In our increasingly parliamentary political system, the most basic domestic policy question this November concerns whether Americans wish to hand the federal government’s car keys over to a stridently conservative House Republican caucus. On health reform, taxes, and many other matters, a President Romney’s personal policy views would be less determinative than the views of his GOP allies exemplified by the Tea Party.
For that reason, at least one writer (whom I occasionally read) believes that Mitt Romney did the nation a good turn by appointing Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate:
In 2008, John McCain rolled the dice by choosing Sarah Palin. That maverick move tarnished a good man’s legacy. It was breathtakingly irresponsible to place a manifestly unqualified and intemperate person in a position where she might be just one septuagenarian’s heartbeat away from the presidency.
Mitt Romney – nobody’s maverick – picked a smarter and more temperate running mate this time around. Romney deserves real credit for appointing Representative Paul Ryan. Now we can have a campaign that matches what this election is really about.
Americans must decide if [the congressional GOP agenda] is what we really want. That’s what was always at stake in 2012. We might as well debate things straight up.
I agree with that. I hope and believe that Paul Ryan’s selection will harm Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the presidency. I also believe this selection will allow a more honest and substantive debate this election season. For both reasons, I’m grateful.