The Spectacle Blog

My Last Word on Ryan

By on 8.17.11 | 11:21AM

I'm not going to keep pounding the drum on this, but I want to clear up some things based on the responses to my skepticism about a Paul Ryan presidential candidacy. My basic argument is that he is already in a good position from which to advance entitlement reform and that losing either the nomination or the general election would likely set his causes back.

Aaron seems confident that a primary campaign spent disagreeing with the base on TARP, Medicare Part D, the auto bailout, etc., followed by a general election focused on cutting future Medicare benefits, will work out well. I just don't see anything in the last 30 years of American politics that should inspire this confidence. The Republicans' best chance is for this election to be a referendum on Obama's presidency. Enter Ryan and it automatically becomes something else.

Quin argues that the country would benefit from having entitlements fought out in the open during a presidential election and that Ryan is the best man to do that. I agree on both points but wonder if the electorate is truly ready for such a discussion. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong about Ryan's chances.

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