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Ernie Dumas writes this week that Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate would put Arkansas in play if issues mattered as much as President Obama’s name, skin color, presumed foreign ancestry and such.

Start with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. What Ryan would do isn’t pretty (though his own route to government employment was eased by his father’s Social Security benefits) and would particularly harm people in a poor state like Arkansas. For starters:

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Ryan was the father of President Bush’s short-lived effort in 2005 to privatize Social Security by diverting people’s payroll taxes into private accounts run by stockbrokers. Ryan would start by diverting only half the taxes. But Bush was a wuss and to Ryan’s dismay offered a weakened version, which soon went down in flames. Bush would say he regretted following Ryan’s advice at all; Ryan says he deeply regrets going along with all of Bush’s follies, from the wars to Medicare expansion, which together with tax cuts sent deficits into the stratosphere. But Social Security, the linchpin of socialism, remains Ryan’s main target.

Read on.