I say "Romney" in quotes because it has become painfully obvious that the real Romney is nowhere to be seen, the Romney on the stump being a sort of cipher, a suit, or, as one wag put it, an automaton designed and built in Japan, begging Repubs to provide a provenance in much the same way that the more loony of their number called for Obama to present his birth certificate. Now that Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate, at least there'll be real person stumping. All too real -- and downright scary.
The real Ryan wants to return us to the GWB fiscal policies of even larger tax breaks for the super rich, a return to "trickle down" economics, laissez-faire capitalism, anti-regulatory government that led to deficit spending on two foreign wars and other horrors. Even disregarding the death-knell to Medicare as we know it, drastic cuts in spending on anything benefitting the poor and middle class, and other shocks to the system, there is another aspect to a Ryan run that should alarm all members of this community, one he spoke of during his speech in Virginia after introduction by the robot Romney.
During the speech, he said: "...America is more than just a place...it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes." That's right, he injected something called "God" into the proceedings. And the reference to "nature" is a coded message, one pegged to his religious beliefs, as it is primary tenet of Roman Catholicism that man has no rights apart from "natural rights," and natural rights are those bestowed upon man by a supreme being. If anyone wants a hilarious send up of this ridiculous dogma, check out Robert Anton Wilson's Natural Law, or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy (1987). Wilson points out that the church relies almost entirely for its anti-gay, anti-women, anti-birth control, &c. policies by claiming they are "against Natural Law."
In an epigraph, Wilson quoted A. E. Housman, which deserves reprinting here:
The laws of God, the laws of Man,
He may keep who will, and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me.
You might want to check out Ryan's voting record on all such matters, too; you'll find that he has a 100% homophobic & misogynist record. It's clear he believes in the David Barton farce that holds that the founding fathers wanted America to be "a Christian nation," such that the way is paved for theocracy to be established on our shores, the better to deprive us of religious freedom, even perhaps the right to believe in nothing. Fortunately, his positions on these things will be exposed by the Dems. They have a new whipping boy to attack. There's not much point in attacking Mittens Rumney. The worst that can happen is that a part will be smashed, and the Chinese or Japanese factory that made him can ship in a replacement.
Actually, a lot changed. The wealthy managed to become the SUPER-RICH in ther interveining years. The problem is people vote against their self interest. Religion and "morals" are the bullets conservatives use to fill their voters backs with.
True enough, but the mechanics of "tinkle-down" hasn't changed ... except that the now super-rich can't be bothered to take a piss!
We're back to Seneca, aren't we?
Ultimately, this is a SAD choice, an unfortunate and ill-considered choice, if one thinks in terms of the welfare of this nation and its people. The fact of the matter is that neither Romney nor Ryan are thinking in those terms, but in terms of placating a faction so extreme and minor that it shouldn't even matter in the overall scheme of things, yet it dominates the GOP very nearly to the exclusion of everything and everyone else.
This is a choice of ideology over pragmatism, of a remarkably narrow focus over the good of the nation, calculated to consolidate one niche of the population as though it were the critical demographic when it is not remotely so. With this action, the GOP demonstrates that it has taken leave of its political senses, and that is in no ways a good thing. Talk about other, minor parties all you want, but the fact is that this country is controlled primary by the Republican and Democratic parties. Once upon a time, those two were in relative balance and each had a point to make which could be argued as valid and worthy of consideration. No more. It would seem that the GOP has given over itself to the wild and absolutist position of the far right, and are blinded to the exigencies of what is going on RIGHT NOW.
This is not good news, not in the long term. It may help insure a second term for Obama, but that is not the point. The point is that one of the great parties of this country has gone off the rails. Even Joe McCarthy, 60 years ago, acknowledged that this country could not properly operate under the governance of one political party and three score years later, that truism hasn't changed. Even as a democrat, I am not encouraged by that news, but dismayed and disturbed by it.
We have lost a party ... and I for one am at a loss to know how to recover it.
Right Loren - very sad.
What if we could have more than 2 parties run for office?
I know we have Green and Libertarian - but they never have the numbers.
What if they could get more numbers?
So what do we do now? hmmm
You gotta admit though, he is a bit smarter than Sarah Palin.
C'mon, James ... PLANKTON is smarter than Sarah Palin!
I d'know, I heard Palin presented a vigorous defense when she squared off with plankton on social issues
Vigorous, yes. But ultimately, failed.
Only the Russian plankton she saw from her Alaskan home.
Well written, as usual, Loren. They should change their name. They are not even remotely like the Republican party of old.
Loren, Don Hazen agrees when you say
This is not good news, not in the long term. It may help insure a second term for Obama, but that is not the point.
If Romney wins, then Ryan occupies the Number Two spot with a money base and huge constituency of his own, far more than any vice president has ever enjoyed. With his own leadership PAC and a close relationship to the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity astroturf group, it is hard to imagine how Ryan doesn't immediately become a co-president or, at least, the most powerful VP in history.
If Romney loses, then Paul Ryan is sitting pretty to be the nominee in 2016, when there is no incumbent....a far easier race to win...