Romney picks Ryan
So now the election is going to be about which legacy party is going to cut Social Security and Medicare less. Oh joy.
UPDATE AIf I have the sequence right...
1. (July 20) Obama campaign "gives guidance" they're going to assault Romney for his support of the Ryan plan. ("Guidance" is serious in DC.)
2. But the assault on Ryan never happens, contradicting the "guidance." Instead, we get the income taxes and yadda yadda yadda.
3. (July 25) Unsourced Politico story says "operatives and key players" believe the fight over automatic cuts is going to blow up (that is, not in January, and not in the lame duck, but in the election).
4. (July 32) Bill Keller jumps on board.
6. (August 9) Obama (for the umpteenth time) signals willingness to cut (the "do not get enough credit" quote).
7. (August 11) Trial balloon for Bowles at Treasury: Agenda, grand bargain.
8. August 11: Romney announces Ryan as VP.
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To me, there are two "bloopers" here: #1 and #8. #1: The Obama campaign gives guidance they're going to go after Romney on Ryan, and then they don't. They're not shy, so why the change in timing? #8: The announcement is on a Saturday morning. During the Olympics. With the convention still weeks away (as FDL points out). What's in it for Romney with the timing?
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From the Barcalounger:
My $0.02 (and prediction is hard, especially about the future): All this looks to me like what we would expect to see: Both campaigns are having their chains yanked by their 1% owners (and the same owners own both parties).
For reasons I don't understand, it looks to me 1% have moved up the timing and decided not to let the legacy parties finesse the election and make the cuts in the lame duck or in January. Rather, the 1% has decided to make securing a mandate for gutting the last of the New Deal what this election is about. (The maneuvers listed above look like getting the ducks lined up, especially Keller and Bowles). Because if you nominate Ryan, you nominate the Ryan Budget, and gutting the New Deal is what the Ryan budget is designed to do.
The choice on offer will be which legacy party will, or will be perceived to, gut the New Deal less. And the 1% have also decided that Obama's likely to do the job better (else why humiliate Romney with the Ryan timing?) Note here the key role played by career "progressives" running interference for Obama with the "lesser evil" argument. The report on budget cuts will display Obama's approach, contrasted to Ryan's. I'm sure the words "fiscal cliff" will be heard at lot.
UPDATE David Swanson writes:
Of course not. What would move both of these reprehensible candidates away from deeper cuts to decent programs, and toward deeper cuts in the war machine, the fossil fuel funding, the bankster bailouts, and the “Bush” tax cuts is an independent movement that makes its minimum demand an absolute bar on any cuts to Social Security or Medicare whatsoever.
If you don’t soon see progressive groups advancing that demand, expect bad times ahead, regardless of who wins the world’s worst reality drama.
Like that would ever happen!
Well, I just got some spam from “Bold Progressives” (who actually did heckle Schneiderman at Netroots Nation, so that’s a start). Here it is:
This is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney.
It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits. We can help them draw that contrast starting now.
If Romney loses big in November, today’s news will have been the game changer. (Especially in states like Florida, where senior citizens know the importance of Medicare.)
Chip in $3 to help us run online ads defining Paul Ryan for voters in states like Florida. Click here.
So the words are “promising not to cut one penny” (which we readers know doesn’t apply to Obama, or the Ds, at all). The money is in aid of the Obama campaign.
So, at least from this one datapoint, “expect bad times ahead.”