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July 06, 2012 4:36 PM A Kinder, Gentler, Ted Nugent

By Ed Kilgore

I apologized initially for devoting a post to the ravings of Ted Nugent about ObamaCare and its contributions to the already intolerable burden of those notoriously socialistic New Deal and Great Society entitlement programs. But having just read Jeffrey Anderson’s pitch at National Review for Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s ideal running-mate, I unapologize in full. Because Ryan on the national ticket would confirm what Romney has been trying to obscure and deny so far in his let’s-just-talk-about-economic-indicators campaign: the GOP is determined not just to “repeal ObamaCare” or provide a different economic direction for the country, but to get the country back to the salad days of the 1930s before Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—not to mention a generation of anti-discrimination, labor and environmental laws and regulations now deemed to be “burdens on job creators”—made the American dream fade.

Anderson says:

Before Romney secured the GOP nomination, Ryan was the de facto leader of the Republican party and has been throughout most of the Obama presidency. Ryan has been the party’s No. 1 ideas guy for a long time. He has served in Congress for 13 years, compared with Barack Obama’s three years in the Senate and zero in the House when the 2008 primaries began. He’s the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. (Senator Obama held no leadership position.) His budgets have arguably been the boldest and most forceful shows of political leadership from the GOP since the Reagan administration.

Yeah, de facto leader of the GOP, yeah, chief “ideas guy,” and double-yeah, “boldest and most forceful” budgets, though I’d say you’d need to go back to before Reagan to find the right analogue for Ryan’s audacious aims.

Anderson concludes:

{P]icking Ryan would clearly connect Romney to the post-Bush era of Republicans. It would be awfully hard to talk constantly about Bush-Cheney when running against Romney-Ryan.

But it would be much easier to talk about Goldwater-Miller. And Ted Nugent would be psyched.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Hedda Peraz on July 06, 2012 4:47 PM:

    In the Party of the Illiterate, Ryan is the guy with a library card.
    Unfortunately, it only has check out privileges for the Ayn Rand Reading Room at the Reagan Library.

  • Gandalf on July 06, 2012 4:53 PM:

    Ted Nugent is a pompous asshole and a pussy to boot. That's the description of him from my cousind that went to high school with that tool in Michigan.Apparently he hasn't changed one little bit since then.

  • digitusmedius on July 06, 2012 4:54 PM:

    Or, better yet: Hoover-Curtis. Who? Exactly.

  • Marko on July 06, 2012 5:15 PM:

    Romney-RYAN? And we thought Bush-Cheney was a train wreck

  • JM917 on July 06, 2012 5:18 PM:

    To Romney:

    Please, oh please, pick Ryan as your Veep! Nobody better embodies the heartless ethos of your party than this Ayn-Rand-worshipping true believer in back-to-the-First-Gilded-Age ideology, policy proposals, and fundamental values than this Wonk of the Right.

    And no one will be better to brand YOU as an authentic radical reactionary than the soulful blue-eyed one from Wisconsin, if you pick him.

    Unless maybe you pick Ted Nugent...

  • DisgustedWithItAll on July 06, 2012 5:22 PM:

    "Because Ryan on the national ticket would confirm what Romney has been trying to obscure and deny so far in his let’s-just-talk-about-economic-indicators campaign: the GOP is determined not just to “repeal ObamaCare” or provide a different economic direction for the country, but to get the country back to the salad days of the 1930s before Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—not to mention a generation of anti-discrimination, labor and environmental laws and regulations now deemed to be “burdens on job creators”—made the American dream fade."

    Are you seriously just now understanding this, Kilgore? Sometimes I just can't believe how blinkered you people of the Beltway are. How could anyone paying attention NOT know this? Jaw on floor. Good God, man.

  • Patrick DeBurgh on July 06, 2012 5:48 PM:

    In all honesty the right is chock full of nuts these days. And, they aren't shy about screaming their own style of nuttiness from the rooftops. In fact excluding any particular one from journalistic treatment is almost a variety of prejudice.

    My suggestion is to assign a "Theme" to each day of the week and write up the right-wing nutjob(s) who favors that days schtick.

  • TR on July 06, 2012 6:14 PM:

    He's their ideas man, all right. Too bad all the ideas are fucking horrible.

    The Ryan plan these idiots love would inflict as much pain on ordinary Americans as you can, push the savings to the superrich, and, oh yeah, actually INCREASE the deficit.

    Please, please, please pick Ryan as your running mate, Mitt. The ads write themselves.

  • leopoldvonranke on July 06, 2012 6:45 PM:

    Perhaps Mr. Nugent himself could be persuaded to be Mr. Romney's running mate.

  • janinsanfran on July 06, 2012 6:51 PM:

    You've got to be one of the few of us who can remember who Goldwater's running mate was. As a teenager, I as dragged to William Miller's campaign kick-off. Even then, I thought he was a sleazy minor leaguer. Ryan seems another.

  • leopoldvonranke on July 06, 2012 6:59 PM:

    Perhaps Mr. Nugent himself could be persuaded to serve as Mr. Romney's running mate.

  • Dredd on July 06, 2012 7:15 PM:

    Some ideology can only be understood this one way.

  • Doug on July 06, 2012 8:12 PM:

    Rep. Ryan is the GOP's "idea" man? All he's done is compile every reactionary right-wing campaigning point since 1934, throw out any that contained semi-intelligent compromises, and - voila! - Let's party like it's 1899!
    Yes, let Ryan be Romney's running mate. Two jackals determined to destroy what's left of the (economic) middle class in this country, couldn't be a better match. Any "empowering" of the Republican base such a nomination might produce, will also make it that much simpler to present voters with an obvious choice in November. Forward with Obama/Biden or backward with Romney/Ryan? We present, you choose.
    I've heard something like that somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it...

  • James M on July 06, 2012 9:21 PM:

    My political prediction accuracy has not been too good recently, but I am going to go out on a limb here and predict the chances of Paul Ryan becoming Mitt Romney's running mate are basically zero! 2 reasons:

    1. Shape Shifting

    If you have ever watched 'Fringe', you will know that whenever shape shifters lose either the ability or the will to shape shift they invariably get into trouble. Taking on a running mate with such a strong identification to a particular policy set would impede Mr. Romney's ability to freely change his positions as the situation required.

    2. Negative Press

    If Mr. Ryan were chosen as the V.P. candidate, the initial reaction from the MSM would likely be extremely positive. Professional centrists like David Brooks of the NYT and 'liberals' like Dana Milbank would no doubt swoon over the choice. There would be lots of Op Eds praising Mitt Romney for showing his commitment to seriously tackling the debt problem and the 'entitlement society'. The honeymoon would last for about 2 weeks until either an article came out (AP?) detailing Mr. Ryan's policy proposals, or Mr. Ryan was so careless as to do an interview on a non-Fox TV program.

    Swing voters would be horrified once they learned what Mr. Ryan actually proposed to do. Mitt would then either be forced into constant damage control mode a la his chief campaign advisor's comments on the Individual Mandate, ex., 'What Paul said wasn't really what Paul meant.', or he would have to essentially muzzle Mr. Ryan, evoking calls from an enraged base to 'Let Ryan be Ryan'.

    Any way you look at this, a Paul Ryan V.P. choice would be a total 'lose-lose' for Mr. Romney.

  • Josef K on July 07, 2012 12:22 AM:

    Being a (semi) native of Wisconsin, I often feel like I should apologize for the presence of Ryan, Walker and even Bachmann (given she's from neighborhing Minnesota) on the national stage. Its bad enough the Badger State produced Joe McCarthy and Ed Gein; the fact I'm including a canabalistic serial killer here ought to demonstrate how low I see the GOP having sunk.

    Then again, I haven't lived there for 17 years, and only ever return for weddings and funerals. It doesn't make me any less embarrassed.

  • lgerard on July 07, 2012 9:25 AM:

    I particularly enjoyed the part where Anderson claimed that the only two congressmen he could compare Ryan with were Madison and Henry Clay.

    LOL, are these people in a bubble of what?

  • T-Rex on July 07, 2012 10:58 AM:

    If we have to go back to the Gilded Age, where, oh where, is the Edith Wharton of our age? Actually, come to think of it, if that formidable satirist has been reborn, she may have come back as the film-maker Lauren Greenfield. I've got to see her "Queen of Versailles," which tells a story that makes Lily Bart's hubris and nemesis in "The House of Mirth" look like a picnic.