David Corn reacts to Paul Ryan’s speech, which demonstrated that the Romney campaign is not moving to the middle but has embraced a fundamental extremism:
His message literally was: You should be on your own, left alone to define your own journey, your own happiness. (Unless of course, there is an unwanted pregnancy, even one that occurred due to rape.) “That’s the American Dream,” he contended. “That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.”
With such language—which was vetted by Romney Central Command—Ryan was not pressing the obvious case that Romney is a pragmatic Mr. Fixit who could be a competent steward of the still-struggling American economy. He was announcing that he and Romney aim to remake American society. He was essentially issuing a declaration of ideological warfare: Government is the enemy of freedom and the cause of the nation’s economic woes; it must be crushed. And, yes, taxes must be slashed for all, which would include those on the highest rungs.
[...] Ryan was selling libertarian articles of faith: Downsize the government and the welfare state, and all will be well; the economic downturn had nothing to do with corporate shenanigans or deregulation; and if the Medicare guarantee is dumped, the elderly will fare better in the free flowing corporate marketplace. Trust in this theology, he was saying, and the nation will revive—and he was not just speaking for himself. This was now the official sales pitch of the Romney-Ryan ticket.