Walker pitches Ryan for VP

by
July 15, 2012

By MAGGIE HABERMAN | Politico.com

POLITICO’s James Hohmann reports on some home-state boosterism:

Scott Walker wants Mitt Romney to pick Paul Ryan as his running mate.

“I’m a homer,” the Wisconsin governor told POLITICO Saturday. “I’ve known Paul for years. I grew up 15 miles down the road from him.”

“But what I like about him, even if I’m not from Wisconsin, is even the fact that he’s seriously on the vetting list suggests to me that Mitt Romney’s serious about wanting to do something about the budget,” he added. “If you want to tackle the budget, even if it’s not exactly the Ryan plan, there’s nobody better both in terms of knowing the budget. But also, you want to get something passed in the Congress, there’s nobody better.”

To read more, visit:  http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/07/walker-pitches-ryan-for-vp-128940.html

1 Comment - what are your thoughts?

  • CH says:

    Thought this might shed some interesting light on the waywardness of our thinking about the Republican Party and may make a few of us reassess our zealotry to undo our government!

    “Stumbling With No Stick – The GOP Betrayal of Teddy Roosevelt, 1912 – 2012”
    Charles B. Schudson

    One hundred years ago this month, Teddy Roosevelt walked not so softly out of the Republican National Convention in Chicago and carried his very big stick down the street where, a few weeks later, he became the nominee of the new Progressive “Bull Moose” Party. As a result, both he and William Howard Taft lost their re-election bids, Woodrow Wilson became president, and the Grand Old Party forever fractured.

    What happened, and why? And what can Teddy teach us about the Tea Party GOP of 2012?

    As the nineteenth century came to a close, Roosevelt, the crusading New York City Police Commissioner, had become the reform governor of New York. But GOP leaders, closely aligned with the bosses of big business, wanted him out. Unable to counter his popular policies and powerful personality, they kicked him upstairs. They persuaded President William McKinley to make TR his 1900 re-election running mate.

    McKinley-Roosevelt defeated Bryan-Stevenson, so the hero of San Juan Hill became Vice President. The bosses were delighted – the rough rider had been relegated to a quiet, ceremonial role. Thus, no doubt, they were doubly dismayed when, on September 6, 1901, McKinley was assassinated and the fiercely independent Roosevelt became President.

    Teddy never walked softly. From his bully pulpit he waved his big stick and led big government into battle. Although politically conservative in some ways, this privileged aristocrat recognized that capitalism, left entirely to its own devices, had failed miserably in two critical areas: self-regulation and environmental protection.

    Teddy attacked. As the late Bard College historian James Chace explains in 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs – the Election that Changed the Country (2004: Simon & Schuster), Roosevelt fought to “curb the excesses of big business, symbolized by the great trusts, which had accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism,” and to defeat “threats to the environment by the expansion of industry and population.” To do both, he expanded federal authority and initiated powerful programs.

    Without Roosevelt and his Reform Republicans, unregulated monopoly capitalism would have continued to exploit the poor, squeeze the middle class, and choke the economy. Without Roosevelt and “big government,” the American wilderness would have been destroyed … our national parks would not exist.

    Roosevelt completed McKinley’s term and, in 1904, was elected for four years more. But in 1908, rather than seeking certain re-election, he opted for private life. Still, while leaving the White House, he would not risk his reforms. Thus, he persuaded Taft, his best friend and Secretary of War, to carry on.

    Elected in 1908, President Taft intended to do just that. But he proved less adept and, some believed, less committed to progressive policies. Reports of Taft’s slippage reached Roosevelt in Africa. Still, Teddy demurred, traveling the world and, among other things, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese war. But in 1910, Taft fired TR appointee Gifford Pinchot, the US Chief Forester, who, according to Chace, was “vital to Roosevelt’s campaign to save the wilderness from rapacious loggers.” Teddy had seen enough. He returned to the US – his hat was in the ring.

    Teddy defeated Taft in key Republican primaries. He arrived at the 1912 GOP convention ready to capture the nomination. But Taft, in control of the party apparatus, concocted meritless but successful challenges to Roosevelt delegates and won re-nomination. Teddy bolted, and the Bull Moose was born.

    “It was clear,” Chace writes, “that the outcome of the struggle between Roosevelt and Taft would shape the course of the Republican Party for years to come.” But the outcome was unclear; they both lost. Against the beloved Teddy, Taft was doomed. Still, while finishing a distant third, Taft won enough traditionally Republican votes to prevent Roosevelt from winning. Wilson, with less than 42% of the popular vote, was elected.

    Thus, Taft’s GOP came to be the party of big business bosses; Teddy’s, the GOP of environmental protection, labor fairness and financial reform. “Theirs was a breach,” Chace writes, “that would never be fully healed.” And indeed, their breach has plagued the party ever since, festering and periodically erupting – 1952 (Eisenhower vs. Robert Taft); 1964 (Rockefeller/Rockefeller/Scranton vs. Goldwater); 1976 (Ford vs. Reagan); and 2012 (Jon Huntsman and almost no one else vs. the Tea Party).

    But in 2012, when Republicans convene in Tampa and proudly proclaim themselves the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, they will fail History 101. Lincoln, albeit in wartime, was a big government president. Roosevelt was a big government president. And as Jeb Bush recently pointed out, even Reagan would not pass today’s Tea Party tests.

    Teddy’s GOP is dead. Teddy Roosevelt, along with Robert LaFollette, Margaret Chase Smith and Olympia Snowe, Eisenhower, Hatfield, Javits, Percy, Rockefeller, and George Romney, have been buried. They all understood that true conservatism requires a realistic appraisal of human nature, of greed, of capitalism’s vices as well as its virtues, and of the environment’s vulnerability. The Tea Party has answered, demonizing “big government” taxation in order to justify greed, denying scientific consensus on climate change in order to exploit our vulnerable environment.

    Accepting the Progressive Party’s nomination in 1912, Roosevelt declared that the GOP must stand “for the rights of humanity, or else it must stand for special privilege.” Visiting the GOP convention in 2012, he would be sickened. Gazing up at his own portrait bannered above the stage, he would charge, pound the podium, expose the no-tax nonsense, condemn the global warming denial. From his bully pulpit, Teddy would scream “Shame!” and bolt once again.

    Charles B. Schudson is a presidential campaign historian, Wisconsin Reserve Judge Emeritus, law professor, and Fulbright Scholar.

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