Rod comments on the Ryan pick:
There is no figure on the Right with more credibility regarding America’s fiscal challenges.
Well, that’s the story everyone keeps telling, so I suppose at some point it becomes true to the extent that “credibility” depends on what other people are willing to believe. Sen. Coburn has far more credibility on these issues, but he isn’t celebrated for it. This has happened for several reasons, not least of which is his willingness to cut and reform the military budget. Ryan’s proposals always exempt the Pentagon from any meaningful spending cuts, so he is elevated to the status of national leader while Coburn’s proposals are largely ignored by many of Ryan’s loudest boosters. Ryan gets a pass for his fiscal irresponsibility in the past mostly because people don’t remember it or they try to ignore it. His current credibility as a fiscal conservative is not based on what he has done while in office (which would show that he has not been a fiscal conservative), but rather on what he proposes that we should be doing years from now.