No one is more delighted with Paul Ryan's ascension to the GOP Veep platform than Serious Journalists who believe coverage of campaigns should be about "the issues" rather than "the horserace." Being a Serious Journalist myself, I couldn't agree more. Who cares who's elected? This is about the future of the country!
For those of you interested in my extended thoughts on this weighty subject, I refer you to my essay in the current issue of America, a Serious Journal if ever there was one. The Twitter version is that every presidential election cycle, SJs pledge that this time they're going to cover the issues, and every time, they end up covering the horserace.
Maybe this time will be different. Certainly the SJs are feeling good. "Ryan’s presence on the ticket makes this a better and more interesting election," purrs Slate's Jacob Weisberg. "It forces the debate the country needs to have about entitlement spending and ensures that the remaining months will be more than an argument about whose negative ads are more disgusting."
Of course, it is the middle of August, and all the thumbsuckers about the Ryan Budget are probably getting as much attention at the beach as, oh, the thumbsuckers about the Ryan Devotion to Ayn Rand. By Labor Day, there will be all those cool numbers from Florida, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and Colorado to write about.
To be sure, a great clarifying public debate could roll on through the fall about the merits of privatizing social security, voucherizing health and education, and returning to the halycon deregulatory days of caveat emptor, sucker!
Hope springs eternal. Keep it alive if you wish. Personally, I'm a skeptic.