In any presidential election in which there's an incumbent, there's a larger fight about whether the race is a "referendum" or a "choice." In 2012, Mitt Romney obviously wanted it to be a referendum -- if you're not satisfied with the status quo, replace President Obama with a generic Republican. The tack helps explain why the GOP candidate has been so vague on so many issues.
As of this morning, Romney's strategy has been thrown out the window. Paul Ryan wrote a right-wing budget plan, which redistributes wealth from the bottom up, and which guarantees voters will be presented with a very clear choice in the fall, not a referendum.
Indeed, it's not unreasonable to think the entire election dynamic will be turned on its ear -- voters will be asked to vote, not on Obama, but on the far-right Romney-Ryan vision.
And what is the vision crafted by a man who credits Ayn Rand for his involvement in politics? It's one in which Medicare would be replaced with a voucher scheme; Social Security would be privatized; taxes would be cut even more for the very wealthy; and Washington would "take food from poor children, make it harder for low-income students to get a college degree, and squeeze funding for research, education, and infrastructure."
What's more, the Ryan plan does not reduce the debt, either.
This has always been less of a budget plan and more of a right-wing fantasy. As of this morning, Romney not only endorses this right-wing vision, he owns it -- and in the process, he's presented the electorate with a dramatic choice, not a referendum.