The Ryan pick represents a big gamble for the GOP. R-money has pandered to the base, who want to debate economic issues, but the Ryan budget plan is a big target for Obama and the progressives. Ryan's Medicare voucher program will alienate him among seniors, especially in Florida.
Ryan, the scion of a rich Wisconsin family who lives in a six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion that is a historic national landmark, has little credibility among the middle class. His pursuit to drastically reduce or end the federal economic safety net lands him squarely in the same rarefied air of the one percent.
Accordingly, the rest of us do not matter. Ryan is a vocal proponent of the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. He cites Atlas Shrugged as one of the most influential books he's ever read. Anyone who has read Rand knows that there is no greater purpose for man than the furthering of his own self-interest. Rand was a staunch atheist, and believed that altruism and collective goodwill were anathema to the ultimate success of society. The fact that the Ryan budget wants to radically alter and/or dismantle federal entitlement programs, while worthy of debate and compromise, should give the Obama campaign great big gobs of red meat to feed their supporters.
With the Ryan pick, R-money has not redirected the debate toward economic issues. He has solidified this election as class warfare. Obama needs to exploit that issue as mercilessly as he has exploited R-money's corporate vulture persona. A great Obama campaign slogan: "Vulture/Voucher 2012: NOT change we can believe in."
A little side issue with the Ryan pick that pivots off his Randian leanings: the GOP has defined itself, despite any claims to the contrary, as the party of real Christians. As rank-and-file Republicans apply religious litmus tests to all candidates national and local, as they continue to press on social issues like gay marriage and abortion as inherently anti-Christian (hence, anti-American in their twisted "Christian nation" delusion), they create a huge problem for R-money. Embracing Ryan's Rand-inspired budget turns the GOP into a bipolar beast. It is impossible to fully embrace individualistic economic policies that destroy federal safety net programs while proclaiming that they live by solid Christian values. Rand would be clawing at her casket trying to get out to spit on both R-money and Ryan. This is another potentially huge target for Obama, who should run at R-money with this like a freight train, asking him to reconcile Ryan's anti-Christian budget to the GOP's bedrock Christian identity. Of course, Obama won't because Democrats are, by definition, squishy and fearful of backlash. But it would, at least, make for an interesting debate this fall.