A wonderful thing has happened for this country. Paul Ryan will be the Republican nominee for vice president.
I didn’t expect to read such a sentence in Slate, the liberal online magazine. But there it was.
And it's not a sarcastic put-down from a Democrat who thinks that Mitt Romney's decision to put perhaps the brightest numbers guy in Washington on the ticket will hand the election to President Obama. It is the lead to a a thoughtful and iconoclastic column by Will Saletan, Slate’s in-house maverick.
Ryan is a real fiscal conservative. He isn’t just another Tea-Party ideologue spouting dogma about less government and the magic of free enterprise. He has actually crunched the numbers and laid out long-term budget proposals. My liberal friends point out that Ryan’s plan leaves many details unclear. That’s true. But show me another Republican who has addressed the nation’s fiscal problems as candidly and precisely as Ryan has. He’s got the least detailed budget proposal out there, except for all the others.
Ryan refutes the Democratic Party’s bogus arguments. He knows that our domestic spending trajectory is unsustainable and that liberals who fail to get it under control are leading their constituents over a cliff, just like in Europe. Eventually, you can’t borrow enough money to make good on your promises, and everyone’s screwed. Ryan understands that the longer we ignore the debt crisis and postpone serious budget cuts—the liberal equivalent of denying global warming—the more painful the reckoning will be. There’s nothing compassionate about that kind of irresponsibility. …
This morning I heard Ari Fleischer say Ryan is a good pick because Republicans don’t want somebody who thinks and talks like an accountant. That’s exactly wrong. What’s great about Ryan is that he does think like an accountant.
Okay, I don’t care for Will’s condescending description of a Tea-Party member. He should get out of the Slate world more often and meet some genuine Tea Party patriots. But otherwise—wow!
Saletan does employ a word to describe Ryan's proposals that I think is misused: he refers to Ryan’s “emphasis on austerity.” Austerity has become the codeword for cutting dependency spending. But it's not really the right word: the purpose of entitlement cuts is not to cause austerity but to create prosperity.
But kudos to a Slate writer for being willing to say this:
It speaks enormously well for Romney that he made this choice. It tells me he’d run the country the same way he ran Massachusetts: as a prudent, numbers-oriented businessman.
This is certainly a contrast with CNN's Candy Crowley's contention that some Republicans view the choice of Ryan as a "ticket death wish."
Under what rock did Ms. Crowley find these Republicans?