“Democrats are celebrating,” The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky noted this morning. “{but] are they overdoing it?

Paul Ryan is smart. He’ll hold his own on the trail. He’ll talk about the fiscal cliff coming at the end of the year, and he’ll probably make as credible a case as any conservative can make that Obama won’t make the ‘tough choices’ and Republicans will. And don’t forget that he has a grudge against Obama personally, ever since that George Washington University speech of Obama’s in April 2011 when he invited Ryan — and made the guy sit there and listen to the president of the United States trash him. That’s probably a motivator.

“And the Democrats might overplay their hand. That’s always a temptation when the target is as big and juicy as Ryan is.

“So Democrats will have to be smart. They should show respect for Ryan for being a serious guy, but then just explain to people, urgently but not over-heatedly, what he’s proposed. It’s just very hard to imagine that middle-of-the-road voters want harsh future cuts to Medicare, massive tax cuts for the rich, and huge reductions to domestic programs that most swing voters really don’t hate. Does this choice work in Florida, with all those old people? If Romney just sacrificed Florida, he’s lost the election already.

“And why? To placate a party that doesn’t even want him as its nominee anyway. It’s psycho-weird. But at least it will carry the benefit, if this ticket loses, of keeping conservatives from griping that they lost because their ticket was too moderate. Conservatism will share — will own — this loss.

“Is all that ‘daring’? Well, Thelma and Louise were ‘daring’ too, but they ended up at the bottom of a canyon. If the Democrats handle this situation properly, that’s where this ticket will end up too, and then the rest of us — the people who don’t want federal policy to be based on Atlas Shrugged — can finally and fully press the case to the right that America is not behind you, and please grow up.”