Mitt Romney goes and selects Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to be his Vice Presidential ticket balance.
Why this is a problem for the Republicans in three easy observations:
1) Ryan is coming from a state that is currently polling well for Obama, with no guarantee that Ryan's selection will turn the tide. Not to mention that Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes isn't much of a prize compared to larger electoral states like Florida, Ohio, or Pennsylvania which are considered toss-up states (although currently polling well for Obama again) and from which Romney could have tabbed more voter-friendly partners.
2) Ryan is coming from a U.S. Congress (112th on record) that is generally recognized as one of the worst Congresses in American history. It is certainly the least popular Congress ever. Everything people hate about Congress will reflect on the people who lead it. And Ryan is one of the key leaders of the Republican party leadership in charge of the 112th Congress: He is chair of the House Budget Committee, responsible for pushing annual budget plans that hew closely to the party ideology (tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts to social programs and education, and vague unprovable justifications that it will all create budget-balancing revenues which ten years of Bush the Lesser Economics have proven impossible). He's been touted since 2004 as the Idea Wonk Guy for the House GOP. You can't separate him from the Republicans' economic platform. To put him on the main ticket this election cycle - rather than keep him in a safe Congressional seat run (which he can still do under election laws) - puts him and his economic ideas front and center for the whole party. Which leads to...
3) Ryan's budget proposals - especially his proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher program, privatize Social Security, and cut Medicaid into little pieces - are massively unpopular, and nearly everybody who pays attention knows it. Obama's campaign is already on the attack, and the evidence is pretty solid that a lot of populations that rely on all three major social safety net programs - the elderly, the poor, the middle class families struggling to care for their own - are going to turn against such ideas and the party backing them in a big damn hurry. There's a reason why Romney's campaign was quick to claim that Ryan's budget plan will NOT be Romney's budget plan... But Ryan's budget plan - and the slavish worship the wingnut base had towards both the person and the plan - was what made him Romney's pick for the Veep spot! You can't have it both ways, people.
I'd throw in the fourth reason why Ryan is a problem pick - he's a fanboy of Ayn Rand - but that's more of a personal peeve I have towards Objectivist utopian hacks. But you never know, a majority of Americans can come to feel the same way about Objectivism being a destructive political-economic ideology...
I'd like to think this will make it easier for voters nationwide to reject the Republicans and their tax-cut, kill-government ways. But then there's the problem of voter suppression efforts in key swing states, and the fact that in our Citizens United world of unlimited campaign money the wealthy wingnut crowd can possibly buy this election cycle outright... I'm still worried that Romney/Ryan could win. And then it will be the Bush the Lesser years all over again.
For the Love of God, people. Don't Vote Republican.