Mitt Romney's pick for VP has energized the conservative movement. Paul Ryan not only brings the tea party firmly onto the ticket (uh-oh, the NYTimes figured it out!), he also brings a level of leadership and (desperately needed) mathematical competency that has been sorely lacking over the past few years. This is a whole new game now. The cheap thuggery of the Obama campaign isn't going to stand up well in comparison with the cheerful warrior-wonk Romney has recruited to carry his standard and rally the troops.
The whole thing rather has the feel of a schoolyard bully scene at the end of a movie. The bullies have surrounded the prissy little rich kid and are taunting and maybe even pushing him around a little as the rest of the schoolchildren look away and pretend it isn't really happening. But then, out of nowhere, in comes this (dreamy?) blue-eyed former prom king, who steps out in front of the bullies' victim and stands his ground with a polite smile on his boyish face, a steel-trap mind and rock-hard abs hidden under his buttoned-up button down shirt. Suddenly, the tenor of the moment changes, the prissy boy grows a spine, the bully boys back up a step and try to laugh off this new threat while the kids on the playground gather in and start chanting "Fight! Fight! Fight" in eager anticipation of the butt-whooping to come.
In fact, the pick has so energized the base that it has actually bolstered opinion of Romney simply for making the call. It's boldness was unexpected from "Milquetoast Mitt", and it has resulted in some reconsideration of the man at the top of the ticket. There are some out there, myself included, who were hesitant to throw full support behind Romney, not because Obama was better (trust me, Ol' Milquetoast had my vote, but I was planning on holding my nose while I pulled the lever), but because there was still some concern that Romney was simply Obama lite. Those hesitations are gone, at least for me.
No more middle of the road, hold-your-nose, one's-the-same-as-the-other elections. Not this time. While I'd hardly call Romney far-right, it seems he might have had a bit of a fiscal epiphany - no doubt brought to him courtesy of Mr. Ryan. Hard numbers tend to do that. Compassion is a wonderful thing, but those warm fuzzies don't pay the bills. A balance must be struck. The combination of compassionate moderate and hard numbers conservative is just the ticket to usher us out of the black hole vortex of debt and welfare that is the age of Obama and into a new, prosperous, market-driven American Century.
Sunday afternoon, Romney and Ryan went to Wisconsin for a "Homecoming Rally". Ryan seemed a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and huge crowds, but still gave a rousing speech. It goes without saying that, being back home in Wisconsin and among friends (at least half of whom seem to be related to him or his wife), beer and brats were mentioned along with matters of national importance. But it was Romney's words that truly stirred this patriot's heart.
It started off a bit rough, and at one point a heckler was shouted down with chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" until he was removed from the crowd. But then Romney warmed up and got his groove back. The rowdy crowd was, at one point, so quiet and riveted on his words that when he paused for effect, you could hear a pin drop. His story revolved around his time with the 2002 Utah Olympics. He had asked a gold medalist speed skater who had competed in the Games what the most memorable moment was for him. Instead of a tale of standing on a podium or crossing a finish line, he was told that the honor of carrying the 9/11 World Trade Center flag surpassed all else, and the magnitude of the moment and the response of the crowd overwhelmed him. It was a beautiful story, beautifully told, and it stirred up a deep sense of patriotism and national unity - a feeling of being in it together - that has been so sorely missing for far too long. It was truly inspiring and I encourage you to watch if you haven't seen it already(Olympics story starts at 8:35. Gateway Pundit has the text of that portion of the speech and a video of the Utah Olympics flag ceremony):
It's time to move past the politics of divisiveness so rife in the Obama years and remember that ultimately, we are Americans. We're all in this together, and it's time to thwart the Obama campaign's plans to divvy us up into grievance-based culture groups pitted against each other. We're losing sight of the forest through the trees. As Patrick Henry famously claimed:
“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”
In a Rules for Radicals-style textbook attempt at derision and division, Obama recently called Mitt "Romney Hood", and actually meant for it to have negative connotations. Too bad for him the real Robin Hood was a) a much-loved hero of the people and b) a man who fought the oppressive taxation of the government to give back to the people. If I were Romney, I'd embrace 'Romney Hood'. After all, doesn't that make Obama King John? If I recall my history properly, wasn't John the much despised monarch who was so awful that he ended up being forced to sign the Magna Carta, which effectively robbed the monarchy of most of it's power, instilling it instead in the people, by way of Parliament? Sounds like a good comparison to me!
Expect the race to get nastier. A relatively non-political friend of mine, who was taken aback by the Priorities USA ad, asked why they are so desperate to make Romney look like a felon, a murderer, a thief and someone with a sense of compassion that ranks somewhere around homicidal sociopath levels. Simple. It's the only way Obama looks good by comparison.
We face a fork in the road. To the left is California and Greece, to the right, Reagan's shining city on a hill. A collapsing welfare state squabbling over scraps as our 'leaders' manage our decline or a vibrant small government, free market economy united in making us great again.