Two Republicans

If you missed Sarah Palin’s speech at the tea party convention last night, as I did, here it is:

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What is it about Palin that drives liberals so crazy? Maybe it’s the fact that she seems so happy. The most fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives tend to be happy people, while liberals tend to be unhappy. There are exceptions to that rule, of course, but then not all liberals hate Palin. Come to think of it, maybe Ronald Reagan’s cheerfulness was one of the reasons they couldn’t stand him, either.
We’ve been accused of being insufficiently enthusiastic about Sarah Palin. Actually, I like her a lot. (Paul, on the other hand, would probably plead guilty as charged.) But while Palin is an important figure in the conservative movement, she isn’t an intellectual leader. That’s not to insult her intelligence; it simply isn’t her role. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is one of the movement’s most important thinkers. He has laid out a Roadmap for America’s Future that represents the most comprehensive conservative alternative to the Democrats’ unsustainable spending spree. Among other things, the Roadmap includes a fundamental restructuring of Medicare that redefines its status as an entitlement and promises to save the federal government from otherwise-inevitable bankruptcy.
The linked web site includes videos, the legislative text of the Roadmap, and more. This is from Ryan’s introduction to the proposals:

This plan is not simply a slimmer version of the “progressive” ideology. It is a true alternative, and a complete legislative proposal consisting of specific policies supported by Congressional Budget Office estimates of its fiscal and economic consequences. More important, it is based on a fundamentally different vision from the one now prevailing in Washington. It focuses government on its proper role; it restrains government spending, and thus limits the size of government itself; it rejuvenates the vibrant market economy that made America the envy of the world; and it restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity – qualities that make each American’s pursuit of personal destiny a net contribution to the Nation’s common good as well. In short, it is built on the enduring truths from which America’s Founders established this great and exceptional Nation.
This proposal does not attempt to abandon commitments Americans established over the past century, or to dismantle government. It recognizes that government has a necessary role in supporting the institutions through which Americans live their lives, and in providing a safety net for those who face financial or other hardships. But it rests on the conviction that government’s principal role is to maintain the freedoms through which individuals can pursue their own destinies.

Paul Ryan should be added to the list of candidates for national office in 2012. If, by then, America is ready for something other than an empty suit, it would be hard to do better.
UPDATE: One thing I forgot to mention: Palin wore a lapel pin consisting of American and Israeli flags. Nice.
FURTHER UPDATE: Coincidentally, Sarah Palin was asked about 2012 Presidential contenders on Fox News Sunday this morning:

WALLACE: All right. Handicap the 2012 GOP presidential race for us. Who’s the front-runner?
PALIN: No idea. I have no idea.
WALLACE: Well, you’re not a very good analyst.
PALIN: Well, fire me, then, Roger. Sorry. I already failed. But listen, no, we have some strong — some young Turks in this party. Paul Ryan — I’m very impressed with Paul Ryan.
WALLACE: Congressman from Wisconsin.
PALIN: Yeah. He’s good. Man, he is sharp. He is smart, articulate. And he is passionate about these commonsense solutions that America has got to adopt to get us on the right road. I can name a whole lot of people.