Paul Rahe has argued that the GOP should eschew their traditional pessimism and defeatism in light of a new birth of freedom. However, Rahe laments the GOP's "gift for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" by nominating "the next fellow on the list without much regard to the man's suitability." He contrasts Bob Dole and John McCain with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, observing that "Americans do not want to be governed by the living dead."
Surveying the field for a GOP standard-bearer last week, Rahe dismissed Trump as a useful clown, excluded Romney as uninspirational, nixed Gingrich and Huckabee as unsuitable "to articulate the case for limited government," questioned Pawlenty as lacking conviction and so finally landed on Mitch Daniels - praising him on fiscal issues, pardoning him on social issues but remaining skeptical about foreign affairs. This week, Rahe revealed the only alternative he sees to Daniels: Paul Ryan.
Rahe has serious reflections for the GOP and has, I believe, a grasp of the American zeitgeist. Both Ryan and Daniels have the potential to steal the energy, optimism and youthfulness to which American's responded in Obama, while fully appealing to the vibrant Tea Party sentiment within the conservative movement.