Here’s the thing, when Obama was up and coming on a wave of media hype with very little mainstream media vetting (beyond the thrill Chris Matthews felt running up his leg) – and the best counter the Republicans could come up with was John McCain I knew we were absolutely fucked.
I was in the same boat as 99.9% of Americans who were either sick of Bush relentlessly spending in the name of Conservatism, the tireless expansion of government power during his tenure, or the endless vilification of the guy for everything BUT what he was actually doing wrong. I wanted a break, a reprieve, and what I got was a well spoken community organizer with a questionable past whose leadership experience was about on par with Bush’s public speaking skills.
In the nearly 4 years since Bush left office, we’ve seen politics as usual when a ‘popular’ (read: Liberal) president is in office… Broken campaign promises, general malaise, high spending, high unemployment, vilification of anyone who is successful and not a party donor, and overwhelming class warfare meant to keep the general populace arguing with itself so much we completely ignore how screwed up things are.
When the new crop of candidates came up for the Republicans, my guy quickly got shot down (Herman Cain) by a media incapable of supporting a minority candidate that doesn’t walk in lock-step with their supported ideology and the remaining candidates really didn’t peak my interest much. Sure, Ron Paul had some great ideas – but he just seemed a little too kooky for me and his unshakable hesitance and lack of direction on foreign policy in this day and age left me very weary of what could come about should he get the keys to the castle.
Eventually, Mitt Romney came to the forefront and got the nod. In my mind, what he had going for him was his business prowess and decision making ability. He knew how to make money, keep money, build business and most importantly – when to cut his losses. The converse of this is that his state implemented socialized medicine. Now keep in mind, I have no problem with a state – at the behest of its voters – implementing such a plan. While the federal government IMHO has no business there, the states have the right to do so.
Once he was a lock, the big question on everyone’s mind was ‘who will he pick as a running mate?’ The answer we got after much vetting and rumors was Paul Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin. Paired up with that choice was a flood of damned entertaining YouTube videos showing him going head to head with Obama, and caused the predicted Conservagasms amongst the voting public who are starving for real leadership and real recovery.
I’ll admit – I was quickly absorbed by the hype – but then I started to find out disturbing things about Ryan that had me weary that the next 4 years could bring us some marginal improvement but more ‘politics as usual.’ Ryan’s voting record (at least the portion that is getting the most attention right now) shows a party-line Republican who worked his way up the ranks by voting with the party and supporting decisions that were wholly detrimental to the Conservative movment… TARP, bailouts, DHS, Patriot Act, etc… Where was his passion for fiscal Conservatism in those decisions? Where was his passion for smaller government in those decisions?
That string of votes easily groups him in with the class of Republicans that the Tea Party has been greatly successful in identifying and voting out of office… but they apparently are very supportive of Ryan and his being picked for the VP slot on the ticket.
Now I’m confused, and when I’m confused – much more research is needed. Ryan is an establishment Republican just by looking at his voting record. As far as I can tell, he has had a hand in many of the decisions which lead to our current debt and economic crisis – while much of the positive publicity he has gotten very recently is due to decidedly Conservative actions such as putting the screws to Obama over his healthcare plan.
Is he a flip flopper? Did he see the tide of Conservatism taking root and decide to jump on the bandwagon for no more than self preservation? That’s what it seems like to me, and it has me very weary – as I need to know that when it comes down to voting in a way that pushes forth the Conservative agenda, will he be a willing lapdog to his establishment ilk or a guide-post in the form of a pro-Conservative pit bull that will put ideas ahead of establishment, and the people ahead of the government?
All I know is that drastic change is needed, and recovery from the enormous mistakes made by those in Washington over the past 12 years needs to be swift and consistent. I don’t need a moderate shill, or someone who is going to change tack under the slightest ripple, but someone who is going to declare all out war on every aspect of our government that is holding our nation back from the prosperity it is capable of achieving – a predator drone of Conservatism that will obliterate anything that threatens the freedoms guaranteed to us by our constitution without hesitation.
I’m cautiously optimistic here, but my eyes are open – and that the Tea Party – a group which I have supported – has so willingly accepted a man with such a questionable past makes me wonder whether i’m being handed my hat or a future where I can afford to buy my own.