Romney has dedicated his campaign to being a blank, generic candidate who won't take a firm stand on anything. Paul Ryan is the personification of a controversial, explicit policy. Therefore, Romney will not choose him as his running mate, because it he did, he couldn't "etch a sketch" his way out of supporting/defending it.So imagine my surprise when Ryan was named the nominee. Romney could have chosen anyone he wanted, and he chose the author of a controversial budget (discussed here and here) that has essentially become official Republican dogma. Despite Romney's protestations to the contrary, by nominating Ryan he has endorsed Ryan's budget.
Instead of having an election about whether or not people think Obama's doing a bad job, the race will now become a contest of two clear visions of the role of government. Ryan's budget is nothing less than a destruction of the New Deal and Great Society. It's likely what Romney & Co. were going to do anyway, but with Ryan on the ticket they have to be more explicit about it. That's good for everyone, as voters will have more info on which to base their decision.
I can't imagine they're going to like what they see. Romney got in hot water when his tax plan (cutting rates by 20% and fiddling with deductions to make everyone's share similar) was shown to be impossible. Ryan's plan, which drops the tax rate even further (from 35% to 25%, instead of 28% in Romney's plan), would necessarily result in an even larger shift of the burden away from the rich.
But if any Republican is capable of defending Ryan's view of the role of government, it's Ryan, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the race.