Choosing Paul Ryan
Mitt Romney has made a risky bet by pandering to extremism
The presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, has bet his cards on mobilizing the Tea Party-learning base by choosing one of their favorites, with the hope that this will carry him to the White House. This is a strategic move that reaffirms the right-wing, non-inclusive partisan base that we saw in the primary season.
What bad news for those who believe that Latinos benefit when both parties strive to win their vote. The selection of a one of the most extreme, polarizing and obstructionist figures in the Congress does not help to attract the vote of minorities or moderates.
It goes even further than this. Ryan's only achievement during his 14 years serving in the House of Representative – he began when he was 28 years old – has been to push these past several years for federal budgets that are profoundly ideological in which the safety net is slashed – neither Medicare nor Social Security are spared – and tax cuts for the wealthy are extremely generous. Within this context, his unwillingness to compromise has earned him the respect of Tea Party followers.
There is little in this background that demonstrates that Romney's running mate meets the minimum requirement of being the vice president – the ability to assume the presidency if this becomes necessary.
One well-used saying is that the first presidential act of a candidate is the selection of the vice president. In this case, our first view into a future Romney administration is extremely disconcerting.