promise of unleashed enterprise. (We both worked for Kemp at the same time in the 1990s.) Unlike a recent Republican vice presidential nominee, you can’t put him on the spot. He is informed, levelheaded and persuasive. And he is already Barack Obama’s most persistent, effective economic critic.

Emphasis added.  Unlike the previous Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan is adept at dealing with the national media and well-versed in the details of federal policy.  He doesn’t need a crash course in the issues of the current campaign. (more…)

What is the Democratic plan to prevent Medicare bankruptcy?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:00 pm - August 14, 2012.
Filed under: Democratic demagoguery,Real Reform

Today, in his Morning Jolt newsletter (available by subscription), Jim Geraghty links Guy Benson’s piece about the Democratic National Committee Chairman’s appearance on Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room.  Benson asks the question that anyone should ask Democrats who criticize Paul Ryan for his plan to reform Medicare and Mitt Romney for tapping the Wisconsin Republican as his running mate:

When Blitzer asks her to specify exactly how current or soon-to-be seniors would be impacted by the GOP plan, she cannot.  Because they’re not.  The Left is intellectually bankrupt on the very subject they claim will allow them to crush Mitt Romney in November.  They despise the bipartisan solution Republicans have offered, but they have no alternative of their own.  Dear Democrats, Medicare is slated to go bankrupt in 2024.  You say it’s wrong for future seniors to be denied Medicare as it currently exists.  Okay, what’s your plan, guys?  We know that your actions have already cut Medicare by $700 Billion to pay for part of Obamacare.  We also know that Obamacare establishes a government panel to ration care for the elderly.  And yet the 2024 deadline is still coming.  Again, what’s your plan, Democrats?  Mr. President?  Anyone? 

Emphasis added.  Writing about the “Blitzer dissection of Wasserman Schultz”, Jennifer Rubin wonders if others in the media are catching on to Democratic demagoguery on the Ryan reforms: (more…)

Paul Ryan, the un-Obama

Liberals“, Mary Katharine Ham observes echoing a point heard round the blogosphere, “are positively gleeful that Romney has picked someone whose positions they can gleefully demagogue. But there’s another sense, even among national political reporters, that Team Obama should be careful what it wishes for.”

They should be careful particularly because Paul Ryan is, in many ways, the exact opposite of Barack Obama.  To be sure, they are both relatively young men who are intelligent and speak well.

Mr. Obama, however, gained acclaim not for the policy proposals he authored nor the reforms he had championed, but instead for the words he spoke and the image he projected.  The Democrat earned the affection of liberals by his successful creation of that image, the reformer who would stand up to entrenched interests and end politics as usual.  He just didn’t specify how he would accomplish all that nor could he point  to actual entrenched interests he had challenged or political systems he had changed.

The Democratic glee comes from the fact that Ryan is quite the opposite of Mr. Obama, having staked out clearly the kinds of policy proposals he favors and the reforms, he believes, America needs in order to forestall the looming fiscal crisis.

It’s much easier to run against particular policies than it is to run against the idealized image of the change agent we have been waiting for.

In doing the hard work of translating his ideas into policies, Ryan has earned the affection of many conservatives and libertarians, including yours truly.  And that is why, to borrow Mary Katharine’s expression, Team Obama should be careful what it wishes for.  Yes, those policies may make him a target for Democrats, but they all show him to be a serious man with a plan.  And this may be the year when Americans want leaders with just such a plan.

Ryan is very much the un-Obama, a man whose success depends not on a vague promise, but on an actual record.  And with a near-stagnant economy and skyrocketing deficits, Americans may prefer Ryan’s stern substance to Obama’s lofty potential, (more…)

When Democrats attack Ryan’s budget and his Medicare reforms, ask them to specify their plans to control the deficit and make Medicare solvent

Conservatives,” write the editors of the National Review announcing their support for the Ryan ticket — and offering the consensus conservative view on the selection

. . .  and not just the Romney campaign and the Republican apparatus, will have to stand ready to fight back against the distortions that are sure to come — indeed, have already begun. Democrats will say that Romney-Ryan is a ticket committed to “dismantling” Medicare (by ensuring its solvency); that it would leave the poor to fend for themselves (by extending the successful principles of welfare reform); that their only interest is to comfort the rich (whose tax breaks they wish to pare back). These are debates worth winning, and they can be won.

Indeed, the attacks and distortions have already begun.  As Democrats demonize Ryan, demagogue his proposed cuts and distort his plan, Republicans need bear in mind what one of Mitt Romney’s one-time rivals for the Republican presidential nomination once said.  In May 2011, Jon Huntsman wrote that 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.

Every time, Democrats and their defenders/apologists in the legacy media attack Paul Ryan, ask them to identify their plan to cut the deficit and reform entitlements.

By selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has now made this election not just a referendum on Barack Obama, but also a choice between two competing visions of governing.  And the Democrats have not specified how they will pay for theirs.  When they attack, we must respond not just by defending the Ryan plan, but by attacking them for failing to put forward their own.

RELATED:  Calling Romney’s rollout of his vice-presidential selection a “Terrific debut by Paul Ryan“, Hugh Hewitt offers that (more…)