A declaration of war on the 99%
This may be the first Republican ticket ever in which neither candidate is a Protestant. I suppose there's some hope that this might put off the fundies, but the effect will likely be minor -- those who have reconciled themselves to voting for a Mormon probably won't be put off too much by a Catholic.
Bolstering Romney's image as a badly-programmed robot, the announcement featured a strange gaffe. Crooks & Liars is calling this "the Herman & Eddie Munster ticket" -- I so wish I'd thought of that one, except that the Munsters, though odd, were actually quite benign people. Ezra Klein thinks it's a sign of desperation (see point 9, though). Politicus USA sees it as a blunder to rank with McCain's choice of Palin. Charles Pierce points out that Ryan, "an authentically dangerous zealot", has personally made out very well from the very government he wants to slash, while Sarah Posner hopes the cruelty he embodies will force Catholics to decide what their religious values really mean. Think Progress has 12 things you should know about Ryan (do read it!). The Paultards, as usual, are moaning that Romney's choice isn't extreme enough.
Among my regular blog reads, Smartypants reminds us of some wise words from Obama, Dusty finds Ryan "the most radical of the rightwing nutters", P M Carpenter predicts he'll be meat on the table for the Democrats, Squatlo can't wait to go head-to-head with the granny-killer, and BooMan sees nothing but a sad, squalid fumble. No doubt others will weigh in soon.
My take on it? Aside from modestly improving Romney's chances of carrying Wisconsin, the Ryan pick will probably have little impact on the outcome of the election -- running mates seldom do, despite the hype. What the pick does do is raise the stakes even higher than they already were. Our country couldn't afford President Romney before. Now that he's yoked himself to this man, it can afford him even less.