Thoughts on VP-nom Paul Ryan, Catholic family man, Budgetmaster

Paul-Ryan-huntsI didn’t want Mitt Romney to choose Paul Ryan because I thought Ryan should stay in the House to continue heading up the Budget Committee. That said, this is a bold and serious selection, and I like it.

Some thoughts, in no particular order:

1) Ryan is a serious plans and actions man, and has already shown his mettle in a policy fight. From schooling Obama to his increasingly displeased face (seriously: watch that one and note the cutaways to Obama’s face. Money.) on healthcare reform, to explaining a serious plan to get government spending under control, to dealing with ridiculous demagogues who will say any old thing, he shows a command of the facts, a comfort with his own ideas, and a stiff spine.

2) Refocuses the conversation. Romney’s biggest liability thus far has been his timidity and lack of laying out specific ideas or policy proposals. He has focused his part of the debate on “jobs,” which is good and proper, but with precious few details. Plus, Romney has lost a couple of message cycles by being on the defensive over a few failing companies that Bain bought and shuttered, and the manufactured furor over his tax returns. Ryan is synonymous with his budget plan and entitlement reform. Considering the Democrat-led Senate has not passed a budget in over three years talking about a reasonable budget proposal cannot be a bad thing.

3) Related to the previous point: On budget numbers and the fiscal train wreck this country is heading toward, Ryan will not be outdone by any of the other three men on the tickets. With his time on the Budget Committee he has been more intimately involved in the numbers than pretty much anyone else and won’t need to quickly bone up in order to talk intelligently on the most pressing issues.

4) Related to the previous two points: this instantly makes the vice presidential debate Must Watch TV. The only way it could get better would be if the Dems could have Obama pinch-hit for Biden so he received the schooling rather than the hapless Biden.

Paul Ryan and Family

Congressman Ryan, wife Jenna, and their kids.

5) Obviously, he’s a stellar pick from the social conservative standpoint. Good on life, stem cell research, marriage, school choice, and religious liberty.

6) Is this the first time there is not a single mainline Protestant on either major ticket? I’d bet it is. Two Catholics* at the veep level, and a Mormon vs. whatever Obama is at the POTUS level. Not sure what that says, but I think it’s worth noting as a data point for the mainline Protestant denominations that have dominated our politics for so many years.

7) One report said that Romney picked Ryan more than a week ago. Why not announce it until today? A few thoughts. Ryan may have needed a full week to talk it over with his family and get their full buy-in. Romney may have wanted to wait for a lull in the news to dominate a news cycle, or to use it to change the conversation at a key moment (an early Saturday announcement seems to suggest the former isn’t so, but the spurious “Romney gave my wife cancer” meme would be worth tamping). Ryan may have held off giving full acceptance until Romney agreed to allow him to be himself rather than be “managed” by Romney peeps in the manner Sarah Palin reportedly was four years ago by McCain peeps.

8 ) Hellooooo, religious liberty! A Mormon and a Catholic on the GOP ticket. And I’m not tempted at all to include a “y” in either of those designators!

All in all, this really makes this election paradigm-shifting, and in a good way.


*Biden is Catholic, though he falls into that category who, through his manifest and persistent public policy positions and advocacy, is not *in* communion so he ought not present himself *for* Communion. But we continue to pray that public sinners may publicly repent and become, once more, fully Catholic. Imagine the impact he could have if he were to reverse course and become an advocate for the evils of dissenting positions he presently holds…



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  • Rob

    If Ryan is serious about his new tax brackets and keeping the tax system revenue neutral, I don’t see how my taxes will go up, as a middle class earner (single, 27, 44k before-deduction income). According to the Tax Policy Center, Ryan needs to come up with $4.6 TRILLION in closed loopholes and ended deductions to keep his tax plan revenue neutral. From pretty much every study I’ve read, the only way to do that is to close the deductions that impact the greatest swath of people…so while tax rates won’t go up for the middle class, odds are that real tax dollars will. Seems like that would impact real spending power and economic recovery.

  • Mary

    It would be hard for anyone on the Republican side to quickly build up the Personas that the Democrats have in Obama. This makes the election about IDEAS instead, something the country is in desperate need of. And about FACTS, something else the country needs a primer on. I can’t wait to get my lawn sign!

  • Wooky

    Wow! Mitt Romney is a smarter devil than I thought. Catholics need to understand what they are doing when they decide to support Romney who cleverly added Paul Ryan to his ticket. Considering that the Mormon temple ceremony was practically plagiarized from the Masonic rites. Every single sign, token, and penalty was taken from Masonry. The True Order of Prayer, the rapping of the mallet, and the Five Points of Fellowship are all Masonic in origin.
    The Catholic Church has imposed the penalty of excommunication on Catholics who become Freemasons or embrace masonic principles even through mormonism. The penalty of excommunication for joining the Masonic Lodge and embracing the symbolism and ceremonies is explicit in the 1917 code of canon law (canon 2335), and it is implicit in the 1983 code (canon 1374) which is still in force to this day.” There is no excommunication penalty for being gay (the church prefer these to be celibate) or supporting abortion (repentance) but excommunication does apply for accepting and supporting Masonic principles, rites and the lodge.
    Catholics had better pay attention and understand mormonism before they entertain a vote for Romney the former Mormon Bishop even with the trick of bringing Ryan on board?

    • Tom Crowe

      Wooky— I find Mormonism to be entirely uncompelling as a religion to believe in. I’m sure Paul Ryan does as well. But, since no one supports making Mormonism (or Catholicism, for that matter) the official state religion, I don’t see the relevance of your comment.

      • Rosemary

        Wonder if “Wooky” is trolling on Mormon sites and peddling anti-Catholic sentiments?

  • Wooky

    With Ryan the overwhelming thrust in every way is to liberate the lucky and successful to enjoy their good fortune without burdening them with any responsibility for the welfare of their fellow citizens. This is the core of Ryan’s moral philosophy:
    “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” …
    At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand’s writings when he told his audience that, “Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill … is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict–individualism versus collectivism.”
    The core of the Randian worldview, as absorbed by the modern GOP, is a belief that the natural market distribution of income is inherently moral, and the central struggle of politics is to free the successful from having the fruits of their superiority redistributed by looters and moochers.

    • Tom Crowe

      Hey Wooky: Ryan said, “To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society … where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good,” You can read more at:

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      “With Ryan the overwhelming thrust in every way is to liberate the lucky and successful to enjoy their good fortune without burdening them with any responsibility for the welfare of their fellow citizens.” No, with Ryan we have a promise that he wants to take painful measures now, so we can have a bright future, especially for our children. He refuses to kick the can down the road and proceed as if the nation does not need a major economic overhaul to change its course. However, if you disagree with him and Romney, this is a free country, vote for Obama, but don’t try your class struggle garbage here because it won’t work.

    • Joe M

      “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.” – Paul Ryan

    • Dogmalimbo

      Since when the church started to oppose wealth and wealthy people? I worked hard, lived below my means, saved and invested why should I use my wealth for people who refused to take responsibilities for themselves? Ayn Rand may not be a religious person but her work was about individualism, and morality.

    • nikki

      So what is wrong with being an individual? Whats wrong with becoming wealthy? We are not saved by our Lord collectively nor if we are rich or poor. Lets not forget most of the wealthy give to charities if not there wouldn’t be any. The church and other charities distribute funds way better then any government program. Paul Ryan is a real Catholic believes in Life. Catholics have put many catholic democrats in collectively and what did it get us fetal stem research planned parenhood and mandates that faithful individuals must not,will not comply with.Lets not forget in a speech to China our catholic V.P. stated “I get your one child policy”that is where collectivism gets you one size fits all. Also for the record I personally never in my life worked for a poor man.

  • James

    First time in a long time that we have a serious faithful Catholic on a major ticket in a long time.

    • HAMM

      Serious Catholic whose proposed budget was condemned by the USCCB.

      • Tom Crowe

        Congrats, you win for first person to bring up this line. Your prize: you get to read this:

      • James

        Bishop Morlino of Madison, one of our most outspoken bishops, praised Paul Ryan’s work. Congrats on only reading the headlines. He is also 100% pro-life.

      • Antonio A. Badilla


        “Serious Catholic whose proposed budget was condemned by the USCCB.” Was itt “condemned” or was it questioned?

        Now, don’t forget, this are the same bishops who remained silent when “Catholic” Notre Dame invited Obama to speak there, and the same bishops who are now silent when their head is about to have dinner with the President, the very man who is persecuting us. Don’t also forget, the most liberal nuns in this country are against Ryan’s economic plan and that tells me, it must be good.

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      Did you know, “But in a sign that some conference members are concerned that recent statements have been hijacked by partisan forces during an election year, the discussion preceding the vote featured a series of interventions by several bishops. They raised concerns about conference statements that attacked the budget proposals of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and warned that any new statement should not venture beyond their competence as teachers of faith and morals.”

      Read more:

      James, it’s not a black and white issue, and either the bishops support this ticket or they support the man in the White House who is busy destroying our religious liberty. Which one will it be, because the paths are very clear in this election.



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