When George H.W. Bush chose Dan Quayle as his vice president, many of us joked that it was Bush's life insurance policy. Who would take out the president if that would simply put the photogenic but mentally void Quayle in the Oval Office?
Now it is 2012. Mitt Romney has chosen ultra-conservative poster boy Paul Ryan as his vice president. Since the far right would love to have a zealot like Ryan in full command, doesn't that give a faction already known for gun-toting, threat-spouting and blowing up federal buildings a huge incentive to remove Romney from office as soon after the inauguration as possible, in a way that automatically places Ryan in charge?
In an article yesterday, Bill Moyers pointed out all the ways in which Paul Ryan meets the far right's strongest expectations. He did not venture that this choice presents a physical risk to Romney. I came up with that myself. But if I, a tree-hugging peacenik, can think of it, so can people more inclined to act on the impulse.
A more patient approach for conservatives would simply let Ryan call the shots from the copilot's seat and then run him for the presidency of whatever is left of the country after two Romney terms. He's young enough and in much better health than the country's previous leader from second chair, Dick Cheney. Romney could even come up with an excuse to step aside after one term for Ryan to run that much sooner. Romney barely has a quarter of a billion dollars. He's really the poor boy in the wealthy elite. With all the money funding the right wing, I'm sure he can be bought. Someone with real wealth can provide a very nice severance package for him.
None of this matters if he does not get elected. If Barack Obama remains in office for a second term the right wing will have to continue to inflict their damage through lower offices and obstructionist tactics to keep the economy tough so the majority of citizens will perhaps be more susceptible to persuasion or coercion next time.