It's a Long Time to November. Thank Goodness for Paul Ryan
From "Ryan's Hat is in the Ring," Dan Henninger's column in today's Wall Street Journal:
Paul Ryan threw his hat into the presidential political ring this week. It's a big hat—the House Republican budget resolution. A House budget isn't your father's idea of a presidential candidacy. Instead, it's an "ideas candidacy," and it just might put a Republican back in the White House.
Mr. Ryan chose last year not to undergo the U.S.'s presidential trial by ordeal. Instead, he is using the institutional authority of his office, chairman of the House Budget Committee, to shape the debate between the incumbent president, a New Deal Democrat, and the Republican reform movement that Mr. Ryan and his allies in Congress represent. (That, by the way, includes the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who had to sign off on this document.)
Paul Ryan's admirers had their reasons for wanting him on the field, and mine comes down to one—the single, stark point Mr. Ryan has made since his side lost the health-care battle with Barack Obama, and which he made this week: "It is rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract. But that is where we are."
It is also rare in American politics for the most thoughtful, courageous and compelling figure in either political party to be a member of the House, but that, too, is where we are--and thank goodness.
People such as me, who cannot, even now, for the very life of us, work up enthusiasm for Mitt Romney, can console ourselves with the invigorating presence on the scene of Paul Ryan, putting forward his budget, making his case, and giving us, in what is certain to prove a long, long political season, someone for whom we can unreservedly cheer.