So Romney picked Paul Ryan, eh? And at the decidedly unmedia-worthy time of 7 a.m. ET on a Saturday morning. Who’s staffing newsrooms on early Saturday mornings? Well, Clyde, the 75-year-old ex- 6 & 11 p.m. anchorman now doing weekends and still threatening an age discrimination suit if they let him go and ace weekend reporter, Cindy, a former Miss Pickle Festival and recent communications grad from “We’lltakeanybodywithmoney” U. That’s who! And for the sporty types, their attention is still riveted on our highly successful Olympic efforts, Pro football exhibition games and the PGA. Even baseball is starting to get slightly interesting. Then there’s the matter of preparing the kids for their return to school.
Why you would think they picked this time to draw the minimum amount of attention?
Oddball announcement time not withstanding, Paul Ryan takes on the mantle of VP for Mitt Romney who I’m sure rushed the selection in view of the fact his campaign has all the traction of a greased-pig contest.
First, the real-world take on this selection. However putrid, the choice deflects attention from Romney’s 800-pound gorilla, his adamant refusal to release more than one of his tax returns. Besides, Romney already has a proxy Vice-President, Karl Rove. It has been and will be Rove at Romney’s shoulder for any decisions that mean anything. The sleaziest political operative of modern times; he’s the guy who gave you the two illegally acquired 2000 and 2004 terms for George W. Bush, the current “Invisible Man” of the GOP (GW won’t even be at his party convention). Rove will do the same thing for Romney in the same way he did for Bush. That is, he will call on his people in various Secretary of State’s offices, Election commissions, voting machine tinkerers, Voter ID legislators and chad manipulators for yet another encore.
Meanwhile Rove will take huge advantage of the most obscene and un-American Supreme Court decision of our time, Citizen’s United, to continue to carry the water for sneaky billionaires and huge corporations to feed an assembly line of endless stacks of Ben Franklin’s piled high to the ceiling for Romney. A large percentage of that money will come from super-PACs that do not have to reveal the names of donors to the wink, wink, nudge, nudge “non-profits”, who in turn give the money to the Super-PACS as they flaunt the rules of what constitutes a non-profit.
Back to Ryan. He’s been around awhile. He first plopped down in his House seat in 1999 and nobody has been able to pry him loose since. He is, of course, most noted for his concentration camp budget that proposes taking every social safety net and either reducing it to an ineffective instrument for what it was intended to do or privatizing it and making your heart attack a total profit-center instead of just a partial profit-center.
Ryan’s first budget effort came along when Democrats still controlled the House. It was voted down. It proposed that the feds no longer pay Medicare for those born after 1975. Instead a voucher would be issued to purchase private insurance. Reasonable people agreed that the money would not be nearly enough to cover serious health contingencies. The wealthy would be taxed hardly at all.
When enough wing-nuts invaded congress from the 2010 Tea Party election, Ryan gave it another go. No taxes on capital gains, interest or dividends, an enormous gift to the 1 percenters. The wealthy pay a piddling 15% today. Medicare would be privatized as would part of Social Security. And that’s just for openers.
Every Democrat’s favorite economist, Paul Krugman, estimates the Ryan budget would result in a $4 trillion revenue loss over the next decade. Seems reasonable given that the ridiculous Bush tax cuts were huge contributors to today’s debt that Republicans erroneously blame on the president.
There are other reasons for choosing Ryan. He’ll serve the rich, including himself. While not nearly as wealthy as Romney, he still appears to be a multi-millionaire by his own filings, worth as much as perhaps $3 million. Therefore he would benefit from much of his own legislation. He also appears to share the same ethical base as his tax-avoider partner on the ticket. Ryan and his wife have a stake in four different energy companies that would very much benefit by hubby’s budget and the inclusion of $45 billion in energy subsidies over the next decade. Sounds very Romneyesque.
Speaking of the Mrs., her name is Janna. Right-wing sites call her a beautiful blonde with a million dollar smile. She looks OK. Sort of like an aging “Miss Pickle Festival.” She’s a sharp and highly connected DC cookie. She’s a Wellesley grad and tax attorney. She plied her tax trade in Washington so she knows the ropes. No Mr. and Mrs. ‘Washington outsider’ here. I have a very strong suspicion that Janna figured every bit as much into the VP calculus as Paul, given Romney’s total lack of support with the nation’s women; at least those familiar with the issues that impact them.
You won’t hear a whole lot about Janna’s high-powered Washington legal contacts. She’ll be sold as a Catholic, Janesville, Wisconsin mom with 3 adorable children (and they are). That should help seal the tea party vote as if it weren’t already sealed, but the intent here is to get every last wing-nut man AND woman to the polls.
In his own way, Ryan is another elitist in the Romney mold. He worked briefly in marketing for a family business as a very young man. The rest of his time has been spent in the well of politics and nothing else. He won’t relate to working men and women.
In any event, it’s now Romney/Ryan vs. Obama/Biden. It should be an easy choice. The Republicans have blocked every piece of worthwhile and beneficial legislation offered up by the Democrats. They repeatedly vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no replacement in sight. Democratic legislation that would have created millions of jobs, again blocked and/or rejected by Republicans. Republicans worship the rich and look down their noses at everybody else. All House and Senate Republicans are serving with but one purpose…a one-party dictatorship.
Given those criteria, Ryan’s a perfect fit.