Paul Ryan is very slick, and generic to the point of translucency. His entire speech is a dull shade of off-white nothingness, as puffy as a cloud, a speech where any meaningful detail has been hunted down, handcuffed, and shot. It has plenty of applause lines, none of them promising anything more specific than making government "smaller", and "more efficient". He is patient zero for my theory that even among conservatives themselves, conservatism thrives best when it says least. His intellectualism consists of obsessing over a few numbers he likes or thinks useful, then glossing over all further details as unimportant.
"Chaos is fertile soil for liberalism," he warns at one point. Really? All right, and what does that mean? And aren't their plenty of examples going in the other direction, as well, thus disproving the point—or is the point merely that chaos is fertile ground for political upheavals, which is both common knowledge and common sense?
It is that sort of thing—pithy-sounding statements backed up by nothing, meant to imply nothing, defended by nothing. He is popular for it, and turns unpopular the moment someone mentions the more dire implications of his abstract fiscal notions.