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…



  • jj rousou

    Dear sir, To you I am a sinner and you don’t even know me. This kind of thinking has held back the human race for 2 thousand years. Myopic ideas without trying to understand others is your limitation and eventually your downfall. The world is getting smaller please try to open your eyes to the real problems in America. I pity your inability to realize you are hurting America and its people

    • Tom Crowe

      Dear sir: to myself I too am a sinner. We all are sinners. But that is small matter because your and my salvation is in Christ Jesus. He is no one’s downfall but the unrepentant wicked. He has opened my eyes and helped me to understand all people as children of God, regardless of where on the globe they are. Peace.

  • Lady mabeline

    Forcible rape= fail

    • Tom Crowe


  • moe

    wow, this is the first time ive come across catholicvote and, as a catholic, im disgusted with this article.

    this is not Christ-like at all nor are any of the comments! you should NOT be affiliating yourself with our Lord, Jesus!

  • simon

    Who would Jesus vote for?

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      I don’t know because Jesus, in his humanity, never lived under a democratic system to vote for anything.
      However, what is your point?

  • Jeffrey

    Boatload of information here. Thanks. Its going to be my required after dinner reading..

  • Antonio A. Badilla

    Wooky, “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),”

    Nice attempt at descrediting Ryan, but I haven’t seen too many people excommunicated in the last 40 years, including Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, Kathleen Sebelius, Pro-Choice Catholics, the wonderfiul Sisters who should have been excommunicated for writing certain books, universities in open rebellion with Rome because they don’t acknowledge Ex-Corde Ecclesiae, dissenting theologins, some of whom write for diocesan newspapers, the Kennedy’s etc.
    For the sake of an argument, let us say Romney is a Mason. What does that have to do with Ryan? Should the Catholic Church now excommunicate a Mormon?



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