apparently been decided. AP is reporting that Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate.
Now attention will turn to gaming out what this means and how it shapes the fall campaign. I’ll certainly be doing a lot of that. But for now, I think it’s important to note what this means about the character of Willard Mitt Romney, which is:
He’s a coward.
Romney is so terrified of his party’s base of angry mouthbreathers that he is willing to appease them even at the expense of embracing someone who is poison for his chances at election. He rolled because he didn’t have the spine to stand up to his party’s howling mob, even though polling data shows that their agenda is viewed as radical and wrong by most of the nation’s voters.
After betting everything on making the 2012 Presidential election a referendum on Barack Obama and his policies, with less than 90 days to go Romney is dumping that approach to instead run on “We have a better way”. And that better way involves stuff the public hates: voucherizing Medicare, cutting, privatizing and eventually phasing out Social Security, dismantling regulation of…well, pretty much everything, and chopping taxes, particularly on the wealthy.
Romney has decided to center his campaign around topics which make his business practices and his tax history front and center in the debate. Yet just yesterday, he cried uncle on those very topics, pleading for the Obama campaign not to talk about them any longer.
He knows he’s being torn limb from limb by attacks on the results of his profiteering at Bain Capital and demands that he release his tax returns. He has specifically begged for the dismembering to stop (a first, in my experience of Presidential campaigns). But today, because he is so frightened of Limbaugh and Cantor and Kyl and DeMint and their ilk, he has elected deliberately to make those very topics the main course of the fall campaign: his and Ryan’s radical vision of a banana republic America, as revealed by their deeds and policies, versus the build-from-the-middle-class-out, land-of-opportunity, far more moderate and positive vision of the seated President.
That’s a debate that puts the question of whether or not Mitt has paid his share like the rest of us squarely on the table. And the Obama campaign will be able to exploit that most American of prejudices: the idea that things ought to be fair.
That is the debate Romney has deliberately selected because he didn’t have the guts to face down his party’s radical base. It is a poster child for why he is grossly unfit to be President of the United States.
By choosing Ryan, Romney shows himself the opposite of a leader. Today’s announcement is less an indictment of the appalling policies on which Romney will run than of his very character.
At publication, the Dragon was DISGUSTED