The Dicey Search For A GOP Savior: The Case Of Paul Ryan

Desperate for an articulate spokesman, many in the GOP seem willing to accept nearly any Republican politician as long as he meets these criteria:

1. Good looking

2. Well-spoken

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3. Likable

While these traits are certainly nice, they’re not going to necessarily change governance much unless the inside of the person has some core conservative values.

Supporting a candidate or politicians with only these traits leads some to believe that the Republican party has no core values–that they’re still operating from a foundation of expedience.

Enter Paul Ryan. Matt Lewis has a piece up about the love affair with Paul Ryan and says this:

Though he talks like Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, some of Ryan’s most high-profile votes seem closer to Keynes than to Adam Smith. For example, in the span of about a year, Ryan committed fiscal conservative apostasy on three high-profile votes: The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP (whereby the government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions), the auto-bailout (which essentially implied he agrees car companies — especially the ones with an auto plant in his district–are too big to fail), and for a confiscatory tax on CEO bonuses (which essentially says the government has the right to take away private property–if it doesn’t like you).

While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.

Because it is impossible to believe the highly intelligent and well read Rep. Ryan was unfamiliar with conservative economic principles, one must conclude he either 1). Doesn’t really believe in free market economics, or 2). Was willing to cast bad votes for purely political purposes.

From my standpoint, ignorance can be forgiven and overcome; the other explanations, however, seem to be disqualifiers for higher office.

Should a guy like Paul Ryan be encouraged? I have called him a “rising star” myself.

Does the Republican party risk losing good leaders if they’re “imperfect”?

Well, it seems to me that fiscal conservatism should be a baseline for any Republican. Paul Ryan’s votes from here on out need to be examined. Yes, he’s a nice looking, well-spoken, charismatic politician. He also needs to be part of the change Washington needs to ensure fiscal restraint.

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