Gov. Mitt Romney’s V.P. pick, Rep. Paul Ryan, is being hailed as a bold move by the media in that Ryan is considered a reliable conservative, but there is more to it. Ryan is far from the typical politician at the national level; he is a detail oriented policy wonk. Compare that to the lovable buffoonery of the spray tanned, hair plugged, backslapping V.P. Joe Biden. Conventional wisdom is that voters do not want to hear the ugly details of a fiscal plan; details are cannon fodder for the enemy (e.g. “we have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it“). Why, then, did Romney picky Ryan when politics 101 says no?
Romney is a RINO through and through. Consider his five point economic plan: More ‘investment’ in ‘green’ energy, more federal ‘investment’ in education, trade restrictions against China, lowering deficits rather than cutting spending, and old fashioned lip service to small business are all hallmarks of a progressive trying to be as centrist as he can. Ryan’s budget plan is less aggressive than Rep. Ron Paul’s, but it is a concrete plan to address Washington’s serious problems. Ryan does not touch the third rail of entitlement politics, he lives there. Romney and Ryan are not naturally compatible. Why, then, did Romney pick Ryan?
Ryan is the VP pick because Romney understands and fears the Tea Party. Contrary to the Old Time Media spin, the Tea Party is not a wing of the GOP – the Tea Party is a revolution threatening the GOP establishment. The Tea Party is a true grass roots movement because nobody in the GOP establishment / corporate complex wants anything to do with their ideas. The Tea Party attacks progressive Republicans, not Dems, because they would rather lose an election than elect RINOs. The Tea Party lost at least 3 Senate races in 2010 by refusing to nominate spineless career politicians in winnable states. Now wiser and mellower, the Tea Party is focusing its efforts on ousting RINOS in winnable states (the long time strategy of The Club for Growth). Karl Rove might hate losing, but the message is clear: progressive Republicans need not apply.
Romney is exactly the kind of weather vane politician the Tea Party hates. Romneycare is too similar to Obamacare to ignore. While entrepreneurship is the highest calling, Romney is, to be honest, a fat cat with innumerable beltway connections. Romney rightly fears that his record as a progressive could keep the Tea Party home November 6, hence the Ryan pick. Ryan is everything the Tea Party loves. He is too young to have become fully corrupted. His straight arrow record points solely to fiscal sanity. Best of all, he is knowledgeable and specific about his policies; the Tea Party indifferent to platitudes absent action.
Romney did not want to pick Ryan, as his policies rule out bob-and-weave politics. Romney was forced to pick Ryan by the Tea Party’s power, a contrast to the failure of Occupy Wall Street and their Saul Alinsky tactics.
Occupy is the brain child of a couple of Canadian communists who work under the title Adbusters. They, a few washed out college hippies, and lots of union money created quite a flash in the pan. While Occupy seemed to have no message, it actually followed the script of revolution written by mid-century communist and union organizer Saul Alinsky. His book Rules for Radicals outlines tactics whereby mob rule can destabilize the establishment. Alinsky taught revolutionaries to not focus on policy or goals, but to simply agitate. He said not to promote people, but to isolate a token minority (i.e. the 1%) and make them pariahs. The goal, to Alinsky, is not to push specific change, but to destabilize the established order so that chaos will open the door to radicals whom the public would never normally embrace.
True to Alinsky’s tactics, Occupy worked with all manner of low-life criminals, and revolutionary communists. Consider the communist-anarchist Michael Corey Donahue of Denver, CO. Arrested 11 times, but only three directly related to Occupy. Occupy posted bail for Donahue even after he was arrested for assaulting a police officer and separately for sexual assault on a news reporter. Mix in Occupy’s national tolerance for rape, fatal drug overdoses, and even scabies, and it is no surprise that its support and funding evaporated.
Today, Occupy is nowhere, having accomplished nothing. By contrast, the Tea Party continues to press its clout by electing candidates serious about addressing Washington’s mounting problems. While Alinsky tactics might have worked in 1917 Russia, they did not work in a nation with an independent press to expose Occupy’s underbelly of greed, violence, and communism.
The lesson of Romney’s pick is that motivated people who are focused on core issues can change the political landscape. The Tea Party fought with tough language, but also with peaceful protest. They focused on issues rather than the Alinsky tactics of obfuscation, misdirection, and xenophobia. The traditional tactics of free speech and open debate won, and the gutter tactics of radicals lost. Do not thank Romney for picking Ryan, thank the Tea Party.