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Paul Ryan’s Influence on the G.O.P. : The New Yorker


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As much as he relished the battle against Obama—“European,” he repeated, with some gusto—his real fight was for the ideological identity of the Republican Party, and with colleagues who were content to simply criticize the White House. “If you’re going to criticize, then you should propose,” he told me. A fault line divided the older and more cautious Republican leaders from the younger, more ideological members. Ryan was, and remains, the leader of the attack-and-propose faction.

“I think you’re obligated to do that,” he said. “People like me who are reform-minded ignore the people who say, ‘Just criticize and don’t do anything and let’s win by default.’ That’s ridiculous.” He said he was “moving ahead without them. They don’t want to produce alternatives? That’s not going to stop me from producing an alternative.”

Ryan’s long-range plan was straightforward: to create a detailed alternative to Obama’s budget and persuade his party to embrace it. He would start in 2009 and 2010 with House Republicans, the most conservative bloc in the Party. Then, in the months before the Presidential primaries, he would focus on the G.O.P. candidates. If the plan worked, by the fall of 2012 Obama’s opponent would be running on Paul Ryan’s ideas, and in 2013 a new Republican President would be signing them into law.

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Long, but worthwhile read on the new VP candidate.

Well, now Romney has a plan. A really, really bad plan.

I think the story of the refinement of the plan is what is facinating. Ryan has been working on this plan for half a decade. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the plan, but rather fascinated by his relentless nature to see his plan move forward. Sounds like a likely candidate for 2016 if their ticket should lose this election.

I like him. His 10 year budget plan only spends $3.1 Trillion dollars we don't have versus the current $7 Trillions we don't have.

If we're spending money we don't have, I say go for $10 trillion!

I'd probably agree with you except it's my humble opinion that governments spending money takes it out the private sector economy which is where the big wealth gets created.

I think the only downside is inflation and trade imbalances, right? That and the occasional pensions that would get wiped out here and there.

Thanks for posting. The story might have been lost in my pile of unread New Yorkers.

Really good background on the election ahead and the fundamental thinkers driving the GOP. I'm not so sure Romneys plan was much more than to get elected, but with Ryan on board, even if they lose, they are likely to drive fundamental shifts in the Republican party.

Barbara, that's very true. They now are driving Republican policy.

NOW it's an election of ideas. Before it was just "Obama or other guy who isn't Obama".

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