Ryan Hopes

With Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney chose a running mate that will make fiscal conservatives gleeful with thoughts of reform and will make Democrats giddy with the target-rich environment for attacks. The battle is well and truly joined now.

First off, here’s one of those conservatives, Jonah Goldberg:

The GOP base, particularly the tea parties, will now be even more enthusiastic because this gives them a much more solid reason to want Romney to win as opposed to just wanting Obama to lose. 

It shows that for all of the talk of Romney’s timidity and cautiousness he can make a bold decision when he needs to. 

This helps Romney communicate that this is a new Republican party, insofar as Ryan is not only young and energetic, but he is eager to criticize the old status quo of both parties. 

Ryan will be a fantastic surrogate on the stump. If (and I said if) the upper Midwest is really in play there are few better to fight for it. 

Ryan reinforces the message, grounded in objective fact, that the Republicans have a plan for the future while the Democrats are simply about kicking the can.

Well, that’s certainly a lot of positives. Luckily, we have the rest of the mainstream media to tamp down our enthusiasm by quickly informing us that Ryan is the worst person in the world, ever:

Make no mistake. In his decision to make Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, his running mate, Romney finally surrendered the tattered remnants of his soul not only to the extreme base of his party, but also to extremist economic policies, and to an extremist view of the country he seeks to lead.

Classy, and professional, too (that post goes on like that for several paragraphs, by the way). (And what does an editor say about a piece like this, I wonder? “I can see at least a dozen more places where you could’ve used the word ‘extreme!’ Take it back and try again!”)

It’s just going to get tougher from here. But I’m glad that Romney has used the VP pick to take a stand on the issues, and a stand that I can feel good about supporting and defending. Instead of playing not to lose, they’re playing to win.