By now we’ve all had a few days to absorb Mitt Romney’s latest head scratching campaign move: the selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate. It’s certainly a step that will unite the far right Republican base, a voting bloc that never would have pulled a lever for President Obama anyway yet has still struggled to summon proper enthusiasm for its presumptive nominee.
Folks, Mittens has taken to pandering to fish in a barrel. Somewhere in there lies good news for Team Obama/Biden. I watched top Democratic strategist David Axelrod discuss the opposition’s pick on last Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press” and he could barely contain his glee. It’s hard to imagine a choice more alienating to the middle class than the old right wing social engineer himself. Were I Romney I might have gone Rubio or Jindal to at least try to appear palatable to minorities, or perhaps cozied up with a female GOP leader of the non-crazy variety (possibly an oxymoron), but hey! I suppose if you have enough problems shoring up those who are supposed to be reflexively in your corner, you don’t have much time to consider the bigger picture. Game on!
Speaking of females, 2012 witnessed a Spring Awakening of sorts for the half of the electorate who came to realize anew that the “compassionate conservatives” amongst them don’t appear to have a lot of respect for individual liberty when it comes to reproductive decision-making. But Ryan is a relatively young, new breed of Republican right? He’s only 42 years old and the father of an adolescent daughter. Surely he doesn’t want the government placing his child’s rights in a secondary class? That would stand in direct opposition to the principles of a Tea Party darling.
Per Democracy Now, in a post dated August 13, 2012: “Ryan opposes abortion in all situations, including cases of rape and incest, and opposes abortion in cases that endanger an expectant mother’s health. Planned Parenthood has also criticized his endorsement of a so-called ‘Personhood Amendment,’ which supports defining a fertilized egg as a human being. Ryan was a co-sponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which even the conservative state of Mississippi rejected last November, and is in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.”
But ok, women are about more than just the question of whether or not to procreate. We care about jobs, equal pay, a stable and thriving economy and oh, oops…
What’s that you say votesmart.org? Representative Ryan voted against equal pay for women, the enforcement of hate crime legislation and adjustments to employment discrimination law a total of six times during his tenure in the House? Well that is um, concerning.
In short, Ryan is for tax cuts, deregulation, cynical deficit hawking that starves the social safety net while fattening the pockets of big business and the one percent. Corporate entities are to be treated with more esteem and consideration than the bodies and minds of female Americans and even Romney doesn’t appear to want to associate himself with Ryan’s plans to reinvent Medicare as a voucher program that exposes seniors to the whims of the private sector.
Why was he selected for the ticket again? If I didn’t know better I would think Romney really wanted to lose.