Open Letter To Mitt Romney

Governor Romney,

I supported you in the caucuses – as the conservative alternative to John McCain, no less – and I’ll vote for you this November as many times as Mark Ritchie will allow me to.   If I go into the polls smelling like hemp and wearing Birkenstocks, it might be quite a few times.

But I digress.

My friend Hugh Hewitt the other day broke down your VP choices like this:

  • If your internal polling shows you comfortably ahead, you’ll go Pawlenty.  He’s safe, he gives you a shot in Minnesota and the upper midwest, and he’s got the technical part of the job down.
  • If it shows you ahead but close, go with Rob Portman.  He’ll help you clinch Ohio, and he’s a safe, competent choice.
  • If they show you a little behind, you’ll go Ryan.  He’ll cinch up the base and give you some “zing” for the final stretch.
  • If you look way behind, you’ll go for the long ball to Chris Christie.

Maybe it’s my Scandinavian roots.  Maybe it’s a lifetime as a Bears and Cubs fan.  But I say always play like you’re behind.  Pick Ryan.

Oh, I know – you’ve got the same people who gave us McCain telling you it’s just too risky.

It’s really not:

Too risky, goes the Beltway chorus. His selection would make Medicare and the House budget the issue, not the economy. The 42-year-old is too young, too wonky, too, you know, serious. Beneath it all you can hear the murmurs of the ultimate Washington insult—that Mr. Ryan is too dangerous because he thinks politics is about things that matter. That dude really believes in something, and we certainly can’t have that.

All of which highly recommend him for the job.

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.

While jobs and the economy are the killer issues this election (or should be; the media in its role as Obama’s Praetorian Guard is doing its best to avoid that happening), entitlement reform is going to the the issue that decides whether this nation remains viable or not.

And unlike most liberals’ and “moderates'” approach to the issue, Ryan’s all about fixing it the right way; through vigorous growth:

 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.

And the fact is that even if Romney doesn’t pick Ryan, the Dems are going to try to use Ryan as a negative anyway:

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?

In for a penny, in for a dollar.

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.

That, right there, is huge.  It’s a message that can resonate with both conservatives (who are sick of playing prevent defense) and moderates (who will, I suspect, respect a candidate who actually clarifies and personalizes the vague, too-big-to-process jeremiads they’re hearing about the issues facing this country.

And Romney needs to cement the base behind him.  Ryan would whip up the mass of Tea Party and western-conservatives that have been, to say the least, tepid on Romney so far.

If there’s anything that’d disturb the narrative on this election, it’s people getting “whipped up” by Romney.

Personalities aside, the larger strategic point is that Mr. Romney’s best chance for victory is to make this a big election over big issues. Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things—Mitt’s taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election.

To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country.

Americans have shown they will come together for the good of the country.  Pearl Harbor, 9/11, hatred of the Dallas Cowboys  – all have brought this fractured nation together.

Our very existence as an economy and a society?  That should count, too.

If we, as a party and a ticket, have the guts to make it an issue.

And if we don’t, then why bother trying to run for President, anyway?

So Gov. Romney – please pick Ryan.

Thanks.  And that is all.

28 thoughts on “Open Letter To Mitt Romney

  1. Watch videos of Ryan talking about buget issues. Especially unfunded Big Entitlement. What our problems are, and what his proposals are to solve them. He is very good. Clear, confident, and understands the issues and the time bomb we have if we do nothing. Unfortunatly, his 5 minute speaches don’t fit on a bumper sticker.

  2. Mitch wrote: If I go into the polls smelling like hemp and wearing Birkenstocks, it might be quite a few times.

    So you keep asserting, without any evidence. You had an alleged union plot to hijack disabled voters last time around that didn’t stand up to a good scrutiny – and cost how much of taxpayers money in investigations and grand juries

    You had a guy who was an uncredentialed challenger, claiming to have accidentally seen something wrong while voting…….but who does not appear to have been present when the people in question actually voted.

    And you’ve never gotten around the issue of your tea partier NOT BEING THERE. Then we have the additional issue that there are statutory limits regulating who can help someone vote, and when, and how many. (the limit is 3 – not 3 per day, 3 per election) AND there are strict limitations on who can do so, regarding their relationship to the person being assisted AND they have to sign a form which includes a pledge as to their conduct in the assistance.

    AND you never explained how it was that for the privacy of their ballot, other people arent allowed to be right next to the person voting OTHER than an election judge (under certain circumstances), so it is not possible for your buddy making the false accusation of voter fraud to have observed what he claimed.

    And, it turns out that the group home targeted for the accusation had signs for rival candidates on their premises, and the group to which the accuser belonged included the psychiatrist who just happened to treat the people who were accused of having been improperly assisted in voting………wow, that sure seems suspicious doesn’t it?

    And yet, the only person who was found to have committed voter fraud in the 2008 election was someone who voted twice, for Coleman and McCain. And there were two women, who voted twice in 2010, candidate unknown, and a mom who made an absentee ballot for her daughter in college. ALL of whom were caught and prosecuted.

    You DO know, right, that EVERY polling place tries to have a balance between the judges from major parties — and are required to have one Republican and one Democrat at all times? So this notion that somehow styling yourself in what conservatives would use to try to apper liberal cannot possibly make you more likely to be allowed to vote multiple times. You really like to hammer on that myth don’t you — no matter how much it differs from reality?

    Weren’t you telling me in an email just the other day that Ed had been an election judge for years, and assured you that elections were in fact honest, and that you believed him? So which is it? Do you believe the fiction that in point of fact has nothing to support it but a wish that conservative election losses were because of fraud in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. Or do you admit that we in fact have very fair and honest elections, as is, without voter ID?

    Having just finished my election judge training, where I went for the longer classwork for head election judge, I have my materials handy, to reference to correct your misconceptions about voting.

    After seeing how very well elections were conducted in 2010 in the way ballots were handled at the recount, and in view of your crow wing county hoax of election impropriety, I wanted to be more involved this election cycle.

    Just in case your tea partier friends want to branch out to my precinct next time, or conservatives like them.

    Hey Mitts on R-money – please pick Ryan. The more extreme to the right, the more he weakens his chances of appealing to the majority of more moderate and independent voters.

    Four cases in the past two elections, which were prosecuted

  3. Dog Gone, did you hands get tired typing that inane tripe? Seriously, I honestly tried reading it and wasn’t long into it before it devolved into the written equivalent to grown-ups dialogues on the Peanuts cartoons.

  4. It’s telling that Dog Gone read three lines into the post before her head exploded on a tangent about voter fraud. That’s too bad, because the actual point of the post was a good one, she might have understood it.

    Isn’t inability to maintain focus on the task at hand a symptom of a mental disability? We shouldn’t be so hard of the handicapped, boys, she’s doing the best . . . LOOK, A BUNNY!



    Fraudulent votes are like cockroaches; for every one you see there are a thousand more.
    This was quite a big deal locally. There are about 60k voters on this rock. Some of the important county elections are decided by a relative handful of votes. What everyone here realizes — though you have to read between the lines of the story to get it — is that the reason the clerk closed her office during the audit was to stop interference with the audit from county & state office holders.

  6. Pitiful, “Sanity”. Truly pitiful.
    Gosh! I wonder if their are any books by ex-democrats who now vote GOP! Because that would prove . . . exactly nothing.
    Your first step towards sanity, :”Sanity”, will happen when you realize that you don’t nearly as much about history, or politics, or government, as Mitch and most of the commenters at SITD.
    You might begin by pondering how the extreme, most radical in history GOP (as you seem to believe it to be), has nominated only political moderates for the presidency since 1988.

  7. 24,000 voter cards returned as “suspicious” in the 2008 election. 6,000 are STILL unverifiable, with such quirks as non-existent addresses, addresses of retail establishments, or 2 digit amounts of people at the same address.

    If you are against Voter ID, you are in support of voter fraud. PERIOD.

  8. Four cases in the past two elections, which were prosecuted

    Yep, and Hitler only killed about 350 Jews. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

    Last I read there were 119 convictions (not prosecutions, CONVICTIONS) of voting by felons in the 2010 elections. You take obtuseness, willful ignorance and just plain outright LYING to new obscene levels.

  9. Mitch:

    I like Ryan and I’ll take him as the second choice. The first choice and not mentioned by you at all is Marco Rubio. In order for the Repubilicans to be competive in the future we have to increase our percentage of the Hispanic. Rubio is great choice to try to show Repubican values are hispanics values. We allowed the black vote to escape and will be a minority party if we lose the Hispanic vote the same way.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  10. Walter,

    I also like Rubio – have for years – but he’s not in the “top three” being touted by NBC.

  11. 119 convictions AFTER filtering out the hundreds for which “I didn’t know” was, under MN law, a legitimate defense.

    And that was one county – the only county where the county attorney could be bothered.

    Not sure what “four cases” DG is referring to, but it reminds me of an episode from a few years ago. A news story came out saying North Dakota had more convictions per capita for political corruption than Chicago, Boston or Los Angeles. DG’s blog-mate Penigma/”LaciTheDog”/Peevish/PB/Jack/Mikey/whatever he was at the time crowed this was proof Republican North Dakota was more corrupt. No – it was proof that North Dakota actually prosecuted the cases; other cities don’t. Corrupt pols in ND are in jail or out of office; in the other cities, they are, well, running the cities. Anyway, DG and “Pen” seem to share the same set of logical blinders.

    It’s a question that shows the limits of the “FACT CHECKING” cult. Facts in isolation can be both true AND lead you away from the truth. Four or 119 convictions can be proof that the system is clean, it’s true – if you leave out the context, the “why”, the details.

    Four convictions might be proof that the system is clean, sure. It might also be proof that prosecutors could only be bothered to bring four prosecutions, because the law is written to make prosecutions so fruitless (or the prosecutors have an interest in keeping the status quo). 119 prosecutions in one election, viewed as a FACT, might be proof that 119 people out of five million is a good average. Or, if you know that it’s just one county (with 5% of the state’s population at that) and is a distillation of over a thousand cases that DID vote fraudulently, but of whom 88% were able to plead ignorance and walk, it could be a very bad sign.

    Which is it?

    Your answer depends on how tightly the blinders are sinched on.

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  13. Measuring illegal voters by convictions is using the wrong tool to measure the size of the problem. By that standard, neither the joker in Colorado nor the Nazi in Milwaukee shot anybody because they haven’t been Convicted, so mass shootings are not a problem. By that standard, the only people who drove drunk were the ones Convicted, so drunk driving is not a problem.

    If we use the reasoning that sexual assault advocates employ, only 1 in 10 offenses is reported and of those, only 1 in 10 result in convictions, so there are 100 offenders for every conviction. That makes 1,000 illegal votes in the Coleman-Franken election where the margin of victory was only 300.

    Felons for Franken indeed.

  14. Mitch in response to you NBC that doesn’t know how to edit the pledge not to mention tried to make George Zimmerman a racist by leaving out Rubio is playing games again!

    You fell for their trap!

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  15. Gosh I love a good Dog Gone comment. I think it was back in 2009. As regards the POINT of the post, I’m fairly certain Romney will give the nod to Portman. It’s a “safe” choice, and Mitt isn’t exactly a political daredevil. Ryan would be great, if only for the Bachmann Effect he would inflict on liberal Democrats. I have a better idea for Marco Rubio: Senate Majority Leader. Has a nice ring to it.

  16. DG claims to be an election judge.
    DG has attended MNGOP caucus.

    So Ms Puppymill must be an election judge on the “R” party.

    Election abuses? Nah

  17. Yeah, Trojan Man. There’s nothing embarrassing about a French sport where you wear a top hat and make a horse dance around.

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