Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Man on a Brown Horse.
Just a guy. Just a horse. What they said about Seabiscuit.
FOCUS ON WINNING. I've been exploring the world of the secretly pleased. Nobody can tell me precisely why they're so pleased. But they are. A kind of beaming is going on. From Laura Ingraham to my best friend in Ohio to my wife, they all seem to know something I don't, or didn't.
There's scant evidence to go on. Where I see an Eddy Munster haircut, Laura Ingraham and my wife see a guy who's "cute." I gave up trying to translate that female word more than 30 years ago. It means something, but even women don't know what that might be.
So I embark on a process of elimination. My Ohio friend knows how good Miami University is, which is very, and he also cites the bio. Kid loses daddy early in life and (Shock!) does not turn to a life of acting out (i.e., crime) but sprints toward super-accomplishment. Hmmm. You'd think Obama wouldn't be hateful about that if he were a good guy.If...?
Result? Well liked leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, so humble and affable that even Democrats privately like him.
In the words of John Lennon, he's "not the only one." People. Like. Ryan.
He didn't campaign for the VP slot. He's got three kids and a wife he loves in Wisconsin. Some network story discovered the cot in his DC office. What's that for? Turns out, he sleeps there for four days a week before returning home to his family.
I was interrogating my Ohio friend who knows Ryan better than I do, looking for an easy comparison. "Is he TR?," I asked, looking for that VP leader who was absolutely ready to stand in if called. "No, no, no, no, he isn't TR. He's a guy who wears shirt collars that are too big. He's gotta stop that, by the way. It looks awful."
Republicans keep looking for the new Ronald Reagan, the man on the white horse. Right now, and just as a glimmering, I'm thinking they got something better. A man on a brown horse. Let me explain.
Romney is rich. So what. Ryan is the perfect counterweight. Not rich. Not Ivy League. Yes, he's sustained many personal attacks, but those attacks haven't had to deal with his bio. Which is all about hard work, loyalty to family and religion, everything the Democrats have tried to demonize in general. People who know him keep talking about how humble and approachable Ryan is. He's the anti-Palin. He's so smart he's risen on that basis alone, and the last thing he'd ever expect would be an assessment that he has star quality. Hence those ill-fitting shirts.
I'm starting to see the logic. I wanted to keep him in the House, which is where (to be fair to me) he said he wanted to stay, But the ineluctable truth of the matter is that he understands the U.S. budget better than practically any man alive. In a time when we have no budget. He's the smartest man at the center of the biggest screwup in US history. And he actually understands it down to the last decimal point. He has fought it tooth and claw. I guess he really might be ready to step into the ring against the greatest fraud ever to hold the Oval Office.
What does he give Romney? Instant insider info about how Washington works and doesn't. A hitman on the order of Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name about every policy issue that passes within a hairsbreadth of the House. And an ability -- so rare that even I don't have it -- to take an opposition argument apart. utterly, without making it seem personal or hostile.
He's from the midwest, the heartland. Women, God knows why, love his widow's peak. He has an aged mother who lives in Florida. Nobody's ever going to believe he'd do her har harm. Apart from his natural talent at being a rhetorical killer, he's the ultimate good son, perfect husband, model father. Mr. Nice Guy.
He'll murder Biden in the debate, even though the establishment has already procured a foreign correspondent to concoct the questions. He'll know more than she does before the first question is asked.
He's also going to murder The Obama-Biden ticket on every matter of substance that has passed through Washington. The final stroke of genius. He's been there. While Obama was playing golf and Biden was getting hair plugs and shock treatments, Ryan was trying to make the stricken mechanisms of government work.
I wanted Jindal. I was wrong. Ryan is the guy. If we don't win with him, we were never meant to win.
A man on a small, brown grade horse of his own modest upbringing can change the world. That's the America we all believe in. I'm not even going to suggest that he buy shirts with collars that fit right. I'd hate to jinx the game.
Final thought. One that didn't occure to two Republicans noodling late in the night. Imagine a better educated, less partisan, and FAR less vicious version of another man on a brown horse from Independence Missouri. Yippee-kai-yay. Life's a bitch. Especially for totalitarians.