Jonathan Chait has put together a wonderful sketch of the potential contribution of Paul Ryan to America. Excerpt:
What actually separates the insurgents from the Establishment is not ideology but tactics. The insurgents refuse to accept the constitutional limits of their power, and believe that more frenzied assertions of their core beliefs, combined with a periodic willingness to shut down the government and threaten a currency default, can prevail over President Obama through force of will. The insurgents mistakenly interpret disagreements over means as disagreements over ends; when Republican leaders express reluctance to shut down the government over Obamacare or Planned Parenthood, the insurgents take this as actual support for those programs.
What makes Ryan so perfectly suited to bridge this divide is that he perfectly combines ideological extremism with methodological pragmatism. He is a longtime disciple of the teachings of Ayn Rand, whom he has described as the inspiration for his entire political career. He spent the Bush years pushing the administration to adopt much larger and politically explosive proposals to cut taxes for the rich and privatize Social Security than it deemed politically viable. …Chait,NYMag<
What Democrats understand (or most of them do) is that the average American may scream and yell about the economy and government when they’re out there on the street. But at home a stable old government going on and doing what it does tends to get better results than licensing the rich to rob everyone else. We feel Paul Ryan’s hands groping for our pockets even as we read about his possible resurgence.