Charlie Pierce at Esquire:
There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death, was hurled into a pit, doused with quicklime, buried without ceremony, and the ground above it salted and strewn with garlic so that it never rises again. On foreign policy, Ryan occasionally rose, gasping, to the level of obvious neophyte. (He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was.) On domestic policy, his alleged wheelhouse, he was vague, untruthful, and he walked right into a haymaker he should have seen coming from a mile off, when he started bloviating about Biden’s role in the “failed” stimulus program, only to have Biden slap him around with Ryan’s own requests for stimulus money for his home district back in Wisconsin. He also made it quite clear that a Romney-Ryan White House will do everything it can to eliminate a woman’s right to choose. This should make for some fine television commercials over the next few weeks. …
For years, Paul Ryan has been the shining champion of some really terrible ideas, and of a dystopian vision of the political commonwealth in which the poor starve and the elderly die ghastly, impoverished deaths, while all the essential elements of a permanent American oligarchy were put in place. This has garnered him loving notices from a lot of people who should have known better. The ideas he could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney’s judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?