Thursday, August 09, 2012

Humming It In the Shower

The WSJ editors join the chorus asking Why Not Paul Ryan?:

The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.

Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda—before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts. And he has done so as part of a larger vision that stresses tax reform for faster growth, spending restraint to prevent a Greek-like budget fate, and a Jack Kemp-like belief in opportunity for all. He represents the GOP's new generation of reformers that includes such Governors as Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and New Jersey's Chris Christie.

As important, Mr. Ryan can make his case in a reasonable and unthreatening way. He doesn't get mad, or at least he doesn't show it. Like Reagan, he has a basic cheerfulness and Midwestern equanimity.

As for Medicare, the Democrats would make Mr. Ryan's budget a target, but then they are already doing it anyway. Mr. Romney has already endorsed a modified version of Mr. Ryan's premium-support Medicare reform, and who better to defend it than the author himself?

Republicans are likely to do worse if they merely play defense on Medicare and other entitlements. The way to win on the issue is go on offense and contrast Mr. Romney's patient-centered reform with President Obama's policy of government price controls and rationing medical care via a 15-member panel of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

There’s a local car dealer who used to have an annoying yet catchy jingle in their radio ads that said “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan” (in fact their web site is As I watch with cautious optimism as the Paul Ryan for VP boomlet builds, that line keeps going through my head. Let’s hope that Romney is thinking the same thing.